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Introduction: Setting the Framework

John T. Nesser, Shell Oil Co.

J.T. Nesser is an attorney at Shell Oil Company. He is a licensed attorney in both Texas and Louisiana, has been practicing in the fields of energy and maritime law for almost 20 years, and recently obtained his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business. Mr. Nesser obtained his Juris Doctorate from Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Mr. Nesser is currently the Managing Counsel, Deep Water – U.S Gulf of Mexico, for the Shell Oil Company.

Presentation 1: Transactional Issues Relating to Decommissioning Obligations


  • Jana Grauberger, Liskow & Lewis
    Jana Grauberger is managing partner of the Liskow & Lewis Houston Office and serves as a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. Jana is also the leader of the Houston oil and gas section, clients turn to her as a trusted advisor in connection with their contract negotiations, regulatory advice and appeals, litigation, and arbitration related to onshore and federal offshore upstream and midstream projects and facilities. Jana has represented clients in negotiating a wide variety of onshore and offshore contracts, including purchase and sale agreements, farmouts, participation agreements, joint operating agreements, production handling agreements, platform use agreements, gathering agreements, connection agreements, construction contracts, transportation contracts, and decommissioning agreements. She also represents clients in connection with regulatory matters involving Department of Interior agencies the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR).  Jana is a trustee for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation (RMMLF) and she co-chaired a RMMLF Federal Offshore Regulatory Enforcement seminar in Houston in January 2016. Jana obtained her Juris Doctor degree from Tulane University Law School where she graduated magna cum laude.
  • Carson Haddow, Liskow & Lewis
    Carson Haddow is an attorney with Liskow & Lewis in the New Orleans Office. Carson obtained his Juris Doctor degree from the LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center where he graduated magna cum laude. Carson practices in the firm’s energy regulatory and transactional groups.  He represents clients in a variety of energy-related commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and secured lending.  He also represents clients in administrative and environmental litigation. Carson is member of the American Association of Professional Landmen, Federal Bar Association, Professional Landmen’s Association of New Orleans, and Young Professionals in Energy – New Orleans.
  • Alida Hainkel, Jones Walker LLP
    Alida Hainkel is an attorney with Jones Walker in the New Orleans Office. Alida’s is a partner in the Litigation Practice Group. The focus of her practice is on energy litigation. Alida has extensive experience handling offshore and onshore energy-related disputes in federal and state courts, as well as in arbitration. Her oil and gas litigation practice covers defense of claims against the oil and gas industry asserting liability for coastal erosion, legacy suit property restoration claims, disputes related to Outer Continental Shelf decommissioning liability, preferential right to purchase claims, oil and gas product liability claims, breach of gas balancing agreement claims, improper royalty payment claims, breach of joint operating agreement claims, breach of gas purchase contract claims, and breach of lease claims for failure to explore and develop. She also has experience handling claims arising out of oil and gas asset purchases, protection of geological and geophysical trade secrets, and claims against federal governmental agencies under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, including breach of contract claims in the Court of Federal Claims under the Tucker Act and claims under the Administrative Procedure Act that challenged the imposition of the deepwater drilling moratorium. Immediately following her graduation from law school, Alida practiced for three years in the litigation section of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York. From 2008 to 2013, she taught the Oil and Gas Law course at Tulane University Law School as an adjunct faculty member. Alida leads the firm’s energy and natural resources team.

Presentation 2: What the Regulations Require and How Decommissioning Differs Between the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico.

Keith Couvillion, Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

Keith Couvillion is currently The North American Land Advisor at the Chevron U.S.A. Inc. Keith originally joined Texaco after graduating from college and has worked either onshore or offshore for 34 years in many capacities supporting Texaco’s, and now Chevron’s, exploration and production operations onshore and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico region. Keith is active in many industry trade and professional associations supporting Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) activities throughout the United States. Keith a frequent presenter in industry and academic forums both domestically and internationally addressing various offshore issues. He also has published numerous articles on topics of interest to the offshore industry. Keith graduated from Lamar University in 1978 and 1979 where he obtained both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Business.

Presentation 3: Bonding and Financial Assurance under U.S. Law

Anthony C. Marino, Slattery Marino & Roberts

Anthony C. Marino is a shareholder at the law firm of Slattery, Marino & Roberts located in New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. Marino has represented numerous energy producing companies before the State of Louisiana, Office of Mineral Resources, State Mineral and Energy Board, Office of Conservation and the (i) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management; and (ii) Bureau of Safety Environmental Enforcement in the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Alaska OCS Regions, Department of the Interior, Interior Board of Land Appeals, and other regulatory agencies concerning a variety of matters such as plugging and abandonment liability, bonding, and incidents of non-compliance. Mr. Marino received his J.D. degree from Loyola University School of Law and attended the University of New Orleans, where he received his B.A. degree. Mr. Marino is an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University School of Law where he teaches Mineral Law. Mr. Marino is the recipient of the AAPL APEX Educational Award in both 2000 and 2005, and the Corporate Leadership Award from the then Minerals Management Service, Pacific OCS Region in 2004.

