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About Austin

Austin Lee represents and counsels clients in the acquisition and divestiture of oil and gas properties, as well as a broad range of transactional and operational matters regarding a variety of projects in the energy space. Austin’s experience includes providing  advice to energy clients who are dealing with distressed situations, whether in the form of restructuring financial arrangements or acquiring or divesting properties. Additionally, Austin frequently represents clients on a variety of midstream and downstream energy projects, produced water and salt water disposal projects, and projects for gas storage and related energy storage facilities. Austin also represents lenders and borrowers with respect to the financing of oil and gas properties; pipeline systems and other midstream assets; and other development facilities.

Additionally, Austin has experience working in-house as upstream legal counsel at an independent exploration and production company where he was the principal legal contact for a business unit covering the Bakken Shale, Eagle Ford Shale and other areas of South Texas. He also has experience working with a major oil and natural gas exploration and production company through a secondment in one of its onshore focused business units.

In 2018, Austin was one of only five lawyers named by Law360 as an Energy Rising Star, which recognizes lawyers nationwide that are under 40 years of age for accomplishments in the energy space. Prior to entering legal practice, Austin worked as an independent petroleum landman and as a certified public accountant.

He is very smart and knowledgeable in the oil and gas space and comes up with creative solutions to complex problems.
Chambers USA, 2022

Experience

Recent Notable Matters

Bison Oil & Gas Partners II, LLC — $300 million total cash divestiture DJ Basin operator to Civitas Resources, Inc., which was restructured from stock and cash consideration prior to closing

Navigator CO2 Ventures LLC — development of an industrial scale carbon capture pipeline system of more than 1,200 miles of new carbon dioxide gathering and transportation pipelines across five Midwest states (Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois) with the capability of permanently storing up to 5 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per year

Pioneer Natural Resources Company — sale of approximately 20,000 net acres in western Glasscock County to Laredo Petroleum, Inc. for a combination of cash and LPI common stock

Entity affiliated with GeoSouthern Energy Corp. — upstream joint venture with a subsidiary of The Williams Companies, Inc. for the acquisition of an interest in and development of Williams’ South Mansfield Assets in the Haynesville Shale

Juniper Capital Advisors, L.P. — investment in Penn Virginia Corporation (NASDAQ: PVAC) with a value of $188.4 million, including: i) a cash investment of $150 million and ii) a contribution of complementary oil and gas assets, resulting in Juniper-affiliated entities owning approximately 59 percent of the equity of Penn Virginia through a Penn Virginia subsidiary, in an up-C structure

Echo Energy Partners I, LLC — sale of substantially all of its SCOOP/Stack assets to HPS Investment Partners LLC for approximately $32.96 million out of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case

Pioneer Natural Resources — DrillCo transaction with a private investor providing for drilling opportunities on acreage owned by Pioneer in South Texas

Eni Petroleum US LLC — acquisition of 30 percent interest and a follow-on deal for remaining 70 percent and operatorship of the Oooguruk oil field in Alaska from Caelus Natural Resources Alaska, LLC

Large publicly traded utility company — DrillCo transaction pursuant to which the utility provided DrillCo financing to an upstream operator in exchange for a large acreage dedication and exclusive right to provide midstream services to the operator

Halcón Resources Corporation — $325 million divestiture of water infrastructure assets across the Delaware Basin to a subsidiary of WaterBridge Resources LLC

Parsley Energy Inc. — $2.8 billion acquisition of certain entities holding undeveloped acreage and producing oil and gas properties in the core of the Midland Basin from Double Eagle Energy Permian LLC and certain of its affiliates consisting of approximately $1.4 billion in cash and approximately 39.8 million units of Parsley Energy

American Resource Development (Ameredev) — sale of undeveloped acreage and producing oil and gas properties in the Delaware Basin (27,552 gross (16,098 net) surface acres), for a total consideration of $615 million in cash to Callon Petroleum Operating Company

Private equity-backed portfolio company — purchase of approximately 13,045 net acres in the Delaware Basin for approximately $350 million from four separate sellers

Castleton Commodities International LLC — acquisition of over 160,000 net acres of leasehold and midstream assets in East Texas for more than $1 billion from subsidiaries of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for properties in the Cotton Valley, liquids-rich Middle Bossier and Haynesville shales and related midstream assets including a high-pressure gathering system and water and condensate infrastructure system that collectively consisted of over 750 miles of pipeline

