Moving Forward: What the Future Holds for
North Dakota's Energy Sector
March 16, 2017
Bavendick Stateroom, National Energy Center of Excellence
Bismarck State College
2017 NDLR Symposium Schedule
|9:00 a.m.||Welcoming Remarks|
|Kathryn R.L. Rand, Dean, UND Law School|
|9:05 a.m.||Associated Impacts of a Recovering Oil Market|
|Alan Bryan, Crowley Fleck, PLLP|
|Blaine Johnson, Crowley Fleck, PLLP|
|10:05 a.m.||Current Status of Claims to Lakebed Mineral Rights|
|Craig Smith, Crowley Fleck, PLLP|
|10:45 a.m.||Title Due Diligence|
|Ken Hedge, Crowley Fleck, PLLP|
|Shane Hanson, Crowley Fleck, PLLP|
|Derick Roller, Petro-Hunt, LLC|
|Matthew Nelson, Empire Oil|
|12:50 p.m.||Developments in Oil & Gas Law Since 2015|
|Wade Mann, Crowley Fleck, PLLP|
|Lawrence Bender, Fredrikson & Byron|
|Bruce Hicks, ND Department of Mineral Resounces|
|1:30 p.m.||Environmental Litigation & Administrative Rules|
|David Straley, North American Coal|
|Maggie Olson, ND Assistant Attorney General|
|2:30 p.m.||Wind Siting|
|Casey Furey, Crowley Fleck, PLLP|
|3:10 p.m.||Water Law Issues|
|Jennifer Verleger, ND Assistant Attorney General|
|3:45 p.m.||Future of the Energy Industry|
|Jason Bohrer, Lignite Energy Council|
|Jonathan Sickler, General Counsel AE2S|
|Randy Christmann, ND Public Service Commission|
|Ron Ness, North Dakota Petroleum Council|
|4:55 p.m.||Closing Remarks|
|Emily Donaher, 2016-17 NDLR Editor-in-Chief|
|5:00 p.m.||Reception Sponsored by Crowley Fleck, PLLP|
Schedule is subject to change.
The NDLR Energy Law Symposium has been approved for 6.25 CLE credits in both North Dakota & Minnesota.
Includes CLE credits and lunch. Registration fee can be paid by cash or check at the time of the symposium.
If you wish to attend without receiving CLE credit, there is no charge, however registration is still encouraged.
Crowley Fleck, PLLP
Alan C. Bryan is a Partner in the Commercial Department. He has been with the firm since 1997 and is a past chairman of the Commercial Department. Alan’s practice emphasizes transactional and financing projects, including matters involving Native American issues. Alan has represented clients in the leasing, acquisition, development, and divestiture of a diverse range of commercial properties, including real estate development and construction, oil and gas properties, coal and hardrock mines, energy gathering and transportation systems, and wind energy. Alan’s financing practice includes multi-state and international financing of commercial properties, oil and gas properties, and mining and wind energy projects. Alan’s practice also includes matters involving Tribal and Native American issues, such as leasing and development of commercial projects located on Indian reservations, acquisition of rights-of-way for oil and gas development and transportation, negotiating mineral development agreements with Tribes and individual Allottees, wind energy projects, financing, and litigation involving Native American issues. Alan is licensed to practice in Montana, North Dakota, and Wyoming, and is admitted to practice on numerous Indian reservations.
Crowley Fleck, PLLP
Craig Smith is a Partner in the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Department. He joined the firm in 2009 after practicing with Fleck, Mather & Strutz, Ltd. in Bismarck, North Dakota, since 1988. He has extensive experience in all areas of oil and gas law, including the preparation of drilling title opinions, division order title opinions, and acquisition title opinions in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming as well as representing clients in various oil and gas administrative, regulatory and government affairs matters.
