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Oil & Gas Regulatory


Railroad Commission

SDM has the largest oil and gas regulatory practice in Texas. Our attorneys handle contested cases in all areas falling under the jurisdiction of the Texas Railroad Commission, including oil and gas cases, gas utility cases, and surface mining and reclamation cases. We offer advice and represent clients in connection with Rule 37 spacing and Rule 38 density exceptions, production allowables, pooling and unitization (including forced pooling under the Texas Mineral Interest Pooling Act), injection and disposal well applications, enforcement actions for alleged violations of Commission rules, applications for special field rules, environmental issues (including audits and spills), plugging responsibility, tax incentives, well permitting, and new field discoveries. We also advise clients on the effect of Railroad Commission regulation on oil and gas leases, pooling agreements, and similar instruments. We represent clients in rulemaking proceedings before the Railroad Commission, in appeals of Railroad Commission decisions, and in legislative actions affecting the oil and gas industry.

General Land Office

Our firm’s practice before the General Land Office (“GLO”) is one of the most extensive in Texas. The focus of our GLO work is energy/oil and gas related and includes such matters as pooling applications and compensatory royalty problems, lease termination and interpretation questions, royalty audits resulting in alleged underpayment of state royalties, surface and subsurface easement applications, leasing of various state lands, applications for force majeure determinations and lease suspensions and seismic permitting. We are also involved in contested and uncontested vacancy applications and other surveying related disputes. We have the ability to provide legal assistance involving nearly every problem that may arise at the GLO.

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