Educational Session: Offshore Drilling Contract

Bill Pugh handles complex maritime and energy-related matters for oil and gas producers and other Texas, Louisiana and Gulf region businesses, including contract disputes, insurance disputes and energy transactions.  He has earned a reputation for responsiveness, an ability to translate complicated concepts and for having extensive, pioneering experience analyzing, drafting and reviewing sophisticated energy-related contracts and insurance, indemnity and other contract issues.

His practice includes master service agreements, onshore and offshore drilling contracts, charters, flight service agreements, onshore and offshore construction contracts and other maritime and energy-related agreements.  He has also helped international and domestic corporations, which often become Bill's long-term clients, integrate their contracts internally and following mergers or assignment of contracts (such as drilling contracts).

"Anti-indemnity statutes vary from state to state," Bill notes, "often with nuanced pitfalls.  One of my jobs is to offer our client ways to maximize its allocation of risk through indemnity and insurance."  

Bill was managing partner of the firm’s Houston office and served several terms on Liskow's Board of Directors.

John Almy is a business lawyer who focuses on the creation, drafting and negotiation of oilfield operational contracts with experience in both domestic and international work.  John has extensive experience helping clients design and implement risk allocation programs using indemnity and insurance concepts for work in Texas, Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, and has assisted clients with their endeavors in locations stretching from Colorado to Israel and North Dakota to Venezuela. 

Clients routinely turn to John for help with drilling contracts, master service agreements and master time charters among other agreements.  

Here's an example of how John takes a comprehensive view:

- An operator needed assistance reviewing a master service agreement to hire a service contractor.  After discussing the client’s business needs and risk tolerance, John was able to update the form to better address the client’s needs while revising several provisions that were either out of date given the current state of the law, allocated an unnecessarily significant amount of risk to the client, or were simply out of line with current market conditions.  Following a discussion of the changes, the client asked John to handle the subsequent negotiation. 
- An operator had been presented with an IADC drilling contract form – a common document in the oilfield, but one that allocates far more risk to the operator than most realize – and was under significant time pressure to get the contract executed.  John highlighted the critical issues, advised the client on areas where they could mitigate their risk through their own efforts, and together they cut down the list of desired changes to a very specific few.  The needed changes were secured quickly and the client was able to drill their well without delay.

John also advises clients with respect to indemnity arrangements in areas outside of oilfield service contracts, from downstream oil and gas contexts to construction contracts, and even real estate deals, including the impact of relevant state law on those agreements.