One of the world’s leading energy companies, Shell Oil, opened its doors on November 14, 2014, to 15 LSU Law students interested in careers in the energy sector. LSU Law alumnus J. Patrick Morris, Jr. (‘97), Senior Counsel, Upstream Americas Exploration, organized the tour of Shell’s state-of-the art training facility located in Robert, LA. Joining Morris in organizing the tour was fellow alumnus, J.T. Nesser, IV (’99), Shell’s Senior Legal Counsel, Upstream Americas – Deep Water.
Students observed Shell’s safety and subsea operations, offshore oil drilling simulator, emergency helicopter evacuation procedures, and instrumentation and production operations training.
“The tour of the training facility was incredibly informative and interesting,” said Hunter Odom (’17). “We saw training for inverted helicopter crashes at sea, interactive drill training, and much more. I learned a ton about Shell Legal and the oil industry in general. It was something new and different that I would recommend to anyone.”
Morris and Nesser provided an in-depth look at Shell’s extensive legal department of some 700+ professionals located world-wide. The presenters discussed areas of legal responsibilities within the company and tied those areas back to important courses that LSU Law offers students.
“It was great to get out of the classroom and see the practical applications of energy law,” said Daniel Alcanzare (’16). “Learning about theory from casebooks and code articles is necessary, but I also believe that a grasp of the real world consequences of law is necessary for future lawyers working in any field.”
Also joining the tour was Professor Keith Hall, Director of the Mineral Law Institute and the Campanile Charities Assistant Professor of Energy Law.
“Our students enjoy field trips because it is fun to get out of the classroom and actually see the type of facilities that that are involved in the court cases and business transactions that they study,” said Professor Hall. “But even more important is the fact that the best energy industry lawyers are lawyers who understand both the law and their clients’ business. We teach the energy law classes that our students need to become the best educated lawyers in the country with respect to energy law. We use the fields trips, as well as guest speakers, to give our students an understanding of the industry. So field trips are an integral part of the program, and we are grateful that energy companies will open their facilities for our visits.”
According to Shell’s website, for over two decades, the Robert Training & Conference Center has taught basic and advanced skills to those on the front lines of oil and gas operations. Today, the Center remains the first choice for more than 300 companies worldwide in the upstream, downstream and related industries. The Center prepares workers for the ever-increasing challenges of working in oil and gas operations.
Shell Oil is exploring additional tours and more advanced course offerings for LSU Law students interested in careers in the oil and gas industry.