Energy and Oil & Gas

Energy is big business in Texas. SKV has you covered.


Headquartered in Houston, the global capital of oil and gas, SKV is uniquely situated to handle your energy litigation needs, whatever they may be. 

Whether your case involves traditional oil and gas ownership, operating or royalty disputes or energy disputes such as those involving gas storage contracts, LNG operation and terminaling, offshore production, and even alternative energy, we’ve got the decades of experience you need. SKV has represented energy industry leaders, including the world’s largest oilfield services company, the world’s largest land-based drilling rig fleet, and the country’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter. However, we are also known as trusted trial counsel and advisors for royalty interest owners, E&P companies, drilling companies, oil field service companies, top drive manufacturers, and refineries.  And we’re not just in Texas:  we’ve represented energy clients across the US, including in Louisiana, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arkansas, and California.

We have extensive experience handling cases involving upstream, midstream, and downstream issues for diverse clients. We also represent energy industry clients in a full range of commercial disputes, including claims for patent infringement, theft of trade secrets, breach of contract or fiduciary duty, securities law violations, and shareholder disputes. SKV’s recent victories involve oil & gas leases, patent infringement, pipeline construction, and oilfield services for clients of all sizes.

SKV’s boutique size and entrepreneurial spirit give clients numerous advantages.  First, we are not a distinctly defense or plaintiff-side firm; while the majority of our work is on the defense side, we have a substantial plaintiff-side practice, including for small-medium-sized businesses suing larger companies.  Second, because we are a trial firm, nearly all of our team, from senior partners to paralegals and secretaries, has significant experience in trials and arbitrations.  Third, we staff matters leanly, which means that as a client, you will receive a dedicated and appropriately-sized team that learns your case thoroughly and is available to address your needs.  And finally, we have never been wedded to the billable hour and are always willing to discuss alternative fee arrangements with clients. At SKV, we use a straightforward approach to evaluating your case and your needs, making sure we never lose sight of your goals.

Representative Matters

  • Enduring Resources v. American Energy Permian Basin: An SKV team led by Larry Veselka was lead counsel to Enduring, which sold its Permian Basin oil shale play to a unit of American Energy Partners (the late Aubrey McClendon’s post-Chesapeake venture) for $2.5 billion. When American Energy did not pay the approximately $25 million post-closing purchase price adjustment due Enduring, Enduring sued to collect the $25 million.  American Energy counterclaimed for $150-178 million.  SKV pushed the matter to trial in less than 16 months, and ultimately settled confidentially on the eve of trial.
  • Enduring Resources Big Lake Gas Plant: An SKV team led by Larry Veselka was lead counsel to Enduring, which acquired certain oil and gas assets in the Permian Basin in 2011.  In 2012, Big Lake Gas Plant asserted that these assets were subject to a Right of First Refusal (“ROFR”) in a terminated gas purchasing contract between Big Lake and Enduring’s predecessors.  Enduring disputed this claim and later sold the gas to other processors.  In 2014, American Energy-Permian Basin (now Sable) acquired Enduring’s interest in this acreage.  Big Lake sued Enduring, Sable, DCP Midstream, and Lucid Energy Group, alleging that Enduring and Permian breached the ROFR by failing to deliver all gas to the Big Lake.  The matter ultimately settled confidentially.
  • Petty Business Enterprises, L.P., et al. v. Chesapeake Exploration (In re: Chesapeake Energy Corp.): Larry Veselka and Land Murphy represented various Petty family entities in a series of disputes over 10 years with Chesapeake related to substantial unpaid royalties on oil-and-gas leases in Webb County, Texas. The first two matters ultimately settled confidentially on favorable terms. The third ended up being tried in Chesapeake’s bankruptcy with Petty prevailing on numerous valuable points before settling confidentially before final judgment was entered.
  • Dragging S Ltd. et al. v. Apache Corp.: Larry Veselka and Hector Chavez represented four family landowners in a dispute with Apache over the latter’s alleged breach of multiple aspects, including failing to properly account for revenue from wells held in co-tenancy of an oil-and-gas lease in Irion County, Texas. The matter ultimately settled confidentially on the eve of trial.
  • Targa Gas Marketing LLC v. Vitol Inc.: Lee Kaplan and Land Murphy represent Vitol in an action brought by Targa seeking to declare its failure to deliver natural gas to Vitol a matter of force majeure on account of extremely cold weather in the winter of 2021.
  • BPX Operating Company f/k/a BHP Billiton Petroleum (TXLA Operating) v. Crimson Exploration Operating, Inc.: Land Murphy represented oil and gas well operator BPX in a dispute over defendant Crimson’s breach of its contractual obligation to pay certain drilling expenses on lands located in Bee County, Texas. At trial a jury awarded BPX more than $1.2 million, and the verdict was upheld following multiple appeals by Crimson.

SKV Wins Appeal Affirming Multi-Million Dollar Judgment for BPX Energy in Oil and Gas Contract Dispute

The 14th Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed SKV client BPX Energy’s multi-million dollar judgment against Crimson Exploration Operating, Inc. in a long-running dispute over drilling costs Crimson agreed to pay for a well drilled in 2012.  The trial court had entered judgment for BPX Energy subsidiary BPX Operating Company after a five-day trial in 2019, and ...

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Michelle Stratton Argues Contract Dispute in the Texas Supreme Court

On February 2, SKV counsel Michelle Stratton argued on behalf of Respondent Baylor Miraca Genetics Laboratories in the Supreme Court of Texas.   In 2018, Brandon Perthuis sued Baylor Genetics, his former employer, for breach of contract, alleging that Baylor Genetics owed him over $1.5 million in sales commissions on sales that Baylor Genetics made after Perthuis ...

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