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Risk & Responsibility - Broaching Environmental Issues In Oil & Gas Contracts

Posted: 07/18/2011

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From the operators and contractors down to the minority partners, the current provisions for the sharing of responsibilities are by no means clearly defined. A sound understanding of current law, regulations and your company’s obligation is fundamental when entering the drafting phase of a contract.

This session will explore the current issues surrounding environmental and pollution issues and help you:

  • Understand current responsibility for pollution damages and liability for clean up costs to your business
  • Joint operating agreements for minority partners - is this still a viable solution?
  • Environmental indemnity clauses - discover how to negotiate the strongest possible indemnity clause to reduce the possibility of lengthy litigation procedures

Don Butler is In-house transactional experience in the energy sector, law firm litigation experience, and in-house litigation management experience. He has held in-house positions with several independent producers, such as Union Texas Petroleum and Roy M. Huffington, Inc., including his current employer, Seneca Resources Corporation [a subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG)].

He has handled upstream and downstream contractual matters -both domestic and international - with an emphasis on operational risk management that integrates safety, contractual provisions, including indemnities, warranties, and limitations of liability clauses, and insurance. Don's specialities are:

  • Contractual operational risk management for oilfield related drilling, services, and construction.
  • Litigation mangement
  • Upstream oil and gas transactions.

David G. Mandelbaum is the co-chair of Greenburg Traruig's National Environmental Practice. He often represents clients faced with problems under the environmental laws that have no conventional solution, or for which the conventional solution would yield an unacceptable result.

While he regularly represents clients in lawsuits, he does not restrict his practice to litigation and has helped clients achieve satisfactory outcomes through regulatory negotiation or private transactions. As highlighted below, David has represented clients in some of the Superfund – particularly contaminated sediment and natural resource damage – matters that the government considers its most significant.

He represents natural gas exploration and production companies, midstream providers, and landowner coalitions in connection with development of the Marcellus Shale and other natural gas resources. He regularly handles permit appeals and citizen suits under the water pollution, air pollution, and solid waste laws. He has represented clients in litigation under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and several disputes among private parties following failed or unsatisfactory transactions.

David was one of the original appointments to the Pennsylvania Statewide Water Resources Committee, which is responsible for the State Water Plan. He has advised clients in water supply matters, and has appeared before water supply agencies such as the Delaware River Basin Commission. Mr. Mandelbaum teaches Superfund, Climate Change, and Oil and Gas Law in rotation at the Temple Law School. He has taught Land Use Law and Administration to graduate planning students, and he is a regular writer and speaker at energy-related events.

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