Incredibly sophisticated. They have a deep level of subject matter expertise and can translate that into regulatory, legislative or other legal results in courts.

Chambers USA, 2023

The fortunes of energy and infrastructure companies are closely entwined with the federal government, the largest landowner in the United States. The US Department of the Interior alone manages more than 2 billion acres of onshore and offshore federal lands, along with playing a substantial role in the management of tribal lands. Other federal agencies — such as the US Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy, Department of State, Department of Commerce and Department of Agriculture — also manage lands and regulatory programs crucial to energy development and infrastructure projects. Many state governments have also created similar state agencies that are responsible for the oversight of state-owned lands and natural resources.

Bracewell has decades of experience advising clients engaged in the exploration, development and transportation of natural resources with access to public and tribal lands and minerals. Over the years, we have advised Apache Corporation, Cabot Oil & Gas, Echo Energy, Eni, Equinor, Halliburton, Hilcorp Energy, Kinder Morgan, Noble Energy, NuStar Energy, Tesoro and Venoco on various matters.

Our lawyers, who are highly ranked in Chambers USA and Legal 500 US, have advised clients on regulatory and policy requirements for land use and royalty obligations; litigation challenging federal land use decisions; investigations and enforcement actions; and corporate and financial transactions involving public lands and resources.

In commercial matters, we provide experienced guidance in the acquisition of oil and gas interests on public lands, unit agreements, unit operating agreements, plans of operation, permits to drill, access rights and the transfer of operating rights and record title ownership with the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Bureau of Indian Affairs, among other agencies. 

On the regulatory front, our team draws insights from years working at the highest levels of the Interior Department, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

In investigative and enforcement matters, we have advised clients on many of the most significant issues affecting public lands in recent years.