The Center for Environment, Energy and Natural Resources at the University of Houston Law Center links energy issues with impacts on environment and natural resources. Building on the academic excellence of the faculty in these areas and the complex and multi-faceted energy and environmental issues in Houston, the Center provides a forum for education and discussion of the most important issues of the day, such as climate change, air pollution, clean coal and renewable energy.

We've included some resources below that give a broader picture of the Center's activities.

Energy and Environmental Resources in Houston for Law Students

 

EENR Courses Offered 2012-2014

The following are the EENR law courses actually offered during the academic years 2011-
2013 and Spring 2014.  Courses with (Bauer) are taught in the Bauer School of Business, a 5-minute walk from the Law Center.

Course descriptions for the current semester's courses can be found by clicking on the "Class Schedule" link on the home page of the Law Center. A sample of course descriptions appears after the list of courses offered from 2011-2014

A.      Academic Year 2011-2012

Fall 2011
Clean Air Act
Case Studies in Int’l Finance (at Bauer)
Strategy of International Project Financing (at Bauer)
Anti-Corruption Law & Development
Nuclear Energy
Advanced Oil & Gas Contracts
Environmental Law in Oil & Gas Production and Refining
Federal Indian Law
Environmental Law
Texas Coastal and Ocean Law
Int'l Commercial Arbitration
Int’l Petroleum Transactions
Oil & Gas

Spring 2012
Clean Water Act
Advanced Oil & Gas Contracts
Practice of Law in the Oil & Gas Industry
Land Use
Natural Resources Law
Oil & Gas
Regulated Industries
International Risk Management
Climate Change Law
Environmental Enforcement
Oil and Gas Pipeline Regulation
Drafting & Negotiating Int'l Oil & Gas Agreements
Toxic Torts
Energy Law: Emerging Markets
SEM: Energy, Law & Policy

 

B.       Academic Year 2012-2013

Fall 2012
Clean Air Act
Case Studies in Int’l Finance (Bauer)
Strategy for Project Finance
Strategy of Int’l Project Financing (Bauer)
Advanced Oil & Gas Contracts
Environmental Law in Oil & Gas Production and Refining
Natural Resources Law
Environmental Law
Endangered Species and Biodiversity Law
Anti-Corruption Law & Development
Confronting the Resource Curse: Oil in Africa
Offshore Leasing
Environmental Law
Introduction to Global Energy Management and Policy
Int’l Commercial Arbitration
Int'l Petroleum Transactions
Oil & Gas

Spring 2013
Finance & Ethics (Bauer)
Techniques for Project Finance (Bauer)
Advanced Oil & Gas Contracts
Practice of Law in the Oil & Gas Industry
Land Use
SEM: Meeting the 21st Century Challenges of Natural Resource Management on Federal Lands
Transnational Petroleum Law in Latin America
International Risk Management
Law and Policy of the US Electric Grid
Oil & Gas Pipeline Regulation
Energy and the Environment
Reform in Oil Producing States
International Corporate Compliance
Drafting & Negotiating Int'l Oil & Gas Agreements
Shale Gas & LNG
Toxic Torts

C.       Academic Year 2013-2014

Fall 2013
Case Studies in International Finance (Bauer)
Strategy for Project Finance (Bauer)
Advanced Oil & Gas Contracts
Environmental Law in Oil & Gas Production and Refining
Natural Resources Law
SEM:  Federal Natural Resources
Regulated Industries
International Investment Law
Upstream Economics
Climate Change Law
Environmental Law
Law and Policy Reform in Oil-Producing Countries
Shale Gas & LNG
International Commercial Arbitration
Energy Law:  Emerging Markets
International Petroleum Transactions
Oil & Gas

Spring 2014
Drafting & Negotiating Int'l Oil & Gas Agreements
Advanced Oil & Gas Contract Drafting
Practice of Law in the Oil & Gas Industry
Water Law
Oil & Gas Law
Land Use
Transnational Petroleum Law and Investment in Latin America
Biotechnology and the Law
Practice of Environmental Law
Texas Coastal & Ocean Law
Oil & Gas Pipeline Regulation
International Corporate Compliance
Offshore Leasing
Finance and Ethics (Bauer)
Techniques for Project Finance (Bauer)
SEM: Energy, Law & Policy

 

