Special Institute on

Oil & Gas Mineral Title Examination

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Wednesday Morning

Registration

Wednesday Afternoon

  1. ALEX RITCHIE

    Executive Director Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Westminster, CO
  2. Rebecca W. Watson

    President-Elect, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., Denver, CO
  3. Heidi Hande

    Attorney Enerplus Resources, Denver, CO
  4. BRUCE RUDOY

    Shareholder Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA

Introductions and Opening Remarks

  1. PAUL UPSONS

    Attorney Poulson, Odell & Peterson, LLC, Denver, CO
  2. PARKER AULD

    Occidental Petroleum Corporation, The Woodlands, TX

Purpose and Basis of Title Opinions, Types of Opinions, and Layout of Opinions

  • History and purpose of mineral title opinions
  • Brief description of intended audience and what they are looking for in the opinions
  • Basis of opinions:  Underlying chain of title reports/abstracts and prior opinions
  • Overview of the various types of opinions: Acquisitions, drilling, division order, and security
  • The necessary components of each opinion type and reasons for inclusion: Lands covered, materials examined, ownership tables, brief of leases, comments and requirements, and exhibits
  • Sample opinions

  1. Mark L. Burghardt

    Partner Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Salt Lake City, UT
  2. SEAN MARSHALL

    Vice President of Land Centennial Resources Development, Inc., Denver, CO
  3. DIANA PRULHIERE

    Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Denver, CO
  4. JESSICA LARAMIE

    Western Colorado University, Gunnison, CO

Communication and Coordination in Title and Due Diligence Projects

  • Do I have everything I need for this project
  • When to call the client with a title issue
  • How to address known issues
  • Coordination among brokers, attorneys, and company employees
  • Gating issues for the project
  • How far back to examine title

Hosted Refreshment Break

  1. JEFFREY R. TAYLOR

    Partner Lear & Lear PLLC, Salt Lake City, UT
  2. LIANA E. JONES

    Senior Associate Lear & Lear PLLC, Salt Lake City, UT

Practical Aspects of Examining Title, Preparing Worksheets, Chains of Title, and Document Interpretation

  • How to begin in chaining title
  • What is important to note, how to keep track of notes
  • Discussion of the types of title chaining documents: Title memorandums, title updates, status reports, take-off reports, title plant abstracts, and landman abstracts
  • Worksheets of chain
  • Common instruments and information to glean from each type
  • Example:  Mineral chain of several documents
  • Examples:  Calculation of various types of interest
  • Examples:  Duhig calculation

  1. TARA RIGHETTI

    Associate Professor University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, WY
  2. KRIS C. KOSKI

    Long Reimer Winegar Beppler LLP, Cheyenne, WY

Basic Mineral and Leasehold Conveyancing Issues

  • Local laws and standards
  • Conveyance requirements
  • Encumbrances and their impacts on record title and the leasehold interest
  • Discussion of fractional interests and mineral acres
  • Duhig rule (general rule in various states)
  • Reservations to third parties
  • Wellbore limited assignments
  • Merger of different ownership interests of lease
  • Ownership by business entities

Hosted Reception for Registrants, Speakers & Guests

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Thursday Morning

  1. BRIAN BJELLA

    Attorney Crowley Fleck PLLP, Bozeman, MT
  2. URIAH J. PRICE

    Partner Crowley Fleck PLLP, Bozeman, MT

Common and Complex Issues in Preparation of a Title Opinion – A Closer Look

  • Discussion of title standards for each state and reliance thereon
  • Discussion of the various statutes upon production, affidavits of non-production, and payor statutes
  • Dormant mineral statutes “Other minerals” reservations
  • Extension of overriding royalty and non-participating royalty
  • Conveyance of royalty interest
  • Wellbore assignments

  1. LEIA G. URSERY

    Lathrop & Gage LLP, Denver, CO
  2. C. Elaine Carleton

    Attorney Carleton Gotlin Law PC, Denver, CO

Conveyance of Decedents’, Trusts’ Mineral Interests, Probate Proceedings – What to Do with a Gap in Title, Missing Estate

  • Overview of Uniform Probate Code
  • Intestate/testate succession
  • Proceeding required for transfer of interests
  • Probate proceedings – formal and informal
  • Determinations of heirship

Hosted Refreshment Break

  1. PAUL J. ATENCIO

    Shareholder Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA
  2. ELENA L. RORABAUGH

