Thursday, April 15, 2021
8:30 AM - 8:55 AM
Registration/Conference Opening
8:55 AM - 9:00 AM
Introductory Remarks
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Louisiana Ad Valorem Tax Issues
Phyllis Sims

This presentation will review recent jurisprudence and a recent constitutional amendment relating to the application of Louisiana’s ad valorem tax to oil and gas interests.

9:50 AM - 10:35 AM
Deadlines and Notice Requirements
Kelly Perrier

Louisiana law imposes several notice requirements and deadlines on parties’ exercise of their rights relating to mineral interests.  Further, it is common for oil and gas leases to impose additional requirements.  This presentation will review statutory notice requirements and deadlines relating to:

·         Unleased mineral interest owner royalty claims

·         Lessor royalty claims

·         Overriding royalty claims

10:40 AM - 11:40 AM
Recent Developments
Lauren Adams

This presentation will cover recent jurisprudence, statutory, and regulatory developments affecting oil and gas activities.

11:40 AM - 12:10 PM
Lunch/Break
12:10 PM - 1:10 PM
Ethics
Barry Grodsky
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Professionalism
2:20 PM - 2:50 PM
Issues Relating to Electronic Signatures and Remote Notarization
Joseph Giglio

Commercial practice and the law are evolving toward allowing many transactions to be completed in electronic form, with electronic signatures, and even allowing notaries to notarize documents that are signed by persons that the notary views remotely.  This presentation will examine the current state of Louisiana law on these issues.

2:55 PM - 3:40 PM
Revisiting Force Majeure After a Year of Extremes: Lessons for Louisiana and Texas
Laura Brown Jillian Marullo

A year ago, as oil prices plummeted in the wake of a foreign price war and the economic and operational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic began to manifest, attorneys around the country generated a flurry of legal analysis on the very old principle of force majeure. The Louisiana Civil Code calls this concept a “fortuitous event,” which, “at the time the contract was made, could not have been reasonably foreseen.”  La. Civ. Code art. 1875. The year continued to bring more developments that we did not foresee, including the record hurricane season that would impact Louisiana and the 2021 winter freeze that brought Houston to its knees. After a year of unique challenges, this presentation looks back (i) at how force majeure is generally understood in Louisiana and Texas, including important differences between how the two states approach force majeure, and (ii) how force majeure or other similar principles have been applied over the last year of case law. 

3:45 PM - 4:30 PM
Imprescriptible Mineral Servitude Issues
Paul Strickland
  • What is an “imprescriptible” mineral servitude
  • What is necessary to make a servitude imprescriptible
  • How to know whether an entity is an “acquiring authority”
  • Circumstances in which prescription can run on an “imprescriptible” servitude
Friday, April 16, 2021
8:30 AM - 8:55 AM
Registration/Conference Opening
8:55 AM - 9:00 AM
Introductory Remarks
9:00 AM - 9:45 AM
Solar and Wind: Opportunities, Correlative Rights, and Lessons from Oil and Gas
Emory Belton Adam Zuckerman
  • Why oil and gas lawyers’ experience dealing with competing surface use interests helps prepare them for negotiating leases for renewable energy projects
  • The typical terms and conditions of solar and wind leases
9:50 AM - 10:35 AM
A Time of Transition for Offshore Oil & Gas Operations
Jonathan Hunter Sarah Dicharry

We are in the midst of uncertain and changing times for offshore operations.  This presentation will address a series of recent executive and secretarial actions (e.g., the de facto moratorium on lease sales) and the uncertainty caused by those actions, recent regulatory developments that are notable for offshore operators (e.g., federal royalties; suspensions of operations and production; venting and flaring; financial assurance), and recent judicial developments that are notable for offshore operators (e.g., litigation in response to the de facto moratorium on lease sales; jurisprudence addressing contractor liability under OCSLA).

10:40 AM - 11:25 AM
Gulf Cost Energy Outlook
Gregory Upton

The Gulf Coast Energy Outlook is a yearly publication by the LSU Center for Energy Studies. It’s goal is to provide a “one-stop” overview of the current trends and outlook for the region’s energy industry and its various sectors. This year’s outlook covers: 

 

  • Crude oil and Natural Gas markets
  • Pipeline activity
  • Electricity generation
  • Energy manufacturing
  • Energy exports
  • COVID-19 impacts on domestic energy demand
  • Employment outlook for LA and TX energy sectors
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Recent Trends and Developments in Pooling and Unitization
Patrick Martin Bruce Kramer

This presentation on Recent Trends and Developments in Pooling and Unitization takes up five topics for discussion. 1) Options for Non-Operators under Pooling and Unitization Orders; 2) Pooling Clause Issues; 3) Surface Estate Use and Unit Operations; 4) Pugh Clause Issues; and 5) Judicial Review for Agency Actions. The presentation covers case developments in the leading producing states for the past four years.

12:15 PM - 12:45 PM
Lunch/Break
12:45 PM - 1:30 PM
Decommissioning of Onshore Oil and Gas Pipelines and Related Gathering and Flow Lines
M. Taylor Darden

Pipelines often remain in service for decades, but at some point the use of a pipeline will cease—either for commercial reasons, pipeline integrity concerns, or the termination of the servitude or lease that served as authority to install and operate the pipeline.  When that point in time arrives, does the owner of the pipeline have a duty to landowner’s to remove the pipeline?  Do regulations require removal?  If the owner of the pipeline wishes to remove the pipeline, but the landowner prefers that it be left in place, does the operator have a right to remove it?  If the pipeline owner removes the pipeline, what surface restoration or decommissioning obligations does that owner have?  Finally, what practical issues should be considered or addressed in drafting pipeline servitude agreements?

1:35 PM - 2:20 PM
The “Granting Clause” of a Mineral Lease: What Do You Mean I Can’t Do That?
Patrick Ottinger

This paper examines the “granting clause” of a mineral lease, an important but often overlooked clause in this contract.  It will contrast the commercially printed forms in prevalent use, and consider the cases that have interpreted this clause.  The presentation will also consider if the absence of language in the contract’s “granting clause” means that the unidentified activity cannot be undertaken on the leased premises.  It will also discuss ancillary agreements that confer upon the lessee, by independent contract, the right to conduct activities often undertaken in an E&P operation.

2:25 PM - 3:10 PM
Who Owns Produced Water and The Minerals In It
Keith Hall

Historically, parties have seldom been concerned with the question of who owned produced water.  Produced water was simply a form of waste.  Regulations required the lessee to properly dispose of the water and it was understood that this would be done at the lessee’s cost.  But what if circumstances change to the extent that produced water becomes valuable—either for the water itself or constituents (perhaps rare earth elements) in the water?  Who owns the water—the landowner, a mineral servitude (or mineral estate) owner, or the mineral lessee?  And who owns the right to extract valuable constituents from the water?  This presentation will address these issues from the standpoint of Louisiana and Texas law.

3:15 PM - 4:00 PM
Royalty Litigation Update
Tara Righetti

This paper and presentation will cover fundamentals of royalty litigation and recent updates including royalty payment statutes, post production costs, class actions, and remedies