Malcolm Murchison maintains a broad based commercial law practice. His variety of skills equip him to handle a wide range of legal issues for his clients, including oil and gas, real estate, corporate formations/mergers/dissolutions, commercial lending, and financing arrangements, state and local tax disputes, and land-use issues. He has significant experience in handling Louisiana mineral interest issues ranging from acquisitions, title examinations, participation, joint development, and operating agreements to Louisiana Office of Conservation (“LOC”) work involving both oil and gas and lignite regulation. The primary areas in which he practices include environmental law, energy, and natural resources law and real estate. His clients include electric utilities, oil and gas producers and pipeline companies.
Some of Malcolm’s major successes include: negotiation of an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation that resulted in the determination that lignite coal produced from the Dolet Hills Mine is not subject to the Louisiana sales and use tax, resulting in fuel cost savings in excess of $2,500,000 per year for the Dolet Hills Power Plant; and representation of an independent oil and gas exploration company in its successful negotiation with a publicly traded oil and gas exploration company of (1) a Purchase and Sale Agreement for the sale of an undivided fifty percent (50%) interest in certain oil and gas properties and associated rights in its Eagle Ford Oil Shale Prospect underlying 20,000+/- acres of lands situated in two adjoining counties in Texas, and (2) Joint Development and Joint Operating Agreements by which the Seller and Buyer jointly own, explore, develop and operate these Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas properties.
Malcolm has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2010 – Energy Law, Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental, Mining Law, Natural Resources Law, Oil & Gas Law, Real Estate Law.
From 1978 to 2001, Malcolm performed all of the legal services required by the Operator of the Dolet Hill Lignite Mine. The Dolet Hills Mine is Louisiana’s first commercial lignite surface mine, encompassing over 30,000 acres in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. The Mine served as the“baseload” fuel supply for the Dolet Hills Power Plant, a 640 megawatt lignite fired generating unit also located in DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. The work for this project included the preparation of all of the various fuel supply agreements with the Mine’s contract miner and other lignite fuel suppliers, the preliminary and supplemental lignite title opinions for the 30,000 ” acres located within the Permit Area of the Dolet Hills Lignite Mine and the land where the Power Plant is located, and the provision of opinions, advice and documents with respect to the various legal and environmental issues presented by the operations of the Mine and the Plant. This work covered the development and execution of lignite leases and other mining rights agreements with major landowners, the closure and relocation of Parish roads, and the drafting and enactment of legislation to amend various provisions of the Louisiana Mineral Code to accommodate the lignite mining operations. Mr. Murchison also handled all regulatory matters for the Mine with the Louisiana Office of Conservation, including the revision of the LOC’s mining regulations in 1986 and all matters related to the maintenance of lignite leases under which mining operations were conducted. Malcolm also has substantial experience in Texas oil and gas exploration and development and lignite surface mining issues and in the negotiation, preparation and administration of Texas lignite contract mining agreements, western coal supply agreements and rail transportation agreements.
In 1990, he successfully negotiated an agreement with the Louisiana Department of Revenue and Taxation that resulted in the determination that lignite coal produced from the Dolet Hills Mine is not subject to the Louisiana sales and use tax, resulting in fuel cost savings in excess of $2,500,000 per year for the Dolet Hills Power Plant.
Representation of an integrated energy company in connection with its development of a high-voltage direct current transmission system across Louisiana to tie electric distribution utility systems situated in the Southeastern United States to the wind power generation facilities within the boundaries of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Work includes the acquisition and exercise of options to acquire Louisiana property sites for AC/DC converter stations, the development of transmission right of way forms to be utilized in the acquisition of the transmission line corridors across Louisiana and Mississippi, and the introduction of the project to Louisiana state and public elected officials and regulatory agencies.
Representation of an independent oil and gas exploration company in the identification of “held by production” acreage it owns as prospective for natural gas development in the deep rights,“Haynesville Shale” resource play in Northwest Louisiana, preparation and issuance of requests for proposal (“RFP”) to Haynesville Shale developers for the joint development of such acreage, preparation with the client in the review and evaluation of the responses received to the RFP, and the successful negotiation of agreements with the developers for the development of the Haynesville Shale natural gas resource underlying such acreage.
Representation of an independent oil and gas exploration company in its successful application to the Louisiana Office of Conservation (“LOC”) to change the previously approved “unit operator” of a 640 acre “Haynesville Shale” natural gas drilling and production unit situated in Northwest Louisiana (the “Unit”). Our attorneys sought and obtained a rehearing by LOC in this matter due to the failure of the original unit operator to provide reasonable notice to our client, the largest working interest owner in the Unit, of the initial hearing held by the LOC for the establishment of the Unit. After receipt of evidence at the rehearing, the LOC’s Commissioner of Conservation issued a revised order for the Unit changing both the Unit Operator and the location of the initial Unit well, all as requested in our application for rehearing.
Representation of a lignite coal mining company in its negotiations with an integrated, closely held oil and gas company for the acquisition of lignite and other surface mining rights controlled by the oil and gas company. These lands involve over 730 acres of land situated in five different governmental sections of land that hold over 3.8 million tons of minable lignite for inclusion in an integrated lignite surface mining operation in Northwest Louisiana. Our representation has included the presentation to the oil and gas company of the client’s mining plan and negotiation and preparation of the lignite and other coal leases and surface use agreements that addressed the joint, contemporaneous development of the land for