Co-author Ethan Wood

Let’s begin with a quiz. True or false:

  • Apache Resources, LLC (n/k/a “Pueblo Resources, LLC.” Wonder why?) is Apache Corporation.
  • Plains Natural Resources, LLC is Plains Exploration & Production Company.
  • Ridge Natural Resources, LLC is Oak Ridge Natural Resources, LLC.
  • Range Royalty, LLC is Range Resources Corporation.

If you answered “false” to all four, congratulations. In each category the latter companies are reputable independent oil and gas producers. The former are … well, let’s just call them “mineral buyers” (seemingly coordinated in their efforts in some murky way), one of which was the winner – for now – in Ridge Resources, LLC et al v. Double Eagle Royalty, LP
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You are negotiating a master service agreement, exploration agreement, farmout, or other oil-field contract, and the other side proposes that all disputes be resolved by arbitration. Should you agree? 

The answer? It depends. I try lawsuits, advocate in arbitrations, and preside as an arbitrator, so I’m often asked this question. The answer isn’t the same