Current, Upcoming, and Past Two Years

  Course Credit Course Description Course Area

Fall 2017

6226 Advanced Oil & Gas Contract Drafting

2

Advanced Oil and Gas Contracts: This course is designed to familiarize students with some of the documents which are in common use in the domestic, on shore oil and gas industry, including oil and gas leases, operating agreements, farmout agreements and several other forms of agreements. The course will stress solutions, which are to be worked out by the students, for problems which are commonly presented to counsel representing oil and gas companies. Students will prepare and submit, on a weekly basis, drafts of documents or portions of documents, addressing particular issues. A course in oil and gas law is highly recommended as a foundation for this course.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

5367 Biotechnology & the Law

3

This course provides a practice-oriented survey of major regulatory frameworks for commercializing new biotechnology products and protecting consumers and workers from the risks these products pose. This year’s course has been updated to add coverage of important legal and policy developments during the past 12 months. The course starts off with a quick introduction--in terms accessible to students with no scientific background—to the profusion of biotech products expected to enter the market and change our world during the next 5 – 15 years. Future biotech products go far beyond the familiar categories of medical products and genetically modified foods. Products already available or in development include at-home gene editing kits that will rupture the tightly controlled research and development pathways of the past and confront regulators with a wave of citizen science and small-scale, do-it-yourself manufacturing; artificially intelligent biological robots that may soon compete with you for a job; bioprinted sheets of new skin and scalp that may keep today’s law students looking young for as long as you live; DNA-based memory devices capable of storing the cumulative knowledge of mankind in a teaspoon and wireless machine/brain interfaces that will put that knowledge at your disposal (but, sadly, not in time for the take-home final in this course!); designer pets (pink dogs?) and babies and de-extincted species; biotech industrial processes that can generate limitless quantities of spices, fruits, eggs, and meat but which threaten to displace millions of agricultural workers; and new sources of climate-change-neutral energy. With profound scientific advances on the near-term horizon, the White House Office for Science & Technology Policy, in July 2015, launched a major overhaul of the U.S. Coordinated Framework for Regulation of Biotechnology, last modernized in 1992. Prof. Evans, who has been closely involved in these efforts, will introduce the key regulatory frameworks you need to know to work in the biotech sector (FDA, EPA, USDA, consumer and occupational safety, and privacy regulations) and press you to help conceive solutions to the profound social, economic, and policy challenges regulators will face as a profusion of new biotech products comes on stream in the next 5 – 15 years.

Health Law

Intellectual Property and Information Law

Spring 2017

5207 Clean Air Act

2

The primary goal of this course will be to understand the principles of air quality law as set out in the Federal Clean Air Act and it’s implementing regulations. In addition to Federal statutory and administrative law, the course will focus on State and Local air quality requirements and the implementation of Federal air quality law through these State and Local requirements. Common law claims related to air pollution will also be discussed. Because EPA is in the process of developing additional climate change requirements through the Clean Air Act, the integration of climate change requirements under the Clean Air Act will also be a significant focus of this course.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2017

6338 Climate Change Law

3

Between the election of Donald Trump, a more skeptical viewpoint by U.S. federal agencies and newly elected governments in other nations, and the enormous challenges created by physical reality of unabated global climate change, climate change law and litigation is poised for an explosion of activity over the next several years. Climate change law is already one of the most important fields of environmental law that affects virtually every major industry, civil and criminal enforcement action, large corporate deals, and international relations. Climate change lawsuits may also play a vital role in forcing action by reluctant governments and corporations as well as assigning liability for climate change damages created by past and current emissions of greenhouse gases.

This course will focus on the use of international and domestic law to address climate change and to identify the obligations or liability of parties who allegedly contribute to it. We will review the current state of the science underlying climate change findings and predictions, examine how environmental and tort laws have responded to earlier novel environmental threats and risks, explore the fate of the Paris Accords and the future of other international agreements, weigh attempts to roll back federal regulations or to buttress state laws that address emissions of greenhouse gases and climate change effects, and assess how courts have responded to climate liability lawsuits and their specific legal challenges and evidentiary issues. We will focus on practical, real-world problems and solutions in this fast-growing field of law and how it will affect daily permitting decisions, lawsuits and corporate transactions.

This class will use a dynamic combination of lectures, discussions, in-class exercises, sample problems and case studies. We will also bring several guest speakers to address aspects of climate change law and liability management that they encounter in their daily jobs and careers. Of course, all students should come to class prepared and able to join in discussions.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

6A97 Corporate Social Responsibility for Sustainability

Selected Topics in Global Energy Development and Sustainability: Corporate Social Responsibility for Sustainability– 1.5 credits.