    Shareholder Babst Calland, Pittsburgh, PA

Title Due Diligence for Acquisition, Disposition, and Trade Transactions

  • Strategies and tools for planning, coordinating, and managing the due diligence process
  • Planning an effective process through establishing client expectations and use of materiality standards, checklists, and instruction sheets
  • Information collection, organization, and review; use of experts; training, and team management
  • Reporting results to client, both in real time and in formal reports
  • Assisting or directing the title defect notice and curative process
  • Strategies for bankruptcy, data rooms, and auction transactions

  1. TJ ORAM

    Founding Member Oram & Houghton, PLLC, Phillipsburg, MT
  2. JARED A. HEMBREE

    Partner Hinkle Shanor LLP, Roswell, NM

Mineral Title Examination on Federal and Indian Lands

  • Record title and operating rights
  • Unitization, communitization, and lease severance
  • Fundamentals of Indian law, trust ownership, and allotted lands
  • Location and search of records

Lunch - On Your Own

Thursday Afternoon

  1. AMY M. MOWRY

    Attorney Mowry Law, Denver, CO
  2. SCOTT TURNER

    Shareholder Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C., Denver, CO

Title Issues Under Waterways, Roadways, Railroads, and Cemeteries

  • Who owns the mineral title of lands underlying lakes, streams and rivers, reservoirs and ditches, railroads, streets, and highways
  • Discussion on boundary disputes resolution

  1. DAVID B. HATCH

    Associate Holland & Hart, LLP, Salt Lake City, UT

Title Defect Curative Documents and Tools

  • Discussion of curative documents and authority of the various documents: Stipulations, affidavits, quit claim deeds, corrective deeds, and assignments
  • Overview of curative tools: Ancillary probates, quiet title actions

Hosted Refreshment Break

  1. MARGARET G. PATTON

    Bradley Murchison Kelly & Shea LLC, Baton Rouge, LA

Lease Issues to Consider for Title Examination

  • Discussion of primary terms, leases that are held by production, Pugh clauses (both vertical and horizontal), depth limitations, entireties clause, pooling provisions and limitations, addendums with special provisions including surface restrictions, drilling obligations, continuous operations
  • Discussion of executive rights, particularly when severed from mineral rights
  • Overview of delay rentals and shut-in provisions
  • Deduction of post-production costs

  1. SAM G. NIEBRUGGE

    Partner Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, Denver, CO
  2. ELIZABETH A. RYAN

    Senior Counsel Concho Resources, Inc., Santa Fe, New Mexico

Industry Agreements Affecting Record Title

  • Overview of JOAs, farmout/farmins, term assignments, participation agreements, exploration agreements, AMIs
  • Discussion of how these agreements may affect title, whether recorded or not, on how assignments of title may be made subject to these agreements
  • BPO and APO interests, beneficial interests
  • Discussion of preferential rights to purchase agreements and at what point they expire
  • Effect on notice
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Friday Morning

  1. ELIZABETH SPENCER

    BP, Denver, CO
  2. BRIAN R. SULLIVAN

    Partner Emeritus McElroy Sullivan Miller & Weber, LLC, Austin, TX

Pooling, Communitization, Unitization, and Spacing Issues

  • Historical overview
  • Concept of correlative rights and relationship to regulations
  • State commission objectives, state regulations, and orders
  • Statutory pooling orders and interaction with spacing orders
  • Horizontal drilling regulations
  • Overlapping pooling or communitization agreements
  • Allocation wells

  1. JAMES F. ENGLISH

    Partner Lewis Brisbois LLP, Houston, TX, and Denver, CO

Midstream Title Issues – Rights-of-Way, Easements, and When to Do a Full Title Examination

  • What surface title rights must be determined for a midstream company to develop their network of pipelines
  • When does a right-of-way or easement limit what a midstream company can do
  • Can easements be expanded beyond their original terms
  • When do implied easements help or hinder a midstream project
  • When would a midstream developer need full drilling title
  • When are midstream assets regulated

Hosted Refreshment Break

  1. DAVID G. RIES

    Of Counsel Clark Hill PLC, Pittsburgh, PA

Ethical Issues in Mineral Title

  • Maintaining attorney-client privilege
  • Professionalism and competence
  • Unauthorized practice of law
  • Safeguarding client data
  • With references to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

  1. Timothy C. Dowd

    Attorney Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson, P.C., Oklahoma City, OK

Dealing with Unleased/Unknown Owners - Forced Pooling, Dormant Mineral Acts, Unknown Heir Proceedings, Co-Tenancy

  • What to do when a mineral owner is unknown or unlocatable
  • What to do when a mineral owner is a hold-out
  • Statutory remedies by state – forced pooling, mandatory unitization, joint development
  • Acts of Cotenants – can development commence without 100% of the co-tenants leased and how

Course Adjournment