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About JJ

James (JJ) McAnelly is a nationally recognized and well-regarded upstream, midstream and deal lawyer consistently ranked in Chambers USA for the last 11 years. As co-chair of the firm’s oil and gas practice and with more than 25 years of industry experience, he represents a broad, diverse client-base ranging from majors, independents, private-equity and their portfolio companies in a broad spectrum of transactions including the purchase, sale, restructuring and/or financing of exploration and producing properties, processing plants, production and storage facilities and pipeline systems. With the emergence of energy transition, he is well positioned to draw on his experience to assist with carbon capture projects, including real property rights and commercial issues involving enhanced oil recovery and CO2 sequestration.

With a stellar reputation for his knowledge and work throughout the energy industry, JJ also regularly advises creditors and debtors in financial restructurings, distressed investments and acquisitions, as well as Chapter 11 proceedings and “363” sale processes.

Recognized by a leading legal publication for doing “a great job with clients,” JJ also utilizes his vast experience to assist with the formation of joint ventures, “drillcos” and partnerships for the funding, acquisition, operation and development of energy projects. This skillset includes drawing on his finance practice experience representing commercial banks, investment banks and hedge funds in energy lending. Once completed, he further assists clients with day-to-day operational concerns.

He does a great job with clients, they love him. He has a really stellar reputation.
Chambers USA, 2020


Recent Notable Matters

Private equity-backed buyer — $240.55 million acquisition of producing properties on lands owned by the State of Texas and overseen by the Board for Lease of University Lands in the Southern Midland Basin from EP Energy

O’Benco IV, LP — sale of substantially all of its assets in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case

Private equity-backed company — acquisition of producing properties in the Midland Basin from Occidental Permian Ltd and various affiliates

Private equity-backed company — bidding in the 363 sale process of Chesapeake Exploration L.L.C. for the potential purchase of certain midcon assets

Private buyer — bidding in the 363 sale process of Gavilan Resources, LLC for the potential purchase of assets in the Eagle Ford Shale

Private equity fund — bid for the assets of Approach Resources Inc., et al. in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case Section 363 sales process following the mutual termination of the Debtors’ proposed sale transaction with the initial proposed buyer

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. — as administrative agent for the first lien lender in the Freedom Oil & Gas, Inc., et al. Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, including assistance in the 363 sale process

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. — as administrative agent for the first lien lender group in the Alta Mesa Chapter 11 bankruptcy case

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

Independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company — sale of substantially all of its Gulf of Mexico assets to Fieldwood Energy LLC for over $700 million

Three Rivers Operating Company III LLC — sale of 59,000 net acres in the Delaware Basin for an undisclosed cash consideration to Admiral Permian Resources, LLC

Noble Energy, Inc. — sale of 30,200 net acres in the DJ Basin in Weld County, Colorado to SRC Energy Inc. for $608 million

Supermajor — bidding for BHP Billiton’s onshore US shale positions in the Permian, Eagle Ford and Fayettville

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

Independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company — acquisition of Clayton Williams Energy, Inc. for $2.7 billion in stock and cash

Covey Park Energy LLC — acquisition from Chesapeake Exploration LLC et al. covering 41,500 net acres and over 300 operated and non-operated wells in the Bossier and Haynesville Shale plays in northern Louisiana, for approximately $465 million

Independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company — exchange of approximately 25,000 net acres in the DJ Basin with PDC Energy for $270 million

Independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company — divestiture of Watternberg Field assets in the DJ Basin for $505 million to Synergy Resources

Eni S.p.A. — multiple divestitures of its producing assets in the Gulf of Mexico

Tall City Exploration LLC — agreement with Moss Creek Resources, LLC to sell its Howard and Borden county assets in Texas for $803 million

Three Rivers Operating Company III LLC — representation in connection with all acquisitions and divestitures of oil and gas assets

Manti Equity Partners, LP — $141 million joint sale of Eagle Ford acreage and production to a subsidiary of the Chinese company, MeiDu Holding Co., Ltd.

Private equity-backed seller — sale of Permian acreage and production to an undisclosed buyer for $1.24 billion

Tall City Exploration LLC — sale of $440 million in assets to American Energy – Permian Basin, LLC.

Eni S.p.A. — $4.83 billion acquisition of Dominion's OCS Gulf of Mexico assets

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

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

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

Three Rivers Acquisition LLC and Three Rivers Operating Company LLC — sale of all their Permian Basin oil and gas producing assets to Concho Resources for $1 billion

Publications and Speeches

"Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration Webinar," Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy Law & Business, February 2021.

"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.

"Areas of Mutual Interest Agreements – Certain Legal Issues to Consider in Texas," Section Report of the Oil, Gas & Energy Resources Law Section of the State Bar of Texas, Volume 41, Number 3/ Spring 2017.

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

"New Twists On An Old Structure," Oil & Gas Investor, August 1, 2015.

"Coming to America: Commercial and Legal Aspects of Foreign Investment in U.S. Oil and Gas Projects," 60th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, July 2014.

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

"Overview of Trades: Joint Exploration and Joint Venture Agreements," Meeting of the American Association of Professional Landmen, June 2012.



The University of Texas School of Law,
The University of Texas at Austin,
with honors

Bar Admissions



State Bar of Texas
Oil and Gas Section
Institute for Energy Law
Strategic Planning Committee
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
Texas Journal of Oil
Gas and Energy Law, Board of Advisors
University of Texas Energy Center
Advisory Council



New Twists On An Old Structure

August 1, 2015
Oil and Gas Investor

Texas Super Lawyers 2013 Recognizes Thirty-Nine Bracewell Attorneys

August 19, 2013
Texas Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters




Chambers Global
Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional), 2011 - 2021
Chambers USA
Nationwide Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional), 2010 - 2021; Nationwide Energy & Natural Resources, 2009
The Legal 500 United States
Energy Transactions: Oil and Gas, 2017 - 2021; Energy: Transactions, 2012 - 2013
American City Business Journals
Houston Business Journal
Who’s Who in Energy, 2013 - 2016
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC
IFLR1000 Financial & Corporate and M&A Guide
2018 - 2022
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC
Expert Guides to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers
BL Rankings
Best Lawyers
Energy Law, 2014 - 2022; Oil and Gas Law, 2018 - 2022; Natural Resources Law, 2019 - 2021; Houston Lawyer of the Year, Energy Law, 2022; Houston Lawyer of the Year, Oil and Gas Law, 2018
Thomson Reuters
Texas Super Lawyers
2003 - 2005, 2013 - 2019