Bob Ballentine

Practices

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Education and Clerkships

LL.M., Energy, Environmental & Natural Resources Law, University of Houston Law Center, 2008

J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 1983

A.B., Mathematics, Brown University, 1977

Admissions

Texas

Oklahoma

Court Admissions

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma

Profile

Bob Ballentine has more than 30 years of commercial litigation and arbitration experience, primarily concerning disputes over upstream and midstream energy contracts, such as exploration agreements, joint development agreements, joint operating agreements, wellhead sales contracts, gas processing (including keep whole and percent-of-proceeds) contracts, natural gas purchase and sales agreements, MODU maintenance, service agreements, natural gas and gas liquids transportation agreements, natural gas processing agreements, and related contracts. He has been engaged as both trial and appellate counsel in connection with mineral title disputes, particularly those dealing with difficult deed construction issues.

He has represented energy clients in complex litigation, including derivative and class actions in both state and federal courts, as well as litigation over state, federal and private mineral royalty claims, natural gas measurement False Claims Act qui tam litigation, natural gas processing, gas plant and gas pipeline litigation and arbitrations, as well as electric power contract disputes.

In addition, he has engaged in a significant regulatory practice focused primarily on the natural gas pipeline, telecommunications and electric power industries, including administrative law and litigation, as well as certificate applications before the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

He has litigated toxic tort and product liability matters, as well as Sherman Act antitrust claims, shareholder derivative, and securities litigation. He has represented clients in tax litigation, real estate and pipeline condemnation matters, and mineral partnership disputes and prepared appellate briefing and argued various energy-related issues pending before state and federal courts of appeals.

He has also represented energy industry clients in admiralty litigation, as well as in a wide variety of adversary proceedings before United States bankruptcy courts.

Professional Recognition

  • Recognized by H Texas Magazine, Bayou City Publishing, LLC, as one of Houston’s Top Lawyers for Energy Litigation, 2012-14
  • Named to “Who’s Who in Energy” by the Houston Business Journal, American City Business Journals, 2012

Selected Publications and Speeches

  • “Recent Supreme Court Developments in Deed Construction Issues,” presenter, American Association of Professional Landmen’s (AAPL) Texas Land Institute, Houston, September 24, 2018.
  • “Negotiating Essential Terms of Midstream Contracts,” author, 35 Natural Gas & Electricity 1 (Wiley Periodicals, Inc., a Wiley company, August 2018).
  • “Ethics in Environmental Regulatory Compliance – Conflicts Arising in a Transitional World,” author, 58 S. Tex. L. Rev. 491 (2017).
  • “Ethics in Environmental Regulatory Compliance,” presenter, South Texas College of Law 23rd Annual Symposium: Ethics in Environmental & Energy Law, Houston, Texas, February 24, 2017.
  • “Interpretation of Mineral and Royalty Deeds,” presenter, Oil, Gas and Mineral Title Examination Course sponsored by the State Bar of Texas and the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section, Houston, June 25-26, 2015.
  • “Latest Developments in Commercial Arbitration: What’s New for In-House Counsel,” presenter, Association of Corporate Counsel - The Woodlands Chapter, The Woodlands, March 17, 2015, and ACC - Houston Chapter, Houston, March 10, 2015.
  • “Midstream Oil & Gas Contracts: Effective Negotiation, Drafting, and Dispute Resolution,” presenter, Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. (EUCI), Denver, January 22 & 23, 2015.
  • “Midstream Oil & Gas: Recent Legal Developments,” presenter, Texas Lawyer’s Energy Summit, Dallas, September 18, 2014.
  • “Midstream Oil & Gas Contracts,” presenter, EUCI, Houston, September 15 & 16, 2014.
  • “Litigating Easements & Restrictive Covenants,” presenter, National Business Institute, Houston, July 24, 2014.
  • “The Arbitration Alternative,” presenter, Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston, July 8, 2014.
  • “Midstream Oil and Gas: Recent Developments,” presenter, Texas Lawyer’s Energy Summit, Houston, May 21, 2014.
  • “Natural Gas Liquids Contracts: An In-Depth Introduction,” presenter, EUCI NGL Short Course, Pittsburgh, Aug. 28, 2012.
  • “Legal Challenges of NGLs,” presenter, EUCI NGL Conference 2012, Denver, July 17, 2012.
  • “Regulation of Midstream Oil & Gas,” presenter, UHY Seminar, Houston, Oct. 20, 2011.
  • “Regulatory Environment for the Midstream,” presenter, Platt's 4th Annual Midstream & Management Program, Houston, May 12, 2011.
  • “SEC Issues Final Rule on Modernization of Oil and Gas Reporting,” co-author, Energy Law Advisor, July 2009; Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence, March 2009.
  • “Nuclear Power Generation in the 21st Century,” LL.M. master’s thesis, University of Houston Law Center.