Mr. Smith is very active in the industry’s regulatory and government affairs relating to federal, state, and legislative issues, as well as county and local matters. He served as Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the North Dakota Petroleum Council from 2008 through 2012 and currently serves on the Council’s Board and Executive Committee. He has also participated as a speaker at national, state and local energy seminars including the 2001 , 2010 and 2013 AAPL Annual Meetings, the 2012 National Association of Division Order Analysts Annual Meeting, and Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Special Institutes. He has participated as a contributing author from 2001 to present for the American Association of Petroleum Landmen Nationwide Comparison of Laws on Leasing, Exploration, and Production representing the states of North Dakota and Montana. He has also authored and presented at national seminars regarding the recent Missouri River ordinary high water mark oil and gas title litigation and other water issues involving the Bakken play. See Riparian Rights: Ownership of Minerals Under Rivers and Lakes, Craig C. Smith and Brian R. Bjella, 51 RMMFJ 55 (2014); Rivers Run Wild, American Association of Petroleum Landmen Annual Meeting (Washington, D.C. 2013); and Water Schemes Across The Shale Plays – The Bakken Experience, RMMLF Special Institute on Development Issues in Major Shale Plays, (Pittsburgh, PA 2014).
Crowley Fleck, PLLP
Shane A. Hanson is a Partner in the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Department. He joined the firm in 2009 after practicing with Fleck, Mather & Strutz, Ltd., in Bismarck, North Dakota, since 1996. He has extensive experience in the preparation of drilling title opinions, division order title opinions, and acquisition title opinions in North Dakota and South Dakota. Mr. Hanson also has experience in various areas of litigation including oil and gas royalty cases, insurance defense and general real property, and oil and gas matters.
Mr. Hanson is a 1992 Magna Cum Laude graduate of Jamestown College, Jamestown, North Dakota, and in 1996, he obtained his law degree with distinction from the University of North Dakota School of Law, Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Mr. Hanson is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen, Landman’s Association of North Dakota, the Real Property and Probate Section of the North Dakota State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association (Natural Resources Section).
Fredrikson & Byron
Lawrence is a nationally recognized expert in oil & gas law, public utility law, & other regulatory matters.
Lawrence represents oil and gas exploration companies, drilling companies, oil field service companies, pipeline companies, and other businesses in state and federal litigation and contested proceedings before various state and federal agencies. He represents and advises a wide variety of natural resources and energy related companies regarding contractual matters and compliance with state and federal regulations. Lawrence’s extensive experience in real estate law allows him to offer professional assistance with the sale and purchase of oil and gas properties, as well as title examination and complex financing transactions.
Prior to joining the firm, Lawrence served as an Assistant Attorney General of the State of North Dakota and as Counsel for the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Oil & Gas Division, and the North Dakota Board of University & School Lands, giving him first-hand knowledge of the regulation of oil and gas companies in the state.
North American Coal
David Straley is the Director of Government and Public Affairs for The North American Coal Corporation where he dedicates most of his time developing and implementing long term policy. He is an advocate for sustainable, reliable and affordable energy production—particularly fossil fuels. Straley is a commissioner on the Empower Commission of North Dakota and has helped develop state policy recommendation for almost a decade. He also serves as a director of the EERC Foundation Board and is a member of the State Bar Association of North Dakota.
Straley’s educational background includes a B.S. from NDSU in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, an M.B.A. from Drake University, and a J.D. from UND School of Law. While not engaged in policy discussions, Straley enjoys coaching little league sports, reading, and spending time playing games and activities with his wife and three kids.
Crowley Fleck, PLLP
Casey A. Furey is an Associate in the Natural Resource and Environmental Litigation Department in the firm’s Bismarck, North Dakota office. Casey graduated from the University of North Dakota School of Law in December 2013, and earned a B.A. in Political Science from Colorado State University in 2010. During law school, Casey was a founding member and president of the Energy Law Association.
