Oil and Gas Conservation Law and Practice CLE

About the Seminar

Washburn University School of Law and the Washburn Oil and Gas Law Center presents a continuing legal education (CLE) program that examines the statutes and regulations administered by the Conservation Division of the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), and the laws and practices that have developed around the Kansas programs. Every oil and gas producing state has a "conservation commission" that is charged with preventing "waste" of the oil and gas resource while protecting the "correlative rights" of resource owners. These state agencies regulate all aspects of oil and gas development from drilling to abandoning wells. Conservation commissions also have extensive authority over environmental matters associated with oil and gas development. Attendees will work directly with the KCC Conservation Division's legal and technical personnel and observe first-hand the Division's operations.

This is an excellent opportunity, in one three-day course, to learn the law, procedures, and practices associated with oil and gas development while being instructed by the members of the administrative agency responsible for development issues in Kansas.

The CLE will be offered over three days in Wichita, Kansas. Participants may attend

  • all three days;
  • Day 1 only: Fundamental Legal and Physical Principles
    • Saturday, August 20, 2016 ; 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Day 2 only: Contemporary Conservation Issues
    • Sunday, August 21, 2016 ; 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Day 3 only: Inside the Kansas Corporation Commission's Conservation Division
    • Monday, August 22, 2016 ; 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Day 3 includes a mock hearing before the Commissioners of the KCC where the lawyers involved in an actual contested case will re-enact the proceeding with all participants, including the Commissioners, offering instruction on how to effectively present matters to the KCC for decision.

All sessions will be held at the offices of the Kansas Corporation Commission, 266 N. Main, Suite 202, Wichita, Kansas 67202.

No ethics hours are being offered.

This CLE is being offered in conjunction with the law school's summer 2016 Oil and Gas Conservation Law and Practice course. As a result, space is limited and CLE enrollment will be accepted until available classroom space is filled.

The course is taught by Professor David Pierce, Norman R. Pozez Chair in Business and Transactional Law and Director of the Oil and Gas Law Center, with Ryan Hoffman, Director of the KCC's Division of Oil and Gas Conservation. Other faculty include key members of the KCC's administrative, technical, and legal staff, and nearly every private practitioner who regularly appears before the KCC.

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Course Schedule

Fundamental Legal and Physical Principles (Day 1)
Saturday, August 20, 2016 – 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

8:00 a.m. – Registration

8:30 a.m. – Opening Remarks

8:35-9:40 a.m. – Session 1: Law of Oil and Gas Ownership and Development

  • The Basic Legal Principles
  • Ad coleum Doctrine, Surface Boundaries, and Ownership
  • Mineral Conveyances, Oil and Gas Leases, Surface Use
  • Rule of Capture
  • Correlative Rights
  • Limited Role of the KCC in Contract and Property Matters

9:40-9:50 – Break

9:50-10:50 a.m. – Session 2: Technical Aspects of Oil and Gas Development

  • Introduction to Petroleum Geology
  • Introduction to Petroleum Engineering

10:50-11:10 a.m. – Break

11:10-12:10 p.m. – Session 3: Introduction to Oil and Gas Conservation Regulation

  • Historical Development of the Conservation Laws
  • The Role of the KCC Conservation Division
  • Correlative Rights Revisited
  • The Hugoton Gas Field: the Intersection of State and Federal Jurisdiction

12:10-1:00 p.m. – Lunch Break (provided)

1:00-2:00 p.m. – Session 4: Conservation Techniques: Spacing and Density Regulation, Prorationing and Production Regulation

  • The Law of Spacing and Density Regulation
  • Regulatory Issues
  • The Law of Production Regulation
  • Regulatory Issues

2:00-2:10 p.m. – Break

2:10-3:10 p.m. – Session 5: Conservation Techniques: Pooling

  • The Practical Need to Pool Acreage
  • The KCC's Limited Role: Notice of Intent to Drill
  • Voluntary Pooling Issues

3:10-3:20 p.m. – Break

3:20-4:00 p.m. – Session 6: Conservation Techniques: Unitization

  • The Practical Need for Unitization
  • The Kansas Statutory Unitization Process
  • Presenting a Unitization Case to the Commission

4:00-5:00 p.m. – Testing Period for Students

5:00 p.m. – Adjourn

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Contemporary Conservation Issues (Day 2)
Sunday, August 21, 2016 – 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

8:30-9:40 a.m. – Session 7: Technical and Regulatory Aspects of Drilling a Well

  • Technical Aspects of Well Drilling and Completion
  • Representing the Client In the Permitting Process
  • Regulating the Drilling Process

