Where to Start: New Mexico’s Evolving “Commencement of Drilling” Standard

Where to Start: New Mexico’s Evolving “Commencement of Drilling” Standard By Miguel Suazo and Chelsea Allen           The term “commencement of drilling operations” by a certain date or within a given period of time is a routine requirement of oil and gas leases and related agreements. The term has particular significance in the oil patch because …

Particulars of the Pugh Clause

Particulars of the Pugh Clause      By Miguel Suazo and Chelsea Allen           The famed “Producers 88,” the supposedly standard oil and gas lease form, is not, in fact, really so standard.  Many modifications can be made to roughly standardized oil and gas leases (and invariably are made), and typically come in the form of …

Employee or Contractor? How Correct Categorization of Workers Can Save Your Business Time, Money, and Stress

Employee or Contractor? How Correct Categorization of Workers Can Save Your Business Time, Money, and Stress By Miguel Suazo and Chelsea Allen           An often thorny and potentially costly legal issue is the distinction between “employee” and “contractor.” Businesses must be aware that improperly classifying workers can potentially expose a company to heavy tax burdens at a …

A Reprieve from Emissions Compliance Burdens for Oil and Gas Companies

By Miguel Suazo and Chelsea Allen On March 28, 2017, the Trump Administration issued an executive order curtailing various energy-related actions launched under the Obama administration that has clients of energy natural resources lawyers demanding answers. Of special import to the oil and gas industry, Section 7 of the Order directs the EPA Administrator to “review” and “revise, or rescind,” …

The Winds of Change

I. In November of 2016, the United States Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), released its final rule titled “Competitive Processes, Terms, and Conditions for Solar and Wind Energy Development and Technical Changes and Corrections.” The rule formalizes the BLM’s existing Smart from the Start approach to renewable energy development. The rule supports renewable energy development by offering competitive leasing and …