The energy industry is diverse, complex and dynamic. It also has a significant impact on communities and many segments of the world economy and politics. The main purpose of the course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the various aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the energy industry, primarily studying these concepts in upstream and midstream oil & gas sectors. By successfully completing this course, students should understand and be able to articulate the key elements, opportunities, risks, and challenges of CSR with regard to competing interests (government, corporate, society).

Real world examples are used to illustrate factors that impact the profitability but do not lend themselves to be readily modeled. The question of whether a proactive approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be used to enhance profitability will be studied. Experts in their respective fields will join the class as guest speakers and share their experiences in managing some of the tougher challenges in the industry.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Non-Law Courses

Fall 2017

6397 Corporate Social Responsibility for Sustainability

The energy industry is diverse, complex and dynamic. It also has a significant impact on communities and many segments of the world economy and politics. The main purpose of the course is to provide students with a basic understanding of the various aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the energy industry, primarily studying these concepts in upstream and midstream oil & gas sectors. By successfully completing this course, students should understand and be able to articulate the key elements, opportunities, risks, and challenges of CSR with regard to competing interests (government, corporate, society).

Real world examples are used to illustrate factors that impact the profitability but do not lend themselves to be readily modeled. The question of whether a proactive approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be used to enhance profitability will be studied. Experts in their respective fields will join the class as guest speakers and share their experiences in managing some of the tougher challenges in the industry.
.

Non-Law Courses

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

6223 Drafting & Negotiating Int'l Oil & Gas Agreements

2

This course is designed to enhance the students´ knowledge of major types of international oil and gas agreements while providing practical, hands-on experience in contract drafting and negotiation. Students will be provided a detailed and realistic fact pattern showing how oil and gas deals are conceived of, proposed, negotiated and eventually formalized. The students will then apply the fact pattern to various types of oil and gas model agreements. In short, Professor Nadorff will show the students how an international oil and gas lawyer approaches every day oil and gas industry legal and commercial challenges, including how to navigate office “politics” and deal with various types of industry players.
The course contains the following major components:

• A discussion of the role of the contract drafters and negotiators in the oil and gas industry.

• Practical tips on how to write contracts and other documents more clearly and effectively as well as identifying pitfalls to be avoided.

• Contract drafting and negotiation strategies.

• A thorough discussion of pre-contractual documents (letters of intent, memoranda of association, etc.), including a detailed in-class review and re-write of a poorly conceived and drafted letter of intent.

• An introduction to the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and the AIPN Model Form Contracts (including their proper use and potential abuse).

• In class, on-screen editing by the students of key AIPN Model Form Agreements (most likely: Confidentiality, Joint Study and Bidding, Farmout, Joint Operating Agreement, International Consultant, and Well Services).

• In-class negotiations and other simulated exercises based on the supplied fact pattern.

It is anticipated that for each class, Professor Nadorff will invite a different oil and gas lawyer or negotiator in order to: (i) share professional experiences; (ii) provide personal perspectives and (iii) to help facilitate the in-class exercises.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

International Law

Fall 2017

5384 Endangered Species and Biodiversity Law

3

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

5211 Energy and the Environment

2

An environmental law course that will explore pivotal issues involving the synergistic relationship between energy law and environmental law. The course will examine several critical topics of global importance associated with various sources of energy and the impact on natural resources and the environment.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2015

6352 Energy Law: Doing Business in Emerging Markets

3

This course explores the legal and regulatory structures affecting foreign investors seeking to participate in the development of the so-called emerging markets, with particular emphasis on energy related transactions. It gives an insight into the types of problems that are encountered when working in countries that provide business opportunities but have weak legal institutions and murky business cultures, such as corruption, human rights abuses, regulatory expropriation, uncertain property rights and government authorizations, and poor dispute resolution and law enforcement mechanisms. The casebook includes introductory text material with a series of problems derived from practice, as well as cases and an analysis of legislative and regulatory materials. The course will also provide practical applications of practice techniques and negotiating skills that may be used in resolving the problems encountered in emerging markets.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

International Law

Fall 2017

5390 Environmental Law

3

Environmental law plays a pivotal role in protecting our personal health and welfare, guiding economic development and business life, and shielding our most precious natural treasures and resources from misuse or harm. Because it protects such broad and often conflicting purposes, environmental law has evolved from its common law roots into a complex set of federal and state statutory protections, administrative regulatory prohibitions, and often convoluted judicial interpretations. This course will introduce you to the broad field of environmental law and give you a practical sense of the key skills and tools you would need to start handling environmental projects.

