Oil & Gas Agreements: Surface Use in the 21st Century

  • Westminster, Colorado
  • May 17-18, 2017
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Wednesday Morning


  1. Stevia M. Walther

    Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Westminster, CO
  2. Jonathan A. Hunter

    Partner Jones Walker LLP, New Orleans, LA
  3. Mary Viviano

    Golden, CO

Introductions and Opening Remarks

  1. David E. Pierce

    Professor and Norman R. Pozez Chair in Business and Transactional Law Washburn University School of Law, Topeka, KS

The Common Law of Surface Use to Develop Oil and Gas

This session explores the law governing split estates, express and implied rights to use the surface for mineral development, and the varying approaches to accommodation obligations. “First-in-time” principles are examined under existing law and the Restatement (Third) of Property: Servitudes.

Hosted Refreshment Break

  1. Nicolle R. Snyder Bagnell

    Partner Reed Smith LLP, Pittsburgh, PA
  2. James H. Dupuis, Jr.

    Partner Kean Miller LLP, The Woodlands, TX
  3. Joseph C. Pierzchala

    Shareholder Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., Denver, CO
  4. John W. Morrison, Jr.

    Partner Crowley Fleck PLLP, Bismarck, ND

State Law Regimes

Many states have mandatory pre-drilling requirements for notice, negotiation, and siting of surface disturbances with surface owners. This session will provide a review of state laws administered by oil and gas regulators related to surface use and impacts, including bonding and adjacent property owner issues. 

Lunch – On Your Own

Wednesday Afternoon

  1. John T. Sullivan

    Sullivan Green Seavy LLC, Boulder, CO

Local Regulation and Local Government Agreements

Does the county, municipality, or other local entity have a say in surface uses involving oil and gas extraction? Presented as a case study in the DJ Basin, this session will address preemption concerns, surface use conflicts, and compliance with local land use and zoning regimes.

Hosted Refreshment Break

  1. Philip C. Lowe

    U.S Department of the Interior Office of the Solicitor, Lakewood, CO
  2. Kenneth D. Paur

    U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of General Counsel, Denver, CO

Surface Uses Related to Federal Oil and Gas Development on Public Lands

Complying with Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service requirements in a split estate situation and in comity with the state regime present unique challenges. This session will highlight internal agency perspectives on these issues.

  1. Donald T. Dulac, Jr.

    Barnes Dulac Watkins, Pittsburgh, PA

ROWs, Easements, and Other Covenants Running with the Land

How should these types of conveyances be employed to cross surface and subsurface interests and avoid trespass, drainage, and similar claims related to horizontal drilling? Who has the subsurface trespass claim where severed estates exist?

Hosted Reception for Speakers, Registrants, and Guests

Thursday Morning

  1. Kenneth S. Komoroski

    Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Randall J. Feuerstein

    Polsinelli PC Denver, CO
  3. Michael N. Mills

    Stoel Rives LLP, Sacramento, CA

Joint Cooperation Agreements—Legal Principles and Practicalities

What issues arise where competing surface uses are present along with oil and gas operations? This presentation will include examples of the key provisions for addressing potential conflicts.

Hosted Refreshment Break

  1. Isaac N. Sutphin

    Holland & Hart LLP, Cheyenne, WY

    Holland & Hart LLP, Cheyenne, WY

Surface Uses for Pipelines—Going Beyond Leasehold Rights

This session will delve into rights of way, eminent domain/condemnation statutes, local regulations, road use, and surface agreements for pipelines and other mid-stream facilities.

  1. Randall B. Reed

    Dray, Dyekman, Reed & Healy, P.C., Cheyenne, WY
  2. Lindsay A. Woznick

    Hirst Applegate, LLP, Cheyenne, WY

Addressing Key Items in the Surface Use Agreement with the Landowner

A nuts and bolts primer on negotiations, content, duration, and follow-up, this presentation will address statutory and other pre-paid damages, and provide a how-to on fashioning an agreement to avoid litigation and multiple compensation demands.

Lunch – On Your Own

Thursday Afternoon

  1. Matthew J. Salzman

    Partner Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Kansas City, MO

Potential Claims and Theories of Recovery in Litigation—What to Do When the Rig is Standing By

The ins and outs of temporary restraining orders (TROs), injunctions, trespass, eminent domain and condemnation for rights of way, and bad faith actions will be explored.

Hosted Refreshment Break

  1. Jack M. Tanner

    Director Fairfield & Woods P.C., Denver, CO

These Truths Should Be Self-Evident: Ethics Issues for Landmen and Lawyers

What does compliance with the ABA Model Rules and the ethical rules for landmen mean and require when negotiating with surface landowners and federal, state, and local agencies for access to oil and gas?

  1. Marc Randal Strahn

    Wolf Haven Corporation, Story, WY
  2. Lynne J. Boomgaarden

    Crowley Fleck PLLP, Cheyenne, WY
  3. Melanie B. Bell

    AAPL, Fort Worth, TX
  4. Jeffrey R. Fiske

    Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Denver, CO
  5. Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons

    Uhl, Fitzsimons, Jewett & Burton, PLLC, San Antonio, TX

Land Negotiators’ View From the Field: Maintaining Your Social License to Operate

What issues cause landowners, stakeholders, operators, and regulators concern and heartburn? This diverse panel will provide a balanced perspective and discussion on real concerns from all parties at the table.

Course Adjournment