Oil and Gas Conservation Law and Practice CLE

About the Seminar

Washburn University School of Law 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.

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 16, 2014 ; 8:00 a.m.-4:40 p.m.
  • Day 2 only: Contemporary Conservation Issues
    • Sunday, August 17, 2014 ; 8:30 a.m.-4:40 p.m.
  • Day 3 only: Inside the Kansas Corporation Commission's Conservation Division
    • Monday, August 18, 2014 ; 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

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 2014 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.

Professor David Pierce, Norman R. Pozez Chair in Business and Transactional Law and Director of the Oil and Gas Law Center, is the program coordinator and will be a presenter. He will be assisted by several other practitioners and Division staff.

Course Schedule

Fundamental Legal and Physical Principles (Day 1)
Saturday, August 16, 2014 – 8:00 a.m.-4:40 p.m.

8:00 a.m. – Registration

8:20 a.m. – Opening Remarks

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Law of Oil and Gas Ownership and Development

  • The Basic Legal Principles (David Pierce)
  • 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

9:30-9:50 – Break

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

  • Introduction to Petroleum Geology (Jeff Klock)
  • Introduction to Petroleum Engineering (Leon Rodak)

10:50-11:10 a.m. – Break

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

  • Historical Development of the Conservation Laws (Diana Edmiston)
  • The Role of the KCC Conservation Division (Ryan Hoffman)
  • Correlative Rights Revisited (David Pierce)
  • The Hugoton Gas Field: the Intersection of State and Federal Jurisdiction (David Pierce)

12:10-1:00 p.m. – Lunch Break

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

  • The Law of Spacing and Density Regulation (Keith Brock)
  • Regulatory Issues (Ryan Hoffman)
  • The Law of Production Regulation (Keith Brock)
  • Regulatory Issues (Ryan Hoffman)

2:00-2:20 p.m. – Break

2:20-3:20 p.m. – Conservation Techniques: Pooling

  • The Practical Need to Pool Acreage (David Pierce)
  • The KCC’s Limited Role: Notice of Intent to Drill (Lane Palmateer)
  • Voluntary Pooling Issues (Steven Gough)

3:20-3:40 p.m. – Break

3:40-4:40 p.m. – Conservation Techniques: Unitization

  • The Practical Need for Unitization (David Pierce)
  • The Kansas Statutory Unitization Process (David Pierce)
  • Presenting a Unitization Case to the Commission (Tom Rhoads)

Contemporary Conservation Issues (Day 2)
Sunday, August 17, 2014 – 8:30 a.m.-4:40 p.m.

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Regulatory Aspects of Drilling a Well

    • Representing the Client In the Permitting Process (Diana Edmiston)
    • Regulating the Drilling Process (Steve Bond, John McCannon, Lane Palmateer)

9:30-9:50 a.m. – Break

9:50-10:50 a.m. – Jurisdiction

  • Kansas Corporation Commission Authority (Lane Palmateer)
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment Authority (Allison Herring)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (Lane Palmateer and Allison Herring)
  • Other Governmental Entities to Consider (David Pierce)
  • Practical Issues (Tim McKee)

10:50-11:10 a.m. – Break

11:10-12:10 p.m. – Introduction to the Federal Environmental Laws that Apply to Oil and Gas Operations (David Tripp, David Pierce)

12:10-1:00 p.m. – Lunch Break

1:00-2:00 p.m. – Groundwater Protection: Well Integrity and Exploration and Production Waste Management

  • Regulatory Techniques Designed to Isolate the Wellbore from Groundwater Sources (John McCannon, Lane Palmateer)
  • Regulatory Techniques Designed to Protect Groundwater Sources from Surface Activities (John McCannon, Lane Palmateer, David Pierce, David Tripp)
  • Disposal of Produced Water (John McCannon)
  • Regulating Idle and Abandoned Wells (Ryan Hoffman)

