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Paul Yale is Board Certified in Oil, Gas & Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He has decades of experience in both the domestic and international oil and gas industry, including 27 years working in various capacities with ExxonMobil Corporation and its predecessors. Before retiring from ExxonMobil in 2007, Paul served as Manager of Land for the company’s U.S. Production Organization responsible for overseeing all land activities in the U.S. lower 48. Upon retiring from ExxonMobil, Paul immediately re-entered private law practice focusing exclusively on oil and gas title, transactional and dispute resolution matters. He is a licensed attorney in eight states and has worked in virtually every major U.S. oil and gas basin, both onshore and offshore.
During the course of Paul’s career he has negotiated and documented countless numbers of upstream oil and gas transactions, including purchase and sale agreements, oil and gas leases, joint operating agreements, exploration agreements, unit agreements, gas sales contracts, master services agreements, drilling contracts, and many more. He regularly prepares oil and gas drilling, division order and acquisition title opinions in Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma and in other states in which he is licensed.
A certified arbitrator and mediator, Paul is experienced in guiding parties to amicable dispute resolutions in cases involving upstream oil and gas contracts and complex title issues. He is frequently called on to provide expert witness testimony in litigation involving many types of complex oil and gas issues.
Paul is a regular author and speaker on a variety of oil and gas legal topics including title opinions, operating agreements, and hydraulic fracturing. He is a co-author of LexisNexis’s Hydraulic Fracturing Law and Practice (2017 edition).
- Represents independent oil and gas producers in acquisition, divestiture, and joint venture negotiations.
- Supports independent oil and gas producers in drilling programs in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and other states through rendering title opinions and giving associated legal advice on operational and regulatory matters.
- Conducts title due diligence for oil and gas lenders including both banks and private equity investors.
- Represents an ivy league university in oil and gas negotiations involving Texas and Oklahoma mineral interests.
- Represents both oil and gas producers and private landowners in oil and gas lease negotiations.
- Served as an expert witness in approximately a dozen oil and gas cases since entering private law practice in 2007.
- Served as a company representative for a major oil company in dozens of take or pay and other oil and gas disputes 1980-2007.
- Mediates and arbitrates cases involving joint operating agreements, purchase and sale agreements, and other types of contracts.
- Served on American Association of Professional Landmen drafting committees including the committee that drafted the 1989 Joint Operating Agreement and a committee currently drafting a model form exploration agreement.
- Served as an international agreements coordinator for a major oil company. Worked on the committee that drafted the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators model form operating agreement.
Publications and Presentations
- A Brief Look at the Law of Hydraulic Fracturing in Texas and Beyond
31st Annual South Texas College of Law Houston Energy Law Institute
August 30, 2018
- Formatting Title Opinions
Dallas Bar Association's Energy Law: Review of Oil & Gas Law XXXIII, August 2, 2018
Texas Bar CLE—Oil, Gas & Minerals Title Examination Course, Panel Presentation, June 15, 2018
- "Show me the Money!": Who is a "Payor" Under the Texas Natural Resources Code
Gray Reed Legal Alert
May 25, 2018
- The Legal and Regulatory Landscape of Hydraulic Fracturing
Houston Bar Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section
March 22, 2018
- To Waive or Not to Waive (Title Opinion Requirements)
Houston Association of Division Order Analysts
February 21, 2018
- The AAPL Operating Agreement and Deadbeat Non-Operators
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s Oil and Gas Agreements Conference
December 5, 2017
- Co-Author, Hydraulic Fracturing Law and Practice
- Yale, Paul (2015) "A Model Form Title Opinion: Time for a Revisit?," Oil and Gas, Natural Resources and Energy Journal: Vol.1: No.5, Article 4. Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.ou.edu/onej/vol1/iss5/4/
- To Waive or Not to Waive? Analyzing Oil & Gas Title Opinion Requirements
State Bar of Texas, 27th Annual Advanced Oil, Gas and Energy Resources Law Course. (Selected as “Best Published Article in an AAPL Publication” for 2009-2010.)
- Holds certifications in Mediation and Commercial Arbitration, A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center, University of Houston Law Center
- Board Certified, Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
Professional Activities, Memberships & Affiliations
- Past Chair, Houston Bar Association, Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Section
- Member, Advisory Council, Harry L. Reed Oil & Gas Institute, South Texas College of Law Houston
- Fellow, Texas and Houston Bar Foundations
- Texas Board of Legal Specialization Advisory Commission for Oil, Gas and Mineral Law
- Fellow, Texas Bar College
- Member, Texas Bar Pro Bono College
- American Association of Professional Landmen (CPL)
- Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
- American Bar Association—Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
Community Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations
- The Beacon (Episcopal Homeless Ministry), Board of Directors
- Beacon Law, Volunteer Attorney
- Houston Volunteer Lawyers
- Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, Kingwood, Texas
- Named a "Super Lawyer" by Texas Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters company) as published in Texas Monthly and Law & Politics magazine (2013-2018)
- AV Preeminent® rated 5.0 in Natural Resources Law, by Martindale-Hubbell (the highest possible peer review rating Martindale-Hubbell offers in a specialty area), and AV Preeminent® 4.9 overall (out of a possible 5.0)
- Named a Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyer in Houston (2017)