Spencer Fane LLP Logo

Oil and Gas


The Spencer Fane Energy practice brings to bear the experience of industry veterans uniquely positioned to serve oil and gas clients in the upstream and midstream industry segments, working with market participants of all sizes to maintain efficient operations and resolve legal or regulatory challenges expeditiously.

Success in this field requires an advanced understanding of the competitive landscape, an on-the-ground relationship between firm and client, and next-level responsiveness that takes into account the constantly evolving legal terrain. Our team includes former government officials, an Oklahoma Corporation Commission member, and in-house counsel who have worked for large energy companies. Drawing on that background, we are intricately familiar with the significant issues industry players deal with — from regulatory challenges to advancements in technology to dealing with produced water.

Our attorneys typically work with operations, land, and marketing executives to handle day-to-day operational and legal challenges. We regularly advise companies on supply chain needs, vendor relationships, and master service agreements.

Our experience encompasses the full range of transactions that small, mid-sized, and large independent oil and gas producers will encounter as they do business and grow, including leases, drilling contracts, purchase and sale agreements, water gathering agreements, joint operating agreements, confidentiality agreements, seismic agreements, and liens. Our attorneys possess broad experience in negotiating and drafting contracts ranging from oil and gas leases to commodity sales contracts.

We have done transactions in every significant oil and gas market in the U.S., and we have attorneys in areas key to the industry. In addition to oil and gas producers, we regularly work with industry stakeholders including surface owners, mineral owners, pipeline operators, and regulatory bodies at the state and federal level.

In challenging situations, we focus on finding solutions beneficial to all stakeholders and avoiding litigation whenever possible. However, in cases where no mutual agreement can be reached, we have extensive experience litigating on our clients’ behalf. Our team regularly handles industry-related trials, appeals, and arbitrations within the oil and gas sector in addition to advising operators, owners, producers, and processors of oil and gas on legal matters of all types. We routinely litigate post-production cost matters, lease maintenance issues, and disputes that arise from joint ventures. We have vast experience in both state and federal courts in traditional exploration and production litigation and before the regulatory bodies with jurisdiction over oil and gas activities.

Representative Experience

  • Represented exploration and production company in the acquisition of approximately 200,000 net mineral acres in the Utica Shale valued at $650 million.
  • Represented the seller in the $1.2 billion sale of Michigan oil and gas properties.
  • Led oil and gas trade association as amicus participant before the 10th Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court in tribal jurisdiction case.
  • Defeated class certification efforts in a case consisting of 175,000 potential class members alleging improper payment of royalties.