Oil & Gas
Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell represents oil and gas clients nationwide in high-stakes commercial, environmental, and personal injury litigation, including class actions and mass torts. Our teams have won big for global corporations and independent companies alike.
Our team includes senior trial lawyers with 30+ years of oil and gas experience and a deep bench of highly qualified partners and associates with substantial oil and gas litigation and trial successes. This extensive experience and bench strength allow us to handle multiple legal challenges simultaneously, all across the country.
- Representing an oil and gas company as post-trial and appellate counsel to defend a verdict of over $40 million in a complex commercial dispute involving an agreement to develop assets in Latin America.
- Lester v. Burnett Oil & Gas Co., Inc. (Tarrant Cnty. Dist. Ct. TX 2022) - Hired a month before trial, won a defense verdict in Texas for an oil and gas company in a $20 million personal injury case.
- Representing a Colorado oil and gas company in a high-value commercial dispute regarding well rights.
- Representing a petroleum company in the Colorado Supreme Court in a commercial dispute presenting novel questions of state law governing oil and gas leases.
- Represented oil and gas companies in high-exposure cases arising from well-site and other industry-related accidents resulting in catastrophic injury and death.
- Won voluntary dismissal in federal court in Colorado for a major gas station company facing federal and state toxic tort claims brought by a real estate developer. The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their claims after WTO demonstrated that the gas station's underground gas tanks did not contaminate the plaintiffs' adjacent land and water.
- Represented a gas utility at trial in Texas in a case involving a natural gas explosion that severely burned two individuals. Settled for a fraction of the demand.
- Represented an oil and gas company in a catastrophic injury case involving an oil rig employee who was crushed by a piece of loose equipment.
- Led appellate strategy in post-trial motions in an oil and gas industry matter which resulted in settlement prior to appeal.
- Briefed the contested issue of what constitutes oil production in an oil and gas industry case before the Colorado Court of Appeals.
- Won the appeal to end a bitter ownership fight for a $1B oil and gas company.
- Representing an oil and gas company against claims brought by a city board of commissioners alleging that WTO's client is responsible for consequences of climate change.
- Won summary judgment for Crestone Peak Resources against Boulder County in a case involving an attempt to invalidate a key oil and gas lease that would have materially impacted Crestone's $900 million investment, thereby clearing a major hurdle to significant future development.
- Advised an oil and gas company on state law regulatory issues that threatened the client's assets in a major oil and gas producing region.
- Won a defense verdict as co-counsel to defeat claims that WTO's oil and gas client owed $400 million to a stakeholder.
- Represent a major international oil and gas company in litigation regarding leasehold rights across hundreds of thousands of acres.
- Won a defense verdict as co-counsel to defeat $800 million claims in a bet-the-company shareholder dispute involving an oil and gas client.
- Oil & Gas Conservation Comm'n v. Martinez (Colo.) - Won a unanimous decision in Colorado's highest court preserving the state's longstanding regulatory approach for the oil and gas industry.
- Won an arbitration involving a $50 million claim brought by a joint venture partner against WTO's oil and gas company client.
- Won a multimillion-dollar arbitration award for an energy company, recovering more than 15 times the last settlement offer made before trial.
- Won an arbitration ruling for $2.9 million, including punitive damages, for an investment fund misled into overpaying for an oil field services company based on misrepresentations made during the sale and omissions made during settlement negotiations regarding the sale.
- Colorado, South Dakota, Utah & Wyoming v. U.S. Dep't of Interior (D. Wyo. and 10th Cir.) - Won preliminary and permanent injunctions after a contested evidentiary hearing in trial court, invalidating federal oil and gas regulations that duplicated state rules and hindered resource development.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction for a $1 billion oil and gas client involved in bet-the-company litigation against an executive.
- Corvax v. Continental Resources (Colo. Ct. App. 2016) - Won a victory in the Colorado Court of Appeals for Continental Resources in a dispute involving purported rights to a Colorado oil and gas lease.
- Won a directed verdict in a trade secrets trial for an oil and gas company. The plaintiff claimed theft of its technical geological data that allegedly had allowed the defendant to improperly acquire several hundred thousand acres of oil and gas leases in northeastern Nevada. The plaintiff's expert opined that the misappropriation of the trade secrets had caused more than $1 billion dollars in damages.
- Successfully opposed plaintiffs' certiorari petition to the Colorado Supreme Court, leaving in place a Court of Appeals ruling in favor of BP and eliminating a $750,000,000 exposure threat in alleged moratory interest.
- Belmont v. BP America Production (D. Wyo. 2015) - Defeated class certification for BP in a natural gas royalties underpayment case heard in federal court in Wyoming.
- Won an arbitration award for future oil and gas royalties valued between $70,000,000 and $100,000,000 in a David v. Goliath case against a multinational oil company.
- Served as lead class action defense counsel for BP America Production Company in six class actions, including two jury trials to verdict against certified classes of royalty claimants.
- Won a reversal from the Tenth Circuit in favor of BP in a case alleging underpayment of royalties.
- Won a jury defense verdict for Conoco following a six-week trial involving claims by the town of Castle Rock, Colorado that a leaking Conoco underground storage tank had contaminated the town's municipal drinking water.
- Represented Conoco in the favorable settlement of toxic tort litigation brought by the City and County of Denver regarding the contamination and cleanup of Denver's former airport.
- Prevailed in a preliminary injunction hearing in a dispute over a valuable lease farmout relating to a successful oil shale well in Wyoming for a large regional energy company.
- Represented a natural gas company in a complex contract dispute involving production from a large gas field in Wyoming; the case was favorably resolved before trial.
- Obtained a favorable jury trial result for a natural gas gathering company in a case involving allegations of breach of a gas purchase contract.
- Won a commercial arbitration that sought a buyout of client's multimillion dollar interest in a nationwide petroleum marketing joint venture.
- Obtained a favorable jury trial result for a manufacturer in a commercial dispute with a dealer alleging significant lost profits.
- Obtained a defense verdict for ARCO/Thunder Basin Coal Company in an antitrust case involving real estate development incident to a client's coal mining operations in Campbell County, Wyoming.
- Represented Kerr-McGee/Anadarko as lead trial counsel in a federal False Claims Act jury trial involving oil royalties on offshore federal leases and in a federal jury trial involving allegations of misappropriation of seismic data.
- Served as lead counsel to Valero in a series of four arbitrations involving cost-sharing disputes over environmental cleanup at a gasoline refinery in Denver, CO.
- Served as an expert witness for oil and gas company in attorneys' fee dispute.