Oil and Gas and Minerals

Phelps Dunbar's oil, gas and minerals attorneys counsel to a range of interests in the oil patch, including producers, transporters, processors, landowners and royalty owners.

We provide counsel in the areas of energy lending, regulatory oversight and proceedings, wetlands regulation and all related litigation. Our representation covers virtually every aspect of the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas industries.

Phelps represents onshore and offshore E&P companies in the negotiation and drafting of leases, asset purchase agreements, unit agreements, farmouts, joint operating agreements and gas contracts. We have been particularly active in advising independents in the acquisition of properties from major oil companies. We routinely review abstracts of title and issue title opinions on mineral properties for both onshore and offshore properties, as well as lease blocks situated on the Outer Continental Shelf.

Our energy attorneys also counsel natural gas and liquids pipeline owners and operators in matters such as right-of-way acquisition and facilities construction. Many of our clients are common carrier pipelines, which are regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission. We also represent numerous intrastate pipelines before the Louisiana Commissioner of Conservation and have advised developers of Louisiana salt domes for the storage of natural gas.

Major landowners seek Phelps’ assistance in the development of their properties for the production of oil, gas, and other minerals. This work involves drafting and negotiating mineral leases, rights-of-way, surface leases, and other agreements relating to the real estate aspects mineral exploration and land use.

Phelps represents lending institutions and energy companies in the execution of energy-related mortgages and other security devices. Our energy attorneys counsel banks and financial institutions in project financing and mineral-based financing transactions for onshore and offshore Gulf Coast properties.

Wetlands regulation continues to be a growing area of our practice. We have negotiated with federal and state agencies to construct wetlands mitigation areas, and have counseled clients participating in shoreline projects in coastal Louisiana.

We handle all manner of energy and mineral law disputes, including gas contract disputes, title and royalty actions, waterbottom disputes, gas balancing actions, deferred production claims and actions to enforce mineral liens and NORM removal. We also handle onshore and offshore Louisiana royalty audits, and have an active practice involving the Minerals Management Service and other agencies of the Department of the Interior.

Phelps has developed a specialized petroleum marketing practice and lawyers in our Tampa office have been part of roughly 30% of the Florida cases published in the Digest of Decisions under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act. This group frequently handles cases in this area involving antitrust, other trade regulation, contracts, business torts, environmental, products liability, personal injury, landlord/tenant, construction, and criminal matters. Phelps’ petroleum marketing practice group knows industry practices and procedures from the refinery to the port, to the remote pump dispensers.