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Dealing With Oil and Gas Operators' Creditors Plans and Bankruptcies

Robert D. Poulson, Proceedings of 18th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1972)

Throughout every attorney's professional lifetime, he will, or could, have occasion to have client Sam Black enter his office and very bluntly say, I'm broke; I can't pay my bills; my key superintendent has quit because, after ten years on the payroll, I couldn't pay his salary for one week; I think my wife is going to divorce me because we have been 'posted' at the Country Club, and she can't stand to face her friends. Quite frankly, I think I'll just go to South America or commit suicide. With that initial blast, Sam Black, your client, who may be a new and inconsequential part of your legal practice or, on the other hand, may be a client of very long standing and his work a substantial part of your legal practice, sits back in his chair and looks intently for your reaction, and possibly twenty-five to fifty magic words which will eradicate his situation which it has taken him ten to twenty odd years to father and develop.

A businessman in any industry in the world may, at one time, have occasion to approach his attorney with those comments. However, this discussion will be an attempt to outline approaches to Sam's problem as it arises exclusively in the oil and gas industry, both from the client's position and from the creditor's position. A detailed analysis [272] of the procedural aspects of the existing Federal Bankruptcy Act or the various State Court Receivers