Robert S. Ballentine

Robert S. Ballentine

Partner

Litigation

O: 713.331.7629
C: 713.494.0272
F: 713.331.7665
rballentine@barrycongeharris.com

With more than 30 years of commercial litigation and arbitration experience, Bob has an extensive background representing a broad range of energy companies in a variety of disputes over upstream and midstream energy contracts and transactions.

These have included matters related to exploration, development, joint operations, wellhead sales, natural gas processing, the marketing of natural gas and NGLs, the purchase and sale of mineral properties, oilfield service agreements, and the gathering and transmission of natural gas and petroleum products.

Bob has represented clients in class actions in both state and federal courts, and litigated claims made for state, federal, and private mineral royalties. His litigation experience has also included insurance defense and coverage claims, real estate, pipeline condemnation, toxic tort and products liability claims, Sherman Act antitrust claims, and shareholder derivative and securities.

Experience

  • Obtained a final summary judgment for declaratory and monetary relief worth seven figures plus attorneys’ fees on behalf of a client in a dispute concerning the mineral royalty interests reserved within a series of royalty deeds.
  • Successfully defended a major midstream company against contract claims brought against it by a large independent oil and gas exploration and production company that it had improperly allocated natural gas and natural gas liquids under a gas processing agreement and collateral contracts.
  • Represented an oil and gas investment fund in connection with a contract dispute regarding its acquisition of certain oil and gas properties pursuant to the terms of a purchase and sale agreement.
  • Advised a vertically integrated oil company in connection with a contract dispute over the interruption of jurisdictional oil pipeline service.
  • Advised a major vertically integrated oil company in connection with the range of regulatory compliance options and other issues associated with planned midstream operations.
  • Represented an independent oil and gas exploration company in connection with various insurance claims and regulatory compliance issues arising out of an unprecedented set of circumstances following a well blowout.
  • Represented a small independent oil company in its defense against contract claims and environmental compliance issues arising out of its sale of certain mineral properties, resulting in a mutually beneficial settlement for the parties.
  • Represented a national banking corporation in connection with its enforcement of its secured interests in collateral and in the proceeds of certain assets identified in the hands of third parties pursuant to garnishment proceedings filed in the state district court.
  • Represented an overriding royalty interest owner in its pursuit of a breach of contract claim against the well operator for withholding payment of certain overriding royalties.
  • Represented one joint working interest owner against another in a breach of contract dispute over a development agreement, including the duty to assign a working interest and the right to operate the well.
  • Represented an oil and gas company against a successor oil company’s statutory and contractual claims of environmental contamination and breach of warranty.
  • Represented various oil companies in trespass to try title disputes.
  • Represented an oil and gas operator in a breach of contract suit against a non-operator alleging breach of joint operating agreement.
  • Represented one joint working interest owner against another in a contract and title dispute over their respective rights to conduct competing operations in the wellbore of a horizontally severed mineral estate.
  • Represented a well operator against a directional drilling contractor for negligently failing to provide proper equipment and causing damage to a horizontal well.
  • Represented the original equipment manufacturer of offshore drilling equipment in defense of an international business disparagement claim brought by a European drilling equipment distributor.
  • Represented a well operator against a drilling contractor for cost overruns, lost equipment, and negligent loss of the well.
  • Represented a gas plant operator in defense of common law trespass and nuisance claims brought by a neighboring mineral interest owner arising out of hydrogen sulfide injection operations.

 

PRESENTATIONS & INSTRUCTION

  • Bob earned his LLM in Energy, Environmental, and Natural Resources Law from the University of Houston Law Center, where he later served as an adjunct professor of law teaching a three-hour graduate level course in Nuclear Energy Law
  • Ethics in Environmental Regulatory Compliance, presented at South Texas College of Law 23rd Annual Symposium: Ethics in Environmental & Energy Law, Houston, Texas, February 24, 2017
  • Interpretation of Mineral and Royalty Deeds, presented at the State Bar of Texas, Oil, Gas & Mineral Title Examination Course, Houston, June 25-26, 2015
  • Latest Developments in Commercial Arbitration: What’s New for In-House Counsel, presented at Association of Corporate Counsel – The Woodlands Chapter, The Woodlands, March 17, 2015
  • Latest Developments in Commercial Arbitration: What’s New for In-House Counsel, presented at Association of Corporate Counsel – Houston Chapter, Houston, March 10, 2015
  • Midstream Oil & Gas Contracts: Effective Negotiation, Drafting, and Dispute Resolution, presented at Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. (EUCI), Denver, January 22 & 23, 2015
  • Midstream Oil & Gas – Recent Legal Developments, presented at Texas Lawyer 2014 Energy Summit, Dallas, September 18, 2014
  • Midstream Oil & Gas Contracts, presented at EUCI, Houston, September 15 & 16, 2014
  • Litigating Easements & Restrictive Covenants, presented at National Business Institute, Houston, July 24, 2014
  • The Arbitration Alternative, presented at Association of Corporate Counsel, Houston, July 8, 2014
  • Midstream Oil and Gas: Recent Developments, presented at Texas Lawyer’s Energy Summit, Houston, May 21, 2014
  • Energy Case Law Update, presented at Burleson LLP’s “Trends and Terms” seminar, Houston, May, 7, 2014
  • Emerging Issues in Energy Litigation, presented at Burleson LLP’s Emerging Issues in Energy Litigation Seminar, Houston, October 29, 2013
  • Natural Gas Liquids Contracts: An In-Depth Introduction, presented at the Electric Utility Consultants, Inc. (EUCI) Short Course, Pittsburgh, August 28, 2012
  • Legal Challenges of NGLs, presented at the EUCI NGL Conference 2012, Denver, July 17, 2012
  • Regulation of Midstream Oil & Gas, presented at the UHY Seminar, Houston, October 20, 2011
  • Regulatory Environment for the Midstream, presented at Platt’s 4th Annual Midstream & Management Program, Houston, May 12, 2011

 

PUBLICATIONS

  • Seismic Map at Center of Trade Secret Theft, Conspiracy, Energy Law 360, October 01, 2013
  • SEC Issues Final Rule on Modernization of Oil and Gas Reporting, Energy Law Advisor, July 2009, and Oil, Gas & Energy Law Intelligence, March 2009
  • The Rule of Capture in Subsurface Trespass Claims, Energy Law 360, September 18, 2008

 

PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS

  • State Bar of Texas
    • Litigation Section
    • Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Section
    • Public Utility Law Section
    • Antitrust and Business Litigation Section
  • Oklahoma Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Energy and Natural Resources Law Section
  • Houston Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section
  • The Woodlands Bar Association
  • Energy Bar Association
  • Gulf Coast Power Association