Professional and Community Activities

  • State Bar of Texas (Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law, Public Utility Law, Litigation, and Antitrust and Business Litigation Sections)
  • Oklahoma Bar Association (Energy and Natural Resources Law, and Litigation Sections)
  • Houston Bar Association (Oil, Gas and Mineral Law, and Litigation Sections)
  • The Woodlands Bar Association (Energy Resources Section)
  • Energy Bar Association (Natural Gas, and Compliance and Enforcement Committees)
  • Houston Gas Processors Association
  • Gulf Coast Power Association
  • Regional alumni interviewer for Brown University’s Alumni Schools Committee
  • Adjunct Faculty, Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center, University of Houston Law Center (where he has taught a course on Nuclear Energy Law)

Selected Client Representations

  • Represented an independent oil and gas exploration company in its defense against complex claims that one of its cotenants acquired title through adverse possession of the mineral estate.
  • Represented an independent oil and gas exploration company in its rescission of its acquisition of producing properties via online auction due to material misrepresentations.
  • Advised a well operator with respect its contractual rights and obligations resulting from a well operation that failed due to a service provider’s installation of a defective product.
  • Represented working interest owner defend against excessive and improper joint interest charges claimed by the well operator.
  • Obtained a final summary judgment for declaratory and monetary relief worth seven figures plus attorneys’ fees on behalf of a client in a dispute concerning the value of his mineral royalty interests that were reserved in a series of royalty deeds.
  • Represented an oil and gas exploration and production company in litigation concerning a dispute over an overriding royalty interest, resulting in a favorable settlement for the client.
  • Successfully defended a major midstream company against contract claims brought against it by a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company that it had improperly allocated natural gas and natural gas liquids under a gas processing agreement and collateral contracts.
  • Represented an oil and gas investment fund in connection with a contract dispute regarding its acquisition of certain oil and gas properties pursuant to the terms of a purchase and sale agreement.
  • Represented an independent oil and gas exploration company in connection with its response to a drilling incident resulting in property damage, personal injury, and OSHA oversight.
  • Advised a vertically integrated oil company in connection with a contract dispute over the interruption of jurisdictional oil pipeline service.
  • Advised a major vertically integrated oil company in connection with regulatory compliance options and other issues associated with midstream operations.
  • Represented an independent oil and gas exploration company in connection with various insurance claim and regulatory compliance issues arising out of an unprecedented set of circumstances following a well blowout.
  • Represented a small independent oil company in its defense against contract claims and environmental compliance issues arising out of its sale of certain mineral properties, resulting in a mutually beneficial settlement for the parties.
  • Represented a national banking corporation in connection with its enforcement of its secured interests in collateral and in the proceeds of certain assets identified in the hands of third parties pursuant to garnishment proceedings filed in the state district court.
  • Represented an overriding royalty interest owner in its pursuit of a breach of contract claim against the well operator for withholding payment of certain overriding royalties.
  • Represented one joint working interest owner against another in a breach of contract dispute over a development agreement, including the duty to assign a working interest and the right to operate the well.
  • Represented an oil and gas company against a successor oil company’s statutory and contractual claims of environmental contamination and breach of warranty.
  • Represented various oil companies in trespass to try title disputes.
  • Represented an oil and gas operator in a breach of contract suit against a non-operator alleging breach of joint operating agreement.
  • Represented one joint working interest owner against another in a contract and title dispute over their respective rights to conduct competing operations in the wellbore of a horizontally severed mineral estate.
  • Represented a well operator against a directional drilling contractor for negligently failing to provide proper equipment and causing damage to a horizontal well.
  • Represented the original equipment manufacturer of offshore drilling equipment in defense of an international business disparagement claim brought by a European drilling equipment distributor.
  • Represented a well operator against a drilling contractor for cost overruns, lost equipment, and negligent loss of the well.
  • Represented a gas plant operator in defense of common law trespass and nuisance claims brought by a neighboring mineral interest owner arising out of hydrogen sulfide injection operations.

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