This course will use a combination of lectures, class discussions, in-class exercises and sample problems, and case studies. We will use role-playing exercises to give you experience in real-life negotiations. The course will start with theoretical overviews of the commonality of environmental laws and will then focus on specific statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, RCRA, CERCLA, and the Endangered Species Act.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2015

5215 Environmental Law in the Oil & Gas Industry

2

General Information Course Description: This is not an advanced course. Having some educational or practical background in environmental or oil and gas matters is useful, but not required. Much more important is the desire to understand current environmental issues impacting, and caused by, the oil and gas business. This class will provide a survey of key environmental statutes and will focus on many of the common law, regulatory, and statutory issues that are confronting oil companies, government regulators, non-governmental organizations, landowners, and private litigants (collectively the “stakeholders”).
Class discussion will go beyond the written law and concentrate on the practical application and effect on the stakeholders. Strategies used for creation, compliance, and enforcement of environmental law will be reviewed.
A main goal of this class is to improve your ability to be a valued and effective team member of your current or future environmental clients. Some of those clients are likely to be friends and family that have environmental issues with oil and gas wells drilled near their homes.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

5354 Environmental Law Practicum

3

This course will overview key areas of practice within environmental law such as regulatory counseling and permitting, civil enforcement, criminal liability, private litigation over environmental contamination, policy advocacy, and environmental aspects of commercial transactions. Each lecture topic will be paired with a separate presentation by a guest speaker who practices in that area, and who will provide examples of live projects and cases for class participation and review. These speakers may include the Harris County Attorney (civil enforcement), the Galveston Bay Foundation (permitting), the Harris County District Attorney (criminal), the Audubon Society (policy advocacy) and others.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2016

5221 International Commercial Arbitration

2

Winston Churchill said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the rest. For international commercial transactions, international arbitration is the worst form of dispute resolution, except for all the rest. Supported by an international treaty signed by more than 140 nations, international arbitration has become the prevailing method of resolving international commercial disputes. And international transactions have become increasingly common in the global economy,the daily volume of international trade today across national borders exceeds the total volume of international trade through the end of the nineteenth century!

This is a comprehensive course covering all stages of the international arbitral process, from the drafting of the arbitration clause to the enforcement of the arbitral award. It should be of value both to students who plan to develop a transactional practice as well as those planning to become trial lawyers.

This will be a highly interactive course. In addition to relevant written material, the course will also feature videotaped scenes from mock arbitrations that the Institute for Transnational Arbitration generated at its Annual Arbitration Workshops. Consisting of mock scenarios, and performed by some of the world's leading international arbitrators and counsel, the videotapes vividly demonstrate the major phases of an international arbitration. Students will be assigned roles as counsel and as arbitrators and will either argue (in the case of counsel) or deliberate (in the case of arbitrators) various issues presented in the hypothetical scenarios.

The course will begin with preliminary considerations bearing on the selection of the international arbitral process. The course will then address the five stages of the international arbitral process:

Stage I. The making and enforcement of the arbitration agreement.

Stage II. The selection and appointment of the arbitral tribunal.

Stage III. Preliminary proceedings, including procedural orders and interim relief.

Stage IV. The evidentiary hearing on the merits.

Stage V. The making and enforcement of the arbitral award.


Ben H. Sheppard, Jr. is a Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center. Prior to his retirement, he was a partner at Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. in Houston, where he practiced from 1969-2005, and was co-chair of the firm's international dispute resolution practice.

International Law

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2017

5371 International Petroleum Transactions

3

International Petroleum Transactions provides an overview of the laws, contracts, and legal issues that arise between host governments and oil companies that seek to invest in and develop oil and gas owned by the host governments. The course includes: an overview of National Oil Companies (the largest reserve owners today), ascertaining title to the minerals, especially in federalist countries or countries with indigenous tribes; resolving boundary disputes between nations; a comparison of the most commonly used granting contracts (licenses, production-sharing contracts and service contracts); issues arising under the international Joint Operating Agreement; sustainable development in resource development, including social impact assessment, human rights issues and litigation, and liability for transboundary pollution and oil spills; anti-corruption laws and codes; international arbitration; and other issues as time permits. The course also provides a good background to the future of the western majors in the global context of international energy. The class will have several guest lecturers who are leading practitioners in specialized areas of international petroleum transactions, such as arbitration and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

International Law

Fall 2017

6238 International Risk Management

2

This course will look at the legal framework for international oilfield service contracts, including both substantive law and practical counseling. The issues and solutions discussed in this course will be similar to those that arise in many other international agreements for the sale of services, which commonly form the substance of much international legal work in Houston.