Covey Park Energy LLC — $425 million acquisition of Encana Corporation’s East Texas oil and gas assets

Private oil and gas operator — drafting a development agreement to govern the relationship between the client and a significant area lessor/working interest participant for development of stacked geologic formations in the East Texas - Austin Chalk/Woodbine (Eaglebine) play

SWEPI LP (a unit of Royal Dutch Shell plc) — $1.9 billion acquisition from Chesapeake Energy Corporation of approximately 618,000 net acres of oil and gas properties in the Southern Delaware region of the Permian Basin

Kinder Morgan, Inc. — $7.15 billion sale of El Paso’s exploration and production business unit which includes assets in the Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, Haynesville Shale, Black Warrior Basin, Uintah Basin, Raton Basin, Powder River Basin, and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as in Egypt and Brazil

Apache Corporation — $7 billion acquisition of BP’s oil and gas operations, acreage and infrastructure in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico and in Egypt's Western Desert, as well as BP’s upstream natural gas business in western Alberta and British Columbia

Venoco, Inc. and related subsidiaries — pre-packaged bankruptcy filing involving the assignment of certain sliding scale overriding royalty interests in certain offshore oil and gas leases

Private equity-backed portfolio company — sale of partial interests in approximately $100 million of producing and non-producing oil and gas assets in the Central Texas and the negotiation of an operating agreement that contains various joint development features

Fortune 150 oilfield services company — several alternative investment transactions involving the exchange of services for Net Profits Interests in associated oil and gas properties, which, in each case, included an area of mutual interest, right of first refusal to provide services, as well as structuring of a cash waterfall within a special purpose vehicle to address applicable tax consequences

Fortune 500 company — negotiation of a seismic data sharing arrangement, as well as a seismic data license for an area of mutual interest covering producing properties in Wyoming

Kinder Morgan, Inc. — purchase of CO2 and Helium producing properties in New Mexico and Arizona for approximately $30 million

Private equity-backed portfolio company — sale of approximately 75,000 net mineral acres of producing and non-producing oil and gas assets in the Bakken Shale in North Dakota

Publications and Speeches

"The Way Forward: A Legal and Commercial Primer on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration," The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law Volume 16:1 2021, Page 43.

"Mineral Transactions Require Careful Attention," Oil & Gas Investor, Who’s Who in Minerals, January 2018.

"Texas Affirms The Promise of Off-Site Drilling," Law360, June 2017.

"Pooling and Unitization," Lexis Practice Advisor, April 2017.

"Adverse Possession In The Oil Patch," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, December 8, 2016.

"‘Production Sharing Agreement' Wells: Pros and Cons," Law360, October 21, 2016.

"A&D Buyside," Oil & Gas Investor, May 2016.

"Recent Legal Developments in the Roaring Utica Shale," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, May 8, 2014.

"Proceed With Caution: Sabre Oil & Gas Corporation v. Gibson and Anti-Dilution Provisions," The Texas Journal of Oil, Gas and Energy Law, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2011-2012.

Credentials

Education

The University of Texas School of Law,
J.D.
2009
with honors
The University of Texas at Austin,
Masters in Professional Accounting
2004
The University of Texas at Austin,
Bachelor of Arts
2004

Bar Admissions

Texas

Affiliations

State Bar of Texas

News

News

News Story - Argus Media

Pooling and Unitization

Insights

Insights

Binding Contracts Created Via Email

A presentation regarding the use of email to create binding contracts, focusing on Texas and Federal law. The presentation addresses issues regarding when an exchange of emails can be considered to contain all of the material terms needed for contract formation, and whether an email can be considered a “signature” for agreements that must be in writing and signed to be effective.

Noteworthy

Noteworthy

Chambers Global
Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional), 2022
Chambers USA
Nationwide Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional), 2021 - 2022
BL Rankings
Best Lawyers
Oil and Gas Law, 2021 - 2022
Hart Energy
Oil and Gas Investor
Forty Under 40, 2018
Portfolio Media, Inc.
Law360
Energy Rising Star, 2018
The University of Texas School of Law
Texas Journal of Oil, Gas and Energy Law
Chief Financial Officer, 2007 - 2009

Events