Oil and Gas

Baker Donelson clients include major, independent and state-owned oil and gas companies, pipeline companies, oil and gas well operators, drilling contractors, seismic companies, transportation companies, insurers, financial institutions, royalty owners and other service and supply companies involved with the industry. We have experience in a vast range of services for the oil, gas and energy industry, and regularly represent companies and owners in courts and before arbitral tribunals and regulatory agencies throughout the United States and in transactions involving oil, gas and energy companies.

Our commitment to the oil, gas and energy industry is evidenced by past and current participation of our attorneys in the American Bar Association's Section of Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Law, the American Association of Petroleum Landmen, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Eastern Mineral Law Foundation, the Louisiana Mineral Law Institute, the Offshore Marine Services Association, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

It is our goal to assist clients in developing their businesses in such a manner that avoids litigation altogether. But when matters arise that necessitate adjudication of claims, either in or out of court, before juries, judges, magistrates, mediators or arbitration panels, our attorneys have experience in untangling these complex disputes, including the following:

  • Personal injuries
  • Well blowouts
  • Wellhead, casing, downhole and reservoir damage claims
  • Lost and delayed production claims
  • Property damages and ownership disputes
  • Title disputes, mineral lease disputes, royalty valuation disputes and production royalty audits
  • Contract disputes, including indemnity claims
  • Insurance disputes
  • Transportation claims for damages
  • Environmental claims
  • Claims regarding product sales and marketing contracts
  • Enforcement of U. S. and foreign ship mortgages
  • Enforcement and defense of U.S. and foreign maritime liens


Our team offers a broad spectrum of business services in upstream, midstream and downstream portions of the energy industry. We start with the formation of business enterprises (including start-up business entities), the acquisition of producing oil and gas properties, leasing activities mergers and acquisitions of companies involved in the oil and gas business, exploration, participation and joint development agreements, transportation, pipeline, gathering and processing agreements, master service agreements, drilling contracts, seismic licensing, data acquisition and use agreements, joint operating agreements, farmouts, area of mutual interest agreements as well as transportation, refining, and sale and distribution of oil and natural gas and related products. We also provide legal services relating to domestic onshore and offshore properties as well as international projects across the globe. The following is a sample of the services provided by our attorneys:

  • Purchase and sale agreements for oil and gas company assets (producing properties, wells, pipelines, etc.)
  • Merger agreements
  • Drafting of all documents necessary to develop oil and gas fields
  • Negotiations with landowners and exploration companies for leases and other mineral rights
  • Right-of-way agreements
  • Exploration agreements and seismic permits
  • Farmout agreements
  • Overriding royalty interest assignments
  • Net profits interest assignments
  • Drilling contracts
  • Turnkey drilling agreements
  • Operating agreements
  • Gas purchase agreements
  • Saltwater disposal agreement
  • Processing plant leasehold agreements
  • Preparation of patent applications for technology in the hydrocarbon recovery and transportation sectors
  • Preparation of trademark applications for companies in the energy industry
  • Development of credit lines
  • Agreements for the financing of pipelines, rigs and other production equipment and facilities
  • Mezzanine financing
  • Production payment financing
  • Leveraged lease transactions
  • Transactions involving liquefied natural gas
  • Daywork drilling contracts
  • Rig sharing agreements
  • Deepwater agreements
  • Master service contracts
  • Helicopter flight agreements
  • Master time charters
  • Platform boarding agreements
  • Platform installation contracts
  • Fabrication contracts
  • Gas balancing agreements
  • Joint operating agreements
  • Vessel and platform construction contracts
  • U.S. and foreign preferred ship mortgages

Occupational Safety and Health

Another important aspect of the oil and gas industry is ensuring compliance with Federal and State Occupational Safety and Health Laws. OSHA has indicated that it will increasingly scrutinize the industry. Our team stands ready to assist with compliance concerns or handle OSHA citations that have been issued to your company. The following is a sample of the services we can provide:

  • General OSHA compliance advice, including OSHA recordkeeping questions
  • OSHA recordkeeping training and auditing
  • "Mock" OSHA audits
  • Assistance during OSHA inspections
  • Defense of OSHA citations
  • Evaluation of OSHA issues as they relate to third party tort actions
  • Assistance with whistleblower (retaliation) complaints under various statutes that are investigated by OSHA
  • Assistance with due diligence of safety issues related to mergers and acquisitions
  • Assistance with drafting of comments to proposed rules and regulations that affect the industry

Our attorneys are recognized in the Euromoney/Legal Media Group's Guide to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resources Lawyers, Who's Who in American Law, in The Best Lawyers in America® in Energy Law and Oil & Gas Law since 1999 and in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business.