The course would be divided into three basic segments:



1. The first part of the course will set forth the background of international oilfield services contracts, including a review of the underlying treaties, statutes and regulations applicable to these contracts. These would include treaties and laws regulating the creation of oilfield projects, including international trade agreements, such as the WTO. This part will also include a series of discussions and reading assignments relating to enforcement, through litigation or arbitration, of international energy projects, including the New York Convention for Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, extraterritorial aspects of U.S. law, and conflict of laws and comparative law issues (e.g., differences between the law of the United States and England, as well as the general principals of law in common law and civil law countries).



2. The second part of the course will involve analysis of a specific hypothetical drilling agreement. We will use a format that involves the client having negotiated the basic terms of the agreement, which must then be dealt with by the attorneys for the client. The class will assist in the initial evaluation of the deal to advise the client concerning the risks that the company has undertaken.





3. The third part of the course will involve an analysis of problems that arise under the hypothetical drilling agreement, including: counseling of the client as the drilling commences and problems begin to arise; counseling the client and assisting the client them in protecting the company’s interests as the contract begins to slide towards dispute resolution; the conduct of the arbitration, with an emphasis on the strategic elements thereof. This will include multi-national mechanisms for the protection of assets.



In each of the above stages, the General Counsel for the client will provide feedback to the class concerning the pragmatic, practical steps that should be taken to protect the client’s interest. The senior partners of your firm will serve as your mentor as to the substantive legal issues before you. The students will be given a project in which they will draft relevant contract provisions based on the materials taught in the first part of the course. The work will be discussed in class, citing specific “client issues and goals.” The students will participate in teams and will then be asked to redraft the provisions to provide solutions. A “model redraft” of the contract will then be given to the class.



The students will be graded in two parts. First, they will be asked to analyze the “model redraft” provisions based on the legal issues and rules matters studied during the the course. This portion of the course will count for 20% of the final grade. Second, 80 percent of the grade will be based on a final exam that will be comprehensive and will cover the entire course material.


International Law

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2015

5327 Legal Practitioner's Guide to the Oil and Gas Industry (formerly known as: Practice of Law in the Oil & Gas Industry)

3

Houston is the Oil Capital of the World. Nearly all major and large independent oil and gas companies have offices in Houston. Hundreds of oil-business related companies call Houston home. Texas, as well as Houston, have perpetual needs for lawyers who understand how the oil and gas industry works and who are able to identify issues and offer practical legal solutions for the industry’s problems. Even clients opposed to the oil and gas industry are desperate for lawyers who understand the business.

Nearly ten million Americans are employed directly or indirectly in the oil and gas business. The United States is overtaking Russia as the world’s largest oil and gas producer with over a million active wells operated by 18,000 oil and gas companies. There are 162,000 service stations, hundreds of thousands of miles of pipelines and 141 refineries operating in the United States. America has 3,800 offshore platforms producing oil and gas; nearly all of which are in the Gulf of Mexico. The industry added over 600,000 American jobs in the last two years. The near future will see the current American oil and gas “boom” spread throughout the world as technological enhancements being used in the U.S. are adopted in other countries.

Major stakeholders in the oil and gas business include landowners; developers; royalty owners; realtors; banks; local, state, and federal governments; foreign governments; regulatory agencies; non-governmental organizations; and shipping companies. Business men and women, accountants, economists, geologists, engineers, environmental scientists, public officials, and lawyers represent only a few of the professionals that make full time careers in the oil business or find themselves in positions to regularly and professionally interact with and represent people who do so.

The oil industry created and continues to use an extensive, unique, and colorful language that can confuse and impede those outside of the oil-patch. The most successful lawyers in this industry understand the business and its language and are able to identify legal issues that arise from the well-site to the gas pump. Clients gravitate toward lawyers that can speak their language, understand their business, and help them solve problems.

This course teaches oil industry business basics and terminology. It teaches basic concepts of exploration, production, pipeline operation and refining that are known by the majority of operating and business people in the industry. Knowing these basics will equip the lawyer to better negotiate and advocate for his or her client and more easily identify legal issues, opportunities, causes of action, and remedies.