9:40-9:50 a.m. – Break

9:50-10:50 a.m. – Session 8: Jurisdiction

  • General Overview of Jurisdictional Issues
  • Kansas Corporation Commission Authority
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment Authority
  • Environmental Protection Agency

10:50-11:00 a.m. – Break

11:00-12:10 p.m. – Session 9: Introduction to the Federal Environmental Laws that Apply to Oil and Gas Operations

12:10-1:00 p.m. – Lunch Break (provided)

1:00-1:30 p.m. – Session 10: Groundwater Protection: Well Integrity and Exploration and Production Waste Management

  • Regulatory Techniques Designed to Isolate the Wellbore from Groundwater Sources
  • Regulatory Techniques Designed to Protect Groundwater Sources from Surface Activities
  • Disposal of Produced Water
  • Regulating Idle and Abandoned Wells

1:30-2:10 p.m. – Session 11: Induced Seismicity

  • Geologic Foundations
  • Disposal of Produced Water
  • Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Regulatory Responses

2:10-2:20 p.m. – Break

2:20-3:30 p.m. – Session 12: Special Technical and Legal Challenges
Unconventional Development: Horizontal Drilling, Coalbed Methane, and Shaft Production
Hydraulic Fracturing

  • Common Law Issues Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing and Horizontal Drilling
  • Gas Storage

3:30-3:50 p.m. – Session 13: Gas Gathering Issues

  • History of Gas Gathering Jurisdiction
  • The Kansas Regulatory Response
  • Experience with the Kansas System

3:50-4:00 p.m. – Break

4:00-5:00 p.m. – Testing Period for Students

5:00 p.m. – Adjourn

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Inside the Kansas Corporation Commission's Conservation Division (Day 3)
Monday, August 22, 2014 – 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

9:00-10:30 a.m. – Session 14: The KCC Conservation Division: Overview of Programs Administered by the Conservation Division

  • Using the KCC Website
  • Kansas Open Records Act
  • The KOLAR System
  • Researching Development Activities/KCC Library
  • Statistics—Production
  • Underground Injection Control
  • Environmental Protection and Remediation
  • Abandoned Well Plugging Program
  • Legal Functions and Services
  • District Functions and Services

10:30-10:50 a.m. – Break

10:50-12:30 p.m. – Session 15: Presenting and Defending Contested Matters Before the Kansas Corporation Commission

  • The Location Exception (Simulation/Demonstration/Explanantion)

12:30-1:30 p.m. – Lunch Break (provided)

1:30-3:10 p.m. – Session 16: The KCC's Administrative Process

  • Overview of the Administrative Process
  • Legislative Function
  • Representing Clients in the Legislative Process
  • Executive Function
  • What to do When the Client Receives a Violation Notice
  • Triggering Commission Action through the Application Process
  • Adjudicatory Function
  • Representing the Client in the Adjudicatory Process
  • Most Common Violations in the Oil Patch

3:10-3:20 p.m. – Break

3:20-4:20 p.m. – Session 17: Panel Discussion: Practice Tips When Representing Clients before the Conservation Division and the KCC

  • Tips from the KCC Staff
  • Tips from Practitioners Who Routinely Appear Before the KCC
  • The Client's Perspective

4:20-5:00 p.m. – Testing Period for Students

5:00 p.m. – Adjourn

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Saturday, August 20, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Monday, August 22, 2016


Wichita, Kansas
Kansas Corporation Commission
266 N. Main, Suite 202
( Map )

Registration Fee

Registration Fee:
» $600 all days
» $200 Day 1 (Fundamentals) only
» $200 Day 2 (Conservation Issues) only
» $200 Day 3 (Inside the Division) only
See registration form.
See Washburn W-9 (taxpayer ID)

Program fee includes reporting hours of attendance to the Kansas CLE Commission and written materials.

Registration Deadline:
Registrations will be accepted until all seats are full. Attendees must pay the registration fee prior to start of the CLE.

CLE Credit

Each day accredited by the Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission for 7.0 CLE hours, for a total of 21.0 hours if attending all days. (No ethics hours are available as part of this program.)


If you cannot attend the seminar, you may send a substitute. If you cancel your registration at least two (2) business days prior to the seminar, your registration fee will be refunded. After that date, non-attending registrants will receive the course materials. Please allow two weeks for delivery. The sponsors reserve the right to cancel this seminar and return all fees.

Assistance For Special Needs

If you require special services or auxiliary aids to assist you while attending the event, please call Donna Vilander at (785) 670-1105.

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