Lignite Energy Council
Jason Bohrer’s background as an attorney, a communications director for the Idaho Republican Party and, most recently, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) provide a diverse skillset in his role as president and chief executive officer of the Lignite Energy Council. He is a graduate of North Dakota State University and earned his law degree from George Mason University. For the past nine years he has lived in Washington, D.C. Besides his work with Rep. Labrador, he also is a former legislative counsel for U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho).
ND Petroleum Council
Ron Ness is President of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. He has held that position since 1999, his primary function is governmental relations in North Dakota. He serves as the industry spokesperson and manages the association which represents more than 550 companies involved in all aspects of North Dakota’s oil and gas industry.
Ness was previously President of the North Dakota Retail and Petroleum Marketers Association. Prior to that he spent ten years with the state of North Dakota, most of which as the Deputy Commissioner of Labor.
Jonathan Sickler is the Chief Legal Officer for AE2S and its affiliated group of companies, which provide water-focused engineering, financial, communications, construction, and operations services to public and industrial clients across the Midwestern and Western US. Prior to his time at AE2S, Sickler was an antitrust mergers and acquisitions lawyer in Washington, DC for ten years at the firms Weil, Gotshal and Manges, LLP and Clifford Chance US LLP, where he represented clients from various industries, including oil and gas, before the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. Sickler earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Dakota and his law degree from Harvard Law School.
Crowley Fleck, PLLP
Blaine is a Partner in the Bismarck Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Department. His practice focuses on title examination, including the preparation of both drilling and division order title opinions. He also practices extensively in the areas of business formation, estate planning, probate, and trust administration. Blaine received his Juris Doctorate in 2003 from the University of Minnesota School of Law and graduated from the University of North Dakota, summa cum laude in 2000. Prior to joining Crowley Fleck PLLP in 2011, Blaine practiced for eight years with a mid-sized firm in Southern Minnesota. In 2010, he was named a Rising Star by Minnesota Law and Politics for his work in real estate.
Crowley Fleck, PLLP
Ken Hedge is a Partner in the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Department in the firm’s Bismarck, North Dakota office. He co-chairs the firm’s Oil and Gas Practice Group and also serves as the contact partner for the Bismarck office.
For more than 17 years, Ken has been representing and advising public and private companies and their owners in a variety of sectors. He has been actively involved in many aspects of the Bakken formation development in Montana and North Dakota since its inception in 2002. Ken has centered his practice at the intersection of land and business, principally offering expertise in title examination for oil and gas exploration and development, due diligence title review, surface mineral (sand, gravel and scoria) ownership and development, and general real property advice for North Dakota’s businesses and farmers and ranchers. He also enjoys guiding clients through the process of business and asset acquisitions and divestitures for a range of clientele from large, national companies to main street entrepreneurs, and assists business owners in all stages of business development, from initial entity formation and day-to-day operation through wealth and succession planning for owners. Most recently, Ken has spent a substantial part of his practice representing private equity companies in the acquisition of non-operated oil and gas leasehold interests, mineral interests and other assets in the Bakken formation.
Ken is a Fellow in the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and serves on the North Dakota Title Standards committee. He is also the North Dakota Reporter for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation Newsletter, providing case summaries of newly-issued opinions affecting oil, gas and mineral law, and related real estate law, for the State of North Dakota. Ken enjoys teaching at public and private seminars, both to sophisticated oil and gas audiences and practitioners looking to expand their knowledge of oil and gas and real estate law. He looks forward to, and finds special satisfaction in, advising and counseling non-profit entities in their formation and day-to-day operation.
Mr. Roller is an in-house Attorney and Landman with Petro- Hunt, L.L.C., an exploration and production company, in its Bismarck, North Dakota Land office. In 2008, he graduated with distinction from the University of North Dakota School of Law. Soon thereafter, he began his career as a contract Landman with Petro-Hunt; running around western North Dakota buying leases and running title. In 2010, he was hired on with the company in his current capacity; whereby he engages in many aspects of the legal and land side of the oil and gas business.