Oil companies often take opposing positions with respect to environmental protection, employment law, health and safety, use of independent contractors, risk taking, and regulatory and legislative advocacy. Knowing how and why these positions are taken, and the legal risks associated with each position help company-lawyers best serve their clients. Knowing these business and legal rationales also benefits lawyers collaborating with, or working in opposition to, the oil companies such as trial attorneys, regulatory attorneys, and lawyers from non-governmental organizations.

The student should complete the course with an appreciation of how the entire industry works, be able to identify legal issues that typically arise in numerous business disputes and opportunities, and be better prepared to assist his or her client with optimal legal solutions to those matters.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

6362 Natural Resources Law

3

Natural Resources Law is the body of legal rules and processes that govern the human use, management, and protection of nature. In this course, we will survey the history of resource acquisition and management as well as current mechanisms for the management, use, and preservation of natural resources, including wildlife, wilderness, rivers, national parks, and energy. Among other issues, we will consider the history, jurisdiction, and authority of land management agencies and various statutes such as the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Federal Land Policy Management Act, to name a few. Throughout our study of these doctrinal issues, we will also consider competing ideas about how and why natural resources should be valued, used, and conserved. The objectives of this course are to teach the substantive law of the subject matter in a comprehensive manner, to consider ethical and professional questions related to the subject matter, and to integrate the subject matter with the analytical and practical skills necessary to the practice of law.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

5287 Offshore Leasing and Operations

2

The course will cover Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Lease Sales, Joint Operating Agreements, Participation Agreements, Suspensions of Operations or Production, the cycle time from lease acquisition to first oil or gas, mid-stream issues (pipelines to shore and Production Handling Agreements), development of infrastructure, internal approval processes of Lessees, federal regulations and Notices to Lessees addressing these matters, and other related topics.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2017

5355 Oil & Gas

3

This course covers the basic property, contract and regulatory framework for oil and gas production in Texas. It explores common law property concepts (such as the rule of capture, trespass, cotenancy, life tenancy); the provisions of an oil and gas lease negotiated between a mineral interest owner and an oil company as lessee; mineral and royalty interest conveyancing; and Railroad Commission regulation of drilling, production, pooling, and unitization for the efficient and fair development of oil and gas.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2016

5239 Oil & Gas Tax

2

Oil and Gas Income Taxation covers the United States federal income taxation of domestic oil and gas operations and transactions. The course examines taxation associated with the operational life cycle of oil and gas operations including exploration, development, production and abandonment. The study of transactions involving oil and gas interests analyzes acquisition, disposition, structuring and investment. Course participants learn the historical context and development of oil and gas provisions found in the U.S. tax law. Current tax legislative proposals or enactments that affect the oil and gas industry are addressed if warranted. The emphasis is on federal income taxation of domestic oil and gas transactions, although certain international tax aspects of the oil and gas business will be referenced and contrasted throughout the class.

Outline

Taxation

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

6A30 Promoting Sustainability I: Community-Centered Approaches and Social Justice in the International Oil and Gas Industry

3

Promoting Sustainability I: Community-Centered Approaches and Social Justice in the International Oil and Gas Industry – 1.5 credits.
In this course, through a social science approach, students will gain skills to critically identify and analyze key challenges and opportunities facing oil and natural gas extraction’s impact on social factors and sustainable development in oil producing communities. We will locate key junctures where intervention decisions could mitigate the negative impacts of extraction on local, regional, and national communities. Specifically, we will investigate concepts such as ethnicity, power, health, religion, social and environmental justice, and corporate social responsibility from an emic perspective in order to enhance understandings about the importance of breaking cycles of extractive injustices, often leading to violence.
The course will explore in detail different questions and issues with regards to the stakeholders’?roles in the energy development and its relation to social factors and the environment. This course provides professionals, policy makers, and community stakeholders with a culturally relevant, preliminary understanding of social challenges and opportunities facing energy development. As such, students will learn methodologies to develop social frameworks to address stakeholder priorities and cultural dynamics using best policies and practices. These skills have potential to enlarge participation, improve transparency, and narrow knowledge gaps between energy companies, local and state governments, and civil society.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Non-Law Courses

Spring 2016

7A97 Regulatory Environment and Risks in Energy

Course Number is: FINA 7A59
Course is 1.5 credit hour.

