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Our People

Paul Yale

Sherry Colburn
D: 713.730.5104
  • J.D., Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, 1977
  • B.A., cum laude, Vanderbilt University, 1974
Bar Admissions
  • Texas, 1977
  • Colorado, 1983
  • North Dakota, 2009
  • Oklahoma, 2013
  • Utah, 2014
  • Ohio, 2014
  • North Carolina, 2015
  • New Mexico, 2017

Board Certified in Oil, Gas & Mineral Law, Paul Yale is a partner and the energy practice area head for Gray Reed & McGraw. Paul has decades of legal experience working in both the domestic and international oil and gas industry, 27 years of which was spent with ExxonMobil Corporation and its predecessor companies. His practice focuses on both domestic and international upstream oil and gas transactional, title, and dispute resolution matters. He is licensed in multiple US jurisdictions and has extensive experience in practically all major US oil and gas basins, offshore as well as onshore. Paul has received certifications in both Mediation and Commercial Arbitration (Domestic and International) from the A.A. White Dispute Resolution Center at the University of Houston Law Center.

Representative Experience

  • Has written hundreds of drilling, division order, and acquisition title opinions in oil and gas plays throughout the United States.
  • Has negotiated and drafted hundreds of oil and gas leases, farmouts, joint operating agreements, master service contracts and other oil and gas industry agreements.
  • Has represented independent producers and major oil companies in oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures throughout the United States.
  • Regularly provides advice to both major oil companies and independent oil and gas companies on oil and gas lease, title, pooling, unitization, joint venture, operating agreement, and many other upstream oil and gas matters.
  • Company representative and/or expert witness in dozens of take or pay, joint operating agreement, lease interpretation and other oil and gas related disputes.
  • Mediates and otherwise attempts to resolve oil and gas and other commercial disputes.
  • Served on both American Association of Professional Landmen and Association of International Petroleum Negotiators drafting committees for domestic and international oil and gas joint operating agreements.
  • Served as an international agreements coordinator for a major oil company charged with keeping senior management and others appraised of terms and conditions of the company’s worldwide oil and gas concessions and maintaining briefing books highlighting fiscal, tax and contractual terms relating to same.
  • Managed the land organization for the United States subsidiary of a major oil company.
  • Former natural gas commercial negotiator for major oil company with responsibility for negotiating gas sales, processing and transportation agreements and resolving take or pay and other natural gas disputes.

Publications and Presentations

  • "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
    2017 Edition
  • "Title Opinion Formatting and Style"
    Corpus Christi Landmen Association
    April 10, 2017
  • Mr. Green Leisure Suit Revisited: The AAPL Operating Agreement and Nonpaying Participants,” Joint Operations and the New AAPL Form 610-2015 Model Form Operating Agreement, Paper 13 (Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn./AIPN/COPAS 2016)
  • Panel Discussion and Co-Presenter, “Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing”
    Houston College of Law 29th Annual Energy Law Institute for Attorneys and Landmen
    August 31-September 1, 2016
  • Title Opinion Formatting, State Bar of Texas 3rd Annual Oil, Gas and Mineral Title Examination Course , June 9-20, 2016 (Panel presentation with accompanying article)
  • 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/
  • Oil and Gas Title Opinions: Structure, Format and Style
    South Texas College of Law 28th Annual Energy Law Institute
    September 2, 2015
  • Panel Moderator and Co-Presenter, “Mediating Oil and Gas Disputes in Texas,”
    State Bar of Texas Oil and Gas Disputes Course - Houston, Texas
    January 8, 2015
  • More Energy, More Deals, More Disputes
    JAMS Newsletter
    December 22, 2014
  • The AAPL Operating Agreement and the Deadbeat Nonoperator,
    Vol. 51, No. 2, Rocky Mt. Min. Law Fdn. J., 327 (2014)
  • AAPL Form 610-Horizontal Modifications
    Houston Association of Professional Landmen, Annual Saturday Workshop
    May 3, 2014
  • Bakken Booyah: Some Selective Differences in North Dakota and Texas Oil and Gas Law
    South Texas College of Law 25th Annual Energy Law Institute
    August 29, 2012
  • 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.)
  • Ethics: Best Practices for Lawyers Working with Landman
    Proceedings of the 59th Annual Institute of Mineral Law, Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University (2012)


  • 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
  • Fellow, Texas and Houston Bar Foundations
  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization Advisory Commission for Oil, Gas and Mineral Law
  • Fellow, Texas Bar College
  • American Bar Association—Section on Environment, Energy and Resources
  • Association of International Petroleum Negotiators
  • American Association of Professional Landmen (CPL)
  • Member of both the Rocky Mountain and Energy & Mineral Law Foundations

Community Involvement, Memberships & Affiliations

  • The Beacon (Episcopal Homeless Ministry), Board of Directors
  • Beacon Law, Volunteer Attorney
  • Houston Volunteer Lawyers
  • Dispute Resolution Center of Houston, Volunteer Mediator
  • 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, 2013-2017.
  • Named a Houstonia Magazine Top Lawyer in Houston (2017)
  • Paul's article "To Waive or Not to Waive; Analyzing Oil and Gas Title Opinion Requirements” was selected as the “Best Published Article in an AAPL Publication for 2009-2010.
  • 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).