Christopher M. West
Christopher West advises clients on matters related to energy and natural resources law. He represents clients in oil and gas related matters including title examination, drafting and negotiating leases, surface use agreements, easements, and other instruments affecting real property interests, and handling other land management issues. Christopher is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law. He advises mineral and royalty owners and oil and gas exploration companies, as well as mineral buyers.
PROFESSIONAL AND COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
- Young Professionals in Energy, Board Member
- American Association of Professional Landmen, Member
- San Antonio Association of Professional Landmen, Member
- San Antonio Bar Association, Member
- San Antonio Bar Association Natural Resources Section, Member
- Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
- St. Mary’s University School of Science, Engineering and Technology Dean’s Advisory Council, Member
- St. Mary’s University, Rattler Tennis Advisory Committee, Member
- St. Mary’s Law Journal, Editor in Chief, 2009-2010
- John M. Harlan Society, 2010
- Phi Delta Phi, 2008
- Selected for inclusion as a “Top Attorney,” San Antonio Magazine, 2019-2023
- Selected for inclusion as a “Texas Rising Star,” Super Lawyers, 2018-2022
- Scene in SA, “San Antonio’s Best Lawyers,” 2014, 2016, 2019, 2021, 2023
- Elected Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation
- 11.12.2020: Oil and Gas Lease Negotiations: A Lessor’s Perspective, San Antonio Bar Association (SABA), Natural Resources Section, Christopher West, speaker
- 01.18:2020: Easement and Surface Use Agreement Negotiations – Keeping Up with the Times, San Antonio Association of Professional Landmen (SAAPL). 31st Annual Mid-Winter Seminar, Christopher West, speaker
- Fifth Circuit Update, Oil and Gas Law, 48 Tex. Tech. L. Rev. 695 (2016)
OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION TITLE AND DUE DILIGENCE
Representing oil and gas exploration companies, Christopher advises on all facets of operational activities and issues, including:
- Represents diverse client base, including publicly traded companies, independent E&P companies and private equity and private equity-backed groups in connection with their operations throughout the State of Texas with specific emphasis on the West Texas and Permian Basin regions and plays.
- Advises on acquisitions of both producing and non-producing assets, including negotiation of letters of intent and purchase and sale documentation, conducting due diligence work and review and drafting of title documentation, and resolving title disputes.
- Prepares original title opinions, supplemental title opinions and division order title opinions.
- Prepares limited title reports focusing on specific assets or interests to be acquired, including working interests, overriding royalty interests, mineral interests and non-participating royalty interests, and identifying potential defects.
- Counsels clients in connection with title risks and curative documentation or action necessary to mitigate such risks.
- Prepares title instruments affecting ownership, including drafting and negotiating conveyancing instruments, partitions, stipulations of interest agreements as well as drafting affidavits of heirship.
- Represents exploration and production companies in all facets of exploration and development of prospects, including preparation of pooling and unit designations, dissolution and reformation of units and production sharing and allocation agreements.
- Advises clients in connection with lease compliance and administration issues, including compliance with pooling provisions, royalty payment obligations and drafting and negotiating curative documentation.
- Counsels clients on mineral and royalty ownership disputes and transfers.
- Conducts due diligence in connection with acquisition of oil and gas leases, including asserting and resolving title defect issues and coordinating with and managing brokers and landmen in field.
- Negotiates leases, surface use agreements, pipeline easements, electric easements, road easements, and related agreements on behalf of operators, mineral and landowners.
- Reviews title instruments affecting mineral and royalty ownership, and coordinates with oil and gas payors to distribute production proceeds in accordance with such instruments.