Presentation 4: Regulatory Issues on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf

Uisdean Hugh Vass, Ledingham Chalmers LLP

Uisdean has nearly thirty five years involvement in upstream oil and gas, both UK and International. An LLb (Hons) graduate of Edinburgh University, his interest in the oil and gas business developed studying for an LLM in Oil & Gas in Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Qualifying at the Louisiana Bar, Uisdean spent five years doing mostly US oil and gas litigation.  The next ten years were spent in Argentina, Venezuela and Brazil,  during which Uisdean focused on oil and gas transactional work.  Since returning to the UK in 2003, he has pursued both UKCS (and UK onshore) and international opportunities. Much of his international work has occurred in the African continent.  He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

In the North Sea, Uisdean advises on deals such as farm-in/outs, Asset SPAs and corporate acquisitions. He also advises on the related JOA, UOA and commercial contracts such as transportation and processing agreements (TPA) and gas sales. On the regulatory side he is an expert on the new maximising economic recovery(MER) regulatory regime, introduced as a consequence of the Wood Review, the MER Strategy and the Energy Act 2016.  With  strong experience in the evolving UK onshore regime, Uisdean is a noted specialist on third party access to offshore infrastructure and the decommissioning regulatory system.

In the international realm, Uisdean advises on granting instruments, deals and commercial agreements such as JOAs. He has also frequently been involved in advising financiers and nomads on the oil and gas aspects of capital and loan financing for petroleum projects. Uisdean has also advised governments and national oil companies, including, for instance, the Province of Nova Scotia on a third party access to infrastructure regime.

Uisdean has extensive knowledge of all kinds of oil service and oil construction contracting, having worked with many oil companies and supply chain companies.

Uisdean is a member of the AIPN and serves as the AIPN Co-ordinator for Scotland. He has also been recently appointed as one of three Co-chairs of the AIPN drafting Committee for the new Asset SPA Model Form. Uisdean has co-authored one chapter (on MER) and contributed another chapter (on third party access) to the 3rd edition of Oil and Gas Law: Current practices and Emerging Trends by Gordon, Paterson and Usenmez. A frequent writer and broadcaster on oil and gas issues and trends, Uisdean continues to act as an outside advisor to Louisiana State University Law School.

Presentation 5: Offshore Issues in Brazil

 Dr. Eduardo G. Pereira, International Energy Law Advisory Group

Dr. Eduardo G Pereira is a professor of Energy Law and partner at the International Energy Law Advisory Group. He has been active in the natural resources and energy industry for more than 10 years and is an international expert on oil and gas contracts and regulations. His experience in this area – both academic and practical – is extensive. He has practical experience in over 40 jurisdictions covering America, Europe, Africa and Asia. He is a partner at IELAG. He concluded his doctoral thesis on oil and gas joint ventures at the University of Aberdeen. Dr. Pereira is the author and editor of several leading oil and gas textbooks.

Presentation 6 and Panel: Transactional Issues on the United Kingdom Continental Shelf and How They Compare to U.S. Transactional Issues

Dr. Greg Gordon

Greg Gordon joined the School of Law as a lecturer in 2004 after a period working in Aberdeen and London as a solicitor specializing in litigation, primarily in the oil and gas sector.  He became a senior lecturer in 2011.  He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dr. Gordon is the Head of School and Coordinator of Aberdeen University’s involvement in the North Sea Energy Law Programme.  He previously served as Deputy Head and as the Co-Director for Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law. Dr. Gordon’s principal teaching and research interests are in energy law (particularly upstream oil and gas law), delict/tort and commercial contracting.

Dr. Gordon is the General Editor of the Stair Memorial Encyclopedia and a Trustee of the TB Smith Memorial Trust.  He is also a local committee member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators and in this connection will be pleased to hear from students interested in becoming student members.

Panel: discussing similarities or differences between transactional issues in U.S. and U.K.


  • Greg Gordon
  • Alida Hainkel
  • Carson Haddow

Presentation 7: Rigs-to-Reefs: Environmental Concerns


  • Claire Gonzalez, Blue Latitudes LLC
    Claire Gonzales is a Marine Scientist at Blue Latitudes LLC, a women-owned marine environmental consulting firm in California. Her work is currently centered on the relationship between humans and the marine environment, through the lens of the Rigs to Reefs program. Prior to her work at Blue Latitudes, Ms. Gonzales was a Research Fellow for the National Science Foundation, where she worked at the California Academy of Sciences to morphologically and molecularly speciate nudibranchs. Ms. Gonzales has extensive experience in data management, toxicological analysis and marine and terrestrial fieldwork, both in the United States, and abroad.  Her experience in the field has included monitoring and genetically tagging sea turtle populations and working with the Center for Marine Resource Studies to investigate the health of coral reef systems and survey the abundance of local shark populations. Ms. Gonzales is a PADI divemaster and received her B.S. in Biology from Duke University.
  • Amber Jackson, Blue Latitudes LLC
    Amber Jackson is co-founder of Blue Latitudes, a certified women-owned marine environmental consulting firm. Ms. Jackson was recognized on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in the energy sector for her efforts with Blue Latitudes to develop sustainable, creative, and cost-effective solutions for the environmental issues that surround the offshore energy industry. Her expertise is unique, specializing in the development of offshore technologies, ecological assessments of offshore resources using ROVs, and habitat restoration through the Rigs-to-Reefs program. Ms. Jackson has six years of international and domestic experience working in the offshore oil and gas industry. Previous clients and collaborators include U.S. State Department, Google, Shell, Chevron, Universities, etc. Her work is primarily centered around the ecological, economic, and social issues surrounding the implementation of a Rigs-to-Reefs decommissioning option in the Gulf of Mexico, California and internationally. Ms. Jackson has a Bachelors’ degree in Marine Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters’ degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.
  • John T. Nesser, Shell Oil Co.