Image: Collette Gordon
Collette
Collette R. Gordon
1001 Fannin Street
Suite 1800
Houston, Texas 77002

Overview

Collette Gordon is a Houston-based lawyer sought by the region's energy industry for sophisticated transactions, complex regulations and difficult disputes involving the Outer Continental Shelf and onshore in Texas and Louisiana. She has earned a well-regarded reputation with E&P and midstream companies for oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures, energy-related contract drafting, onshore and offshore title examination, leasing, right of way and pipeline issues.

"My clients range from small, independent entities to midstream master limited partnerships to major international giants."  Here’s a look at two examples of representative engagements:

  • A relatively new E&P company sought to acquire all of the OCS assets of a large independent oil and gas company.  “We advised on terms of the letter of intent (LOI), confidentiality and access agreements, and helped to negotiate a more favorable Purchase and Sale Agreement for our client.  During the due diligence period, I led the team conducting title review, which included directly reviewing the Seller’s physical lease and title files on-site for over 70 leases and rights-of-way involved in the transaction, as well as analyzing the records of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and adjacent Louisiana parishes to prepare title reports for use in connection with determining title defects for all leases.  As a result of our efforts, we identified over $70MM in title defects, which we asserted to obtain both title cures as well as an adjustment to the purchase price.  Following closing, I headed up the team that made all of the regulatory filings with BOEM and the adjacent Louisiana parishes to effect the transfer of the purchased assets and associated fixtures and other equipment and to change operatorship of the assets.” 
  • As a condition to emerging from bankruptcy, a prior OCS operator was required to resolve certain outstanding claims asserted by the BOEM and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
    • Collette engaged with BSEE on behalf of the entity to negotiate a significant reduction in the over $80MM in decommissioning costs assessed against the client based on a review of the agency’s files regarding facility status. 

    • After the client emerged from bankruptcy, Collette worked with BOEM to update the client’s BOEM qualification file, allowing it to formally execute and file documents, such as assignments and changes in designated operator, with the agency.  She also guided the entity through BOEM’s financial assurance/bonding requirements and Oil Spill Financial Responsibility (OSFR) demonstration to ensure entity compliance with the applicable regulations.  

Experience

Collette has many years of experience helping the region's energy industry with transactions and regulations and disputes involving mineral issues in Louisiana, Texas and on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).  Here's a list of selected, representative matters:

  • Provided guidance to and drafted all necessary documentation for clients to become qualified with BOEM to hold OCS mineral leases and rights-of-way, and to subsequently acquire, operate, and divest these assets in accordance with BOEM and BSEE regulations and internal requirements.
  • Performed extensive due diligence and drafted title reports covering approximately 100 OCS leases being acquired by large independent client to advise on title defects in a transaction valued at in excess of $2 Billion.
  • Examined title to mineral rights in the Louisiana Haynesville Shale area and provided advice to clients regarding curative materials.
  • Advised a pipeline company on negotiating pipeline rights-of-way and servitudes, including expropriation rights under Louisiana law.
  • Acquired regulatory approval from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act for the sale of offshore assets.
  • Attained regulatory approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States under the Exon-Florio Act in connection with the sale of oil and gas assets to a domestic subsidiary of a foreign controlled entity.
  • Represented the seller in a billion-dollar offshore asset divestiture, including negotiation of purchase and sale agreement, drafting assignment forms and related regulatory forms, and evaluating title defects asserted by purchaser.

Collette also has extensive experience helping clients comply with the regulations that govern oil and gas exploration and production on the Outer Continental Shelf.  This includes working with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a part of the Department of the Interior which oversees offshore leasing and development, and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, which oversees OCS pipeline rights-of-way and decommissioning.  "I'm keeping my eye on the financial assurance changes being promulgated by the BOEM, something that is sure to have a big impact on oil and gas transactions."

Collette also analyzes and drafts oil and gas Joint Operating Agreements (JOAs), including related production handling agreements, and advises clients about the perfection of grants of mortgages and security interests contained in the JOAs.  

Involvement

Professional

  • Professional Landmen's Association of New Orleans – Member, Board of Directors, 2010 – 2012; Education Committee, 2008 – 2012

  • Member, American Association of Professional Landmen

  • Member, Houston Association of Professional Landmen

  • Member, The Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation

  • Member, New Orleans (Young Lawyers Section), Louisiana, Houston, Texas and American Bar Associations

  • Member, Young Professionals in Energy, New Orleans Chapter

  • Member, Women’s Energy Network-Houston Chapter

Community

  • Member, Houston Bar Association Special Olympics Committee

  • Member, The Arbor School (Houston) Growing Futures Campaign

  • Volunteer, Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church’s Bridge Special Needs Program

Recognition

  •  Louisiana Super Lawyers "Rising Star," Thomson Reuters, 2013 and 2014

  • Named a Top Lawyer for Antitrust Law in 2013 by New Orleans Magazine

 

Presentations

  • “OCS Federal Lease Bonding Update” (with Jana Grauberger), Liskow & Lewis Breakfast Forum Series, Houston, TX, January 2015

  • “Current Regulatory Developments Affecting Offshore Midstream Natural Gas Pipelines," 3rd Annual Midstream Oil & Gas Law Conference, The Institute for Energy Law, Houston, TX, December 2014

  • “Coastal and Offshore Gulf of Mexico Update,” 27th Annual Energy Law Institute for Attorneys and Landmen, South Texas College of Law, Houston, TX, August 2014

  • “Contractual Allocation of Liabilities in Real Estate Transactions,” Houston, Texas, 2014

  • "Offshore Update: Permitting and Regulatory Changes," Louisiana Association of Professional Landmen Spring 2011 Educational Seminar, Lafayette, Louisiana, 2011

  • "Select OCS Title Issues," co-presenter, Professional Landman's Association of New Orleans Executive Night Seminar, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2011

  • "Ethics," Liskow & Lewis Louisiana Mineral Law Seminar, Houston, Texas, 2008

  • “The Environmental Impact of Drilling,” New Orleans Garden Study Club, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2008

  • An Introduction to Ethics for Landmen,” Liskow & Lewis Louisiana Mineral Law Seminar, Lafayette, Louisiana, 2008

Publications

  • BOEM RELEASES LONG AWAITED NEW FINANCIAL ASSURANCE NOTICE TO LESSEES AND OPERATORS

  • ABA Environment, Energy, and Resources Law: The Year in Review, Louisiana Report Contributor (2007–2010)

  • Going, Going, But Not Quite Gone: Court Upholds Enforceability of Consent to Assign Provision as Condition Precedent to Sale AAPL Landman 2, vol. 6 no. 5, September 2008

  • Around the Corner But Still Out-of-State? Whether National Banks' Branches Destroy Diversity Jurisdiction, 52 Loy. L. Rev. 195 (2005)