Crowley Fleck, PLLP
Wade Mann is a Partner in the firm’s Bismarck office. He is part of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources group and focuses his practice primarily on energy and natural resources related litigation and regulatory work. He represents clients before the North Dakota Industrial Commission and North Dakota Public Service Commission as well as in state and federal courts. Wade is back with the firm after recently completing a gubernatorial appointment as the Director of the North Dakota Office of Administrative Hearings where he served as an administrative law judge in addition to heading the agency.
ND Dept. of Mineral Resources
Bruce Hicks has an Engineering degree from the University of North Dakota. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of North Dakota and has been employed with the North Dakota Industrial Commission for 37 years. He’s held several positions, including Water Injection Supervisor and Manager of Horizontal Drilling, and is presently the Assistant Director of the Oil and Gas Division.
ND Assist. Attorney General
Maggie is a Minot native and UND graduate. She received her law degree from the University of Denver. She is an assistant attorney general in the North Dakota Attorney General’s Civil Litigation, Natural Resources and Indian Affairs Division, and works primarily with the Health Department’s Environmental Health Section.
ND Assist. Attorney General
Jennifer Verleger has been a North Dakota assistant attorney general providing general counsel and litigation services to the State Engineer and State Water Commission since 2009. During that time Ms. Verleger has represented the state on water issues in the U.S. Supreme Court, North Dakota Supreme Court, state and federal district courts, and Office of Administrative Hearings in areas including interstate rivers, federalism, water rights, water appropriation, drainage, and sovereign lands. She is a licensed attorney in North Dakota, Michigan, and Florida (inactive). Prior to becoming an attorney, she spent ten years as a practicing civil engineer and is a licensed professional engineer in North Dakota and Michigan. Ms. Verleger chairs the legal committee of the Western States Water Council, an organization of governor-appointed representatives from the western 18 states. She earned her B.S. degree from Cornell University in civil and environmental engineering; an M.S. degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in civil and environmental engineering; an M.B.A. degree from the University of Michigan; and a J.D. degree from Michigan State University.
ND Public Service Commission
Randy Christmann was elected to the North Dakota Public Service Commission in November of 2012. He brings to the Commission a background in agriculture, telecommunications, and 18 years in the North Dakota Senate representing energy country. Most of all, he brings what the Minot Daily News called a “let’s work together attitude.”
Outside of government service, Randy operated a 107-year-old third generation cattle ranch west of Hazen, North Dakota. His wife, Bethanie, is a mortgage underwriter with American Bank Center. Before graduating from Hazen High School in 1978, Randy enlisted in the North Dakota Army National Guard. He also enrolled at North Dakota State University and graduated from there in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Randy was elected to the North Dakota Senate in 1994 when he upset a long-time incumbent Democrat committee chairman, helping Republicans achieve majority status in the North Dakota Senate. He initially focused mostly on energy, taxation, and natural resources issues.
Governor Ed Schafer appointed Randy to serve as one of the two legislative appointees on the Lignite Research Council. He continued to serve in that position under Governor John Hoeven and Governor Jack Dalrymple.
Following the statewide general election in 2000, Senate Republicans chose Randy to serve as their Assistant Majority Leader. He was re-elected to that post every two years through 2012. He also served on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
In 1999 the members of West River Telecommunications Cooperative elected Randy to serve on its board of directors. From then through 2012 WRT nearly doubled in size, growing into a $100 million company with more than 70 employees. They provide telephone and broadband service to part or all of 17 counties in North and South Dakota. West River is also a leader in the development of cellular service in North Dakota. During part of this time Randy also served as the president of the North Dakota Association of Telecommunications Cooperatives
A limited number of hotel rooms are available for the night of Wednesday, March 15 at the following hotels. Please reference the Energy Law Symposium Call-In Block when making your reservations.
Hampton Inn & Suites
2020 Schafer Street
3903 State Street
ND Law Review
Board of Editors, 2016-17
Editor in Chief
Outside Articles Editor
Student Articles Editor
2016-2017 NDLR Full Membership