2:00-2:20 p.m. – Break

2:20-3:20 p.m. – Special Technical and Legal Challenges: Horizontal Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing

  • Technical Aspects of Horizontal Drilling (Forrest Sutherland)
  • Regulation of Horizontal Drilling (Lane Palmateer)
  • Technical Aspects of Hydraulic Fracturing (Steve Bond)
  • Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing (Ryan Hoffman)
  • Common Law Issues Associated with Horizontal Drilling (John Broomes)
  • Technical Issues Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing (KGS and KCC staff)
  • Common Law Issues Associated with Hydraulic Fracturing (David Pierce)
  • Why All the Fuss About Hydraulic Fracturing? (When "Fracing" Became "Fracking") (David Pierce)

3:20-3:40 p.m. – Break

3:40-4:40 p.m. – The Compulsory Pooling Debate and Statutory Unitization

  • The Case for Some Form of Statutory Pooling (David Bengston)
  • The Case for Maintaining The Current System (Diana Edmiston)
  • Statutory Unitization as a Compulsory Pooling Alternative (David Pierce)
  • The Ohio Experience (David Pierce)
  • Collateral Land Use Benefits of Having a Government Role in Pooling (David Pierce)

Inside the Kansas Corporation Commission’s Conservation Division (Day 3)
Monday, August 18, 2014 – 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

9:00-10:30 a.m. – The KCC Conservation Division: Programs Provided to Lawyers and the Public

  • Using the KCC Website (Ryan Hoffman)
  • Kansas Open Records Act (Ryan Hoffman)
  • The KOLAR System (Barry Metz and Ryan Hoffman)
  • Researching Development Activities/KCC Library (Barry Metz)
  • Statistics—Production (Steve Bond)
  • Underground Injection Control (Alan Snider)
  • Environmental Protection and Remediation (Jonelle Rains)
  • Abandoned Well Plugging Program (Bob Jenkins)
  • Legal Functions and Services (John McCannon and Lane Palmateer)
  • District Functions and Services (Jeff Klock, Richard Lacey, Steve Korf, Case Morris)

10:30-10:50 a.m. – Break

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

  • The Location Exception (Stan Smith, David Bengtson, John McCannon, and the KCC Commissioners)

12:30-1:30 p.m. – Lunch Break

1:30-2:40 p.m. – The KCC's Administrative Process

  • Overview of the Administrative Process (David Bengtson)
  • Legislative Function (Lane Palmateer)
  • Representing Clients in the Legislative Process (Diana Edmiston)
  • Executive Function (John McCannon)
  • What to do When the Client Receives a Violation Notice (Jeff Kennedy)
  • Triggering Commission Action through the Application Process (Tom Rhoads)
  • Adjudicatory Function (John McCannon; Mike Lennen)
  • Representing the Client in the Adjudicatory Process (Stan Smith)
  • Most Common Violations in the Oil Patch (Jeff Klock, Richard Lacey, Steve Korf, Case Morris)

2:40-3:00 p.m. – Break

3:00-4:00 p.m. – Panel Discussion: Practice Tips When Representing Clients before the Conservation Division and the KCC

  • Tips from the KCC Staff (Ryan Hoffman, John McCannon, Lane Palmateer)
  • Tips from Practitioners Who Routinely Appear Before the KCC (David Bengtson, Keith Brock, Diana Edmiston, Steve Gough, Jeff Kennedy, Tom Rhoads, Jon Schlatter)
  • The Client's Perspective (David Bleakley and Jon Callen)

4:00 p.m. – Adjourn

Registration for this CLE is now closed. Thanks for your interest.

General Information

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2014
Monday, August 18, 2014

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

Registration Fee:
» $600 all days
» $200 Day 1 (Fundamentals) only
» $200 Day 2 (Conservation Issues) only
» $200 Day 3 (Inside the Division) only
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 6.0 CLE hours, for a total of 18.0 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.