66th Virtual Annual Institute

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General Session - Thursday Morning

General Session - Thursday Morning

Oil and Gas/Landman's Section - Friday Morning

Water/Environmental Section - Friday Afternoon

Mining/Corporate Counsel Section - Saturday Morning



    Fellow in Energy and Global Oil Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, Houston, TX

Energy Security and the Energy Transition After a Crisis

Policymakers and companies around the world are grappling with how to understand the implications of an energy system in transition—and if they aren’t, they should be. In addition to geopolitical risk, reliability of energy supplies has been threatened by factors ranging from weather events to terrorist activities, industrial accidents, and cyberattacks. The recent attack on Saudi oil facilities, hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, and high winds and wildfires in California have brought energy security once again into the global headlines. The U.S. and its allies have spent the past 50 years building a robust domestic and international response system to mitigate risks to oil supplies, but similar arrangements for other energy forms remain limited. This presentation will describe the speaker’s recent paper, which offers a framework for assessing energy security based on an evaluation of vulnerability, risk, and offsets. This approach has been a useful tool for assessing oil security for the past 50 years and can be relevant for assessing energy security in a system in transition.


    Partner Shearman & Sterling, New York, NY

    Partner Shearman & Sterling, Washington, DC

Beware! Whistleblowers, Wolves, and Lambs-Navigating Ethical Landmines in Global Investigations

Whistleblowers in the news are a good reminder that allegations of wrongdoing may come to a company’s attention through many avenues, including both publicly and internally. In the extractive industries, issues may arise regarding compliance by the company, its employees, agents, consultants, and business partners with environmental and resource protection laws, as well as anti-corruption, sanctions, and anti-money laundering laws and regulations. This presentation will address the steps companies should take once they become aware of such allegations, including the pitfalls they may encounter when there is a whistleblower involved, the relevance of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to the conduct of the investigation, and the role of executives, the Audit Committee, and the Board in overseeing any internal investigation and interactions with the government, including whether or not to make a voluntary self-disclosure.

Virtual Networking Receptions - Thursday Afternoon

Special function Corporate Counsel Reception

Special function Natural Resources Law Teachers Reception

More Virtual Networking Receptions

Special function Young Natural Resources Professionals Reception

Special function International Practitioners Reception

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Oil & Gas/Landman's Section - Friday Morning


    Partner McGinnis Lochridge, Houston, TX

Oil & Gas Law Update - Texas and the West

This Oil and Gas Law Update will summarize the key legislative, administrative, and judicial developments in oil and gas law in Texas and the western U.S. since the 2019 Annual Institute.


    Counsel McGuireWoods, Pittsburgh, PA

Oil & Gas Law Update - Louisiana and the East

This Oil and Gas Law Update will summarize the key legislative, administrative, and judicial developments in oil and gas law in Appalachia and Louisiana since the 2019 Annual Institute.


    Assistant Professor and Leon Karelitz Oil & Gas Law Professor University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, NM

Peering into the Crystal Ball - What Will the Next 10 Years Hold for Oil and Gas Law?

This presentation will explore the emerging oil and gas legal topics most likely to dominate the next decade, as identified by a survey of oil and gas law professors and practitioners from around the country. These topics include pore space and related injection rights and liabilities; ownership rights and liabilities in produced water; competing surface uses in a changing statutory and energy landscape; the shifting focus of conservation law from waste and correlative rights to environmental protection; and questions of eminent domain and takings brought on by changes in property rights, conservation regulation, and popular attitudes about oil and gas development and infrastructure. For each topic, the speaker will describe the likely issues and their historical and legal backgrounds, synthesize relevant precedent and scholarship, and propose an analytical framework for resolving the issues. In analyzing these topics, the presenter will identify themes and connect seemingly novel issues to the property, contract, and tort underpinnings of oil and gas law.
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Water/Environmental Section - Friday Afternoon


    Senior Fellow University of Colorado Law School, Boulder, CO

The Drought Contingency Plan - Buying Time for the Colorado River

In the spring of 2019, the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, and representatives from all seven Colorado River Basin states executed drought contingency plans (DCPs) for the Upper and Lower Colorado River basins to address ongoing low flows and overuse in the system. This presentation will provide an overview of the DCPs focusing particularly on the Upper Basin plans, and explore the reach of the solutions the parties have crafted for dealing with drought and the gaps remaining. Opportunities and challenges for the next set of operating guidelines for the river will also be explored. The session will complement the Colorado River panel at the first Annual RMMLF Water Law Conference that will be held in November 2020 in San Diego, which will discuss a broad assortment of contemporary issues for the Colorado River overall.


    Senior Attorney and Director Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, DC

    Attorney Bullen Law, LLC, Las Vegas, NV

An Impending Train Wreck – The Conflict Between Agency Streamlining Priorities and Eroding Agency Deference

Streamlining of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other federal agency review processes has been discussed for many years under both Democratic (remember the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, “Fast-Track” Renewable Energy Projects, FAST Act?) and Republican administrations (DOI Secretarial Order 3355, anyone?) to expedite or better manage unwieldy reviews. At the same time, courts are trending toward less agency deference. Is this a train wreck waiting to happen? This presentation will evaluate recent court decisions and trends and evaluate the streamlining revolution in light thereof.

Annual Institute Video Recordings

Recordings - Member - $95

Recordings - Non Member - $155

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Mining/Corporate Counsel Section - Saturday Morning

  1. Andrew C. Lillie

    Partner Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP, Denver, CO

    Senior Associate Hogan Lovells US LLP, Denver, CO

Growth of Environmental, Sustainability, and Governance Policies and the Push for Ethical Mineral Supply Chain Management

Responsible mineral sourcing is becoming a significant issue for the natural resources industry as companies such as Apple, Google, HP, Intel, and other major multinational corporations implement strategic initiatives to ensure that human rights and the environment are monitored and protected throughout their mineral supply chains. This presentation will explore provenance issues, the development of Environment, Sustainability, and Governance (ESG) program provisions tailored to supply chain integrity, and the legal underpinnings of socially responsible citizenship of companies that extract and process minerals. It also will examine current ethical mineral supply chain management, including the use of new technologies, such as blockchain-enabled and artificial intelligence solutions, to improve security and human rights conditions in mineral supply chains. Finally, it will discuss the legal and other issues that mining companies are facing in their efforts to demonstrate ethical and contractual compliance with mineral supply chain management requirements and protocols.


    Partner King & Spalding LLP; former Deputy Solicitor for Energy and Natural Resources, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC and Houston, TX

    Partner King & Spalding LLP, Chicago, IL

Ethics and Environmental Risk in a Distressed Energy Market

Are you as an in-house counsel prepared for a high-stakes environmental incident? ESG demands for reductions in carbon emissions despite lack of infrastructure, aging assets, complex environmental, health, and safety standards, increased oversight and regulation, and other challenges present unique ethical dilemmas. This presentation will provide practical advice for in-house counsel navigating the risk surrounding energy transition related to crisis management, including an incident response playbook and an enforcement investigation checklist. The speaker will examine the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to clarify the responsibilities of the in-house lawyer to identify his client, draw clear lines, avoid conflicts of interest, and properly and ethically communicate to management. The presentation will also help in-house counsel advise their internal clients on how to be proactive with risk resiliency strategies to defend against government intervention and enforcement actions, protect and preserve incident evidence and records, and promote safety and environmental standards.



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