Course Description:
Energy extraction and utilization is heavily regulated, at both the federal and state levels. Some times (as in “fracturing”) there have been attempts by local government to interact with energy extraction or utilization as well. With renewed attention on climate change, other significant air pollution, and water resources, this regulation has been increasing, and will continue to increase. Therefore, anyone in either the upstream or downstream business of energy or energy law needs to be aware of the impacts of such regulation and economic risks of these current regulations as well as the possibility of future regulation, in order to make effective business allocation decisions. This class explores the known and likely future regulatory risks, especially environmentally related regulations, and examines the likely impacts of such regulation on the energy business.

Readings are mostly posted on blackboard and you are responsible for reading and bringing copy to class for discussion; Additionally, we will discuss your paper topics during each of the last 4 classes. Grade is based on class participation and one writing project, due one week after the final class. The writing project is a minimum 10 page case study or memorandum concerning the economic impact posed by a specific environmental or health based law (or proposed law) or legal regulatory risk (for the law students) to a sector of the energy business. Topics will be selected in one on one meetings with the professor between Jan. 27 and Feb. 5. Law students and MBA students will be graded separately and not included in any grade curve (where applicable).

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Non-Law Courses

Spring 2017

5234 Shale Gas & LNG

2

This course explores the myriad of legal, policy and environmental issues pertaining to global natural gas markets with a particular focus on global shale gas development and the development of LNG import and export projects around the world, including recent developments in US LNG export projects. This semester will be particularly interesting, as we will discuss the role of natural gas and LNG in the current low-oil price environment.
The first half of the semester will explore the growing role that natural gas will play around the world in the context of global shale gas development. By most accounts, shale gas development in the United States has been a “game changer” that could be replicated around the world so long as the right regulatory and environmental frameworks are put in place. This course will explore the existing regulatory and environmental frameworks for shale gas, especially those in the United States, as well as frameworks being developed around the world with the objective of exploring the substantive law of shale gas development as well as developing the analytical and practical skills necessary to the practice of law.
The second half of the semester will explore the growing role that LNG is expected to play as the “glue” linking global gas markets. The course will explore the opportunities and challenges for various LNG import and export projects around the world in the current contextual reality wherein energy law and policy are increasingly intersecting with environmental law and geopolitics. Particular focus will be on recent policy and regulatory actions taken with respect to US LNG exports.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

International Law

Spring 2017

5364 Texas Coastal & Ocean Law

3

This course explores laws and policies that affect decisions on United States ocean and coastal resources, with particular emphasis on Texas. The coastal zone is at the same time a very sensitive area, a very useful area, and an economically important area. We will examine statutes, regulations, attitudes, and cases that shape how the federal government and the State use, manage, and protect the coasts and oceans. We cover government and private approaches to coastal and ocean resources, including beaches, wetlands, estuaries, reefs, fisheries, endangered species, and special areas. Specific statutes of importance are the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Texas Coastal Coordination Act, Coastal Management Plan, and Open Beaches Act. Many other environmental laws and issues come into play in the coastal zone, including NEPA, CWA, ESA, APA, flooding, the role of permitting, energy production, water rights, sea level rise, zoning, and these all operate on local, state and federal levels, both private and governmental. The course will emphasize the practical application of these laws and policies and we will be discussing actual cases and examples from around Texas.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2015

9397 The Future of Natural Gas

3

Course name is: GENB 7397 / ENRG 4397. Interested students please contact Mr. Derrick Gabriel at 713-743-2189.

Non-Law Courses

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Spring 2017

5349 Toxic Torts

3

This course strives to give students an overview of the law of environmental and toxic torts. It includes cases in which there is a personal injury or property damage due to exposure to toxic substances, including drugs. It combines a historic overview of the field with coverage of the current issues confronting the courts and Congress.
The legal system’s response to these substances is both proactive and retroactive. Statutes such as the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) seek to prevent injury by assessing a drug’s safety before permitting it to be marketed and by regulating the handling of hazardous waste. Common law torts suits sounding in negligence, products liability, nuisance, trespass, and strict liability for abnormally dangerous activities – provide potential redress for injuries caused by toxic substances and drugs and as do statutes such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), which seeks to ensure that sites that have been contaminated are cleaned up to safe standards. This course explores both responses within the context of private tort law and statutes.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Health Law

Fall 2017

6371 Transnational Investment Law and Arbitration

3

The Transnational Investment Law and Arbitration course provides to JD and LLM students, the tools to understand and to perform complex transnational transactions in a globalized economy. The course covers the transnational regulation that governs long-term investments in transnational in different sectors of the economy such as oil and gas, mining, power, renewable energy, nuclear, international construction projects and housing.
During the last 50 years, more than 3000 Bilateral Investment Treaties have been agreed between States in order to promote the development investment projects by providing special protection to private investors. Also, Multilateral Investment Treaties such as NAFTA, the Energy Charter Treaty or the most recent negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership are creating a network of transnational standards that govern the business relations in a transnational community of States and investors. During the last two decades, these transnational standards have been under the scrutiny of the special jurisdiction of arbitration tribunals which have contributed to the development of a system of investment law and promoting a transnational legal practice for lawyers and corporations.

Therefore, for students looking to build a career path in the field of transnational business transactions, this class offers a focus on the legal practice of investment projects involving investors, corporations and national governments. Additionally, this course features special training on the interconnection of sources of law such as investment contracts, investment treaties, industry practices, national regulations and arbitration awards and decisions, and provides an overview of the transnational legal practice in a globalized economy.
This course features:
1) An overview of international investment arbitration: history and statistics.
2) The notion of investment, relations between foreign investors, shareholders, state and state companies.
3) The network of sources of law that govern transnational investment transactions.
4) The consent of international arbitration related to investment transactions: Contracts, Treaties, and
National Law.
5) Rules of Jurisdiction: ratione materiae, ratione personae and ratione temporis.
6) Rules of Arbitration Procedure: The rules for arbitration of different institutions such as ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, and SCC. The arbitrability of Disputes, objections of jurisdictions, and provisional measures.
7) The Applicable Law to the jurisdiction and merits phase of an investment dispute
8) Bilateral Investment Treaties Standards: Expropriation, fair and equitable treatment, national treatment, most favorable nation treatment, security and protection clauses, umbrella clauses, survival clauses, and free transfer of funds.
9) The annulment of an arbitral award. The challenge of an award before national courts and ICSID Ad hoc Committee.
10) The recognition and enforcement of arbitration awards.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

International Law

Fall 2015

7372 Upstream Economics

3

Objectives
• Understanding of the physical systems affecting the exploitation of hydrocarbon accumulations
• Understanding the economic structure and issues associated with key upstream processes.
• Ability to construct and use financial models and performance measures for the upstream business
• Appreciation of the key management decisions and the considerations that go into them in the highly uncertain exploration and production businesses

Requirements
1. Participation on a student team in a competitive simulated oil and gas exploration and production venture, concluding with an assessment of the team’s results and lessons learned
2. Preparation and use of a financial model using Excel
3. Two team presentations relating to case studies used in the course
4. Two brief recommendation papers relating to case studies used in the course
5. A final examination problem

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Non-Law Courses

Spring 2017

6341 Water Law

3

As water law issues become increasingly prominent in the news, public discourse, and legal practice, many ask: is water the most important natural resource? If so, why, and how does water law affect the ways that we use and develop land, energy, and other resources? This course combines a general survey of U.S. water law and policy with an examination of water law doctrines, institutions, and policy issues of particular significance to Texas. One goal of this class, therefore, is to give students a basic introduction to the laws and institutions that have shaped the use, development, and preservation of water throughout the United States. Thus, we will examine the legal principles and doctrines that have shaped the use of surface water and groundwater in different jurisdictions across the United States, as well as the evolution of public and private rights in these resources. In addition, this class is intended to examine how water law doctrines and water law institutions have evolved in Texas. The final goal of this class is to examine the evolution of water law as it influences the use, development, and preservation of other important resources.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Fall 2017

7313 WRS: Federal Natural Resources

3

This seminar will examine some of the mechanisms for the management, preservation, conservation, use, and enjoyment of natural resources on federal land and the Outer Continental Shelf. These resources include wildlife, wilderness, refuges, rivers, national parks, National Conservation Landscape System lands, minerals, conventional and renewable energy, and timber. This course considers the history, jurisdiction, and conflicts of the natural resource management agencies (primarily the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of the Interior) under the various natural resources statutes such as the Endangered Species Act, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, the General Mining Law, the Mineral Leasing Act, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to name just a few. Current issues to be considered include development of renewable energy on federal lands and on the Outer Continental Shelf, hydraulic fracturing, species listings and critical habitat designations, oil and gas development in the Arctic, wild horses and burros, and other challenging natural resource management issues. Although there is not a very much federal public land in Texas, almost every major energy company in the United States and many international energy companies have significant interests on federal lands and in federal waters. If you plan to practice environmental, energy, or natural resources law, this seminar will provide you with exposure and understanding of the major issues facing the managers and users of federal natural resources today.

Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law