Bill Kroger

Practice Group Chair - Energy Litigation (Firmwide) Partner

Bill Kroger

Houston

P: +1.713.229.1736 F: +1.713.229.2836

BROAD RANGE OF POWER, OIL AND GAS, AND OTHER ENERGY LITIGATION MATTERS:

Oil and Gas Upstream/Operators and Working Interests

  • Foreclosure litigation over JOAs and other oil and gas assets in Texas and Oklahoma
  • Lease, royalty, title and other lawsuits in Eagle Ford, Permian, Marcellus and other shale plays
  • Flaring litigation in Texas and North Dakota
  • Lawsuits in Alabama, West Virginia, Utah and Texas concerning rights of first refusal arising out of purchase and sale transactions of onshore and offshore oil and gas properties
  • Disputes with surface owners and lessors in shale plays
  • Litigation and regulatory disputes relating to ownership, operation and permitting of disposal wells
  • Disputes over royalty, offset wells, drainage and other lease terms between lessors and operators
  • Disputes regarding top leases and title disputes
  • Defense of numerous lawsuits and claims for personal injury, death, indemnity and insurance coverage arising out of drilling and competing activities
  • Disputes regarding allocation wells in Texas
  • Oilfield supply contract disputes
  • Infrastructure disputes with government agencies over roadway damage
  • Nuisance litigation relating to drilling, completion and gathering activities
  • Forced pooling and bad faith pooling disputes before Texas Railroad Commission and courts
  • Development of policies on guns, alcohol and drugs in drilling locations
  • Suits to quiet title concerning shale play leases
  • Litigation and counseling on working interest rights in shale plays
  • Opposition to frac ban legislation
  • Litigation regarding indemnity for royalty trust expenses

Pipeline and Other Energy Transportation

  • Injunction and other proceedings to enjoin and block development of oil and gas pipelines and other infrastructure
  • Litigation regarding disruption of pipeline services related to hurricanes and application of force majeure
  • Force majeure litigation over a pipeline’s failure to purchase more than $10 million of steel pipe 
  • Counseling and advice regarding development of water pipeline project for Texas shale plays
  • Litigation regarding alleged corrosion to tanker railcars holding Bakken crude
  • Defended litigation concerning Lac-Mégantic railcar exploration in Canada
  • Analysis of congestion issues in Permian Basin

Oil and Gas Downstream

  • Petrochemical company – Arbitration over dispute with partner regarding interpretation of cracker/splitter joint venture agreement
  • Refinery – Property loss, OSHA investigation, and personal injury claims arising out of Pennsylvania refinery fire and explosion that killed five contractors
  • Refineries – Multiple suits regarding alleged purchases of stolen hydrocarbons
  • Refineries – Litigation in Delaware Chancery Court over gas-to-fuels technology
  • Refinery and petrochemical defendants – Defense of thousands of asbestos lawsuits in Texas
  • Refineries – Counseling, negotiations over EPCM and other contracts
  • Petrochemical – Dispute over accuracy of meter on pipeline
  • Refinery – Defense of force majeure claims as a result of fire
  • Refinery – Defense of railcar corrosion claims

Oilfield Service

  • Drilling contractor – Investigation and litigation over fracking accident causing property loss
  • Texas frac sand manufacturer – Defended against trespass claims in district court
  • Michigan frac sand manufacturer – Breach of contract case before AAA
  • Oil rig manufacturer – Wrongful death defense relating to oil field accidents

Off-Shore Oil and Gas

  • Pref right disputes in Gulf of Mexico transactions
  • Dispute over decommissioning off-shore oil wells and platform in Gulf of Mexico
  • Analysis and negotiations over indemnity and insurance provisions concerning billion dollar offshore Gulf of Mexico production platform
  • Negotiations and analysis of vendor contracts for major Gulf of Mexico construction contracts

Electric, Gas and Other Utilities

  • Electric utility – Multiple disputes before Texas PUC over right to build a 160-mile transmission line
  • Electric and gas utilities – Class action franchise fee lawsuits brought by 45 Texas cities
  • Electric utility – Dispute by city over construction of electric transmission line
  • Electric utility – Disputes before Texas PUC over ownership and routing of transmission lines
  • Gas storage – Claims that construction of facility damaged oil and gas reserves of surrounding property owners
  • Radioactive waste disposal – Rate and other regulatory agency disputes before TCEQ and TLLRWDC concerning the disposal of radioactive waste
  • Electric utility – Numerous lawsuits involving personal injuries and property losses arising out of electricity lines
  • Electric utility – Litigation on tariff limitation of liability provisions before Texas Supreme Court
  • Electric utility – Claims to recover billions in stranded costs on generation assets arising from deregulation of electric utility industry
  • Merchant transmission – CCN proceedings before Texas PUC
  • Electric utility – Litigation over royalty override in gas storage field in West Virginia
  • Arbitration over the recovery by an oil and gas producer of more than $40 million in costs relating to a Gulf of Mexico production platform

Renewable Energy

  • Wind generator – Landowner nuisance disputes
  • Wind generator – Claims by environmental group for injunctive relief to shut down construction of wind farm on Texas coast
  • Wind generator – Numerous disputed controversies before Texas PUC, including CREZ transmission lines
  • Wind generator – Analyzed claims and lawsuits in connection with multi-billion bid on wind assets
  • Wind generator – Defense of claims relating to alleged interference of AM radio frequencies by wind farm operator

Energy Trading

  • Crude oil traders – Defended against $300 million in claims arising out of purchases of allegedly stolen national gas condensate
  • Gas trader – Assisted in defense of various claims under NAESB contracts
  • LNG Shipper – Defense of LNG charges in London Court of International Arbitration proceeding
  • Crude oil traders – analysis of various claims and defenses relating to negative pricing of crude oil during April 2020

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Restaurant –Texas counsel on claims associated with roll-out, construction, and operation of state-wide Texas restaurant chain
  • Nationwide retailer – Texas counsel on construction and roll-out of flagship retail store
  • Mall – Litigation counsel for claims pertaining to premier Houston-area shopping mall
  • Office and residential high rise buildings – Defense of numerous nuisance, warranty, construction, and tenant, indemnity wrongful death and personal injury claims
  • Auto manufacturer – Defense of numerous product liability, warranty, and other consumer claims
  • Equipment manufacturer – Defense of product liability, warranty and other consumer claims
  • Lift manufacturer – Defense of product liability claims
  • Numerous commercial enterprises – Issues involving indemnities, disclaimers, warranties and limitations of liability
  • Banks and corporations – Disputes with insureds over rights to corporate-owned life insurance
  • Life insurer – Defense of claim brought by Attorney General in dispute of thousands of allegedly unpaid policy refunds
  • Real estate developer – Litigation regarding City of Houston downtown tunnel dispute
  • Food distributor/manufacturer – Arbitration over costs pertaining to construction of cheesecake factory
  • Representation of real estate developer and REIT regarding shutdown and restart issues relating to COVID-19

Representative Reported Cases

  • Adams v. Murphy Oil, 497 S.W.2d 510 (Tex. App—San Antonio 2016; affirming that operator had no obligation to drill an offset horizontal well
  • GC Development v. Zayas, Civ. Action No. B-15-129 (S.D. Tex. 2017); affirming award of legal fees on breach of contract claim
  • Mayo Foundation Foundation v. Courson Oil & Gas, Inc., – S.W.3d –, No. 07-16-00022-CV, 2016 WL 5874962 (Tex. App., Oct. 7, 2016); affirming motion for summary judgment of construction on continuous drilling and retained acreage clauses in oil and gas lease
  • Cerny v. Marathon Oil Corp. Cerny v. Marathon Oil Corp., 480 S.W.3d 612, 614-25 (Tex. App.–San Antonio 2015, pet. filed); upheld lower court decision dismissing a family's nuisance and negligence claims against two oil companies for alleged health and property damage stemming from hydraulic fracturing operations near their home
  • Pemex Exploracion y Produccion v. BASF Corp., 2014 WL 1877656 (S.D. Tex. 2014); dismissal of claims for conversion involving allegedly stolen hydrocarbons
  • Ladd v. Silver Star I Power Partners, 2013 WL 3377290 (Tex. App.—Eastland 2013, writ denied); dismissal of windfarm nuisance claim
  • GRT, Inc. v. Marathon GTF Tech., Ltd., 2012 WL 2356489 (Del. Chancery Ct. 2012) (first opinion); dismissal of construction claims involving gas-to fuels refinery construction project
  • GRT, Inc. v. Marathon GTF Technology, Ltd., 2011 WL 2682898 (Del. Chancery Ct. 2012); partial dismissal of construction claims involving gas-to-fuels refinery
  • Pemex Exploracion y Produccion v. BASF Corp., 2011 WL 9523407 (S.D. Tex. 2011); partial dismissal of conversion claims involving allegedly stolen hydrocarbons
  • Coastal Habitat Alliance v. Patterson, 601 F. Supp. 2d 868 (W.D. Tex. 2008); dismissal of suit against coastal windfarm under the Coastal Zone Management Act
  • In re City of Wharton, 2005 WL 3214798 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2005); dismissal of gas utility franchise fee suit
  • Houston Lighting & Power Co. v. Auchan USA, Inc., 995 S.W.2d 668 (Tex. 1999); leading Texas case on validity of utility tariff limitation of liability provision
  • Reed vs. Prudential Sec. Inc., 875 F.Supp. 1285 (S.D. Tex. 1995); limitations as to 10b-5 securities claim
  • McIntire v. Rollins, Inc., 888 F.Supp. 68 (S.D. Texas, Corpus Christi Division 1995); dismissal of environmental claim against employee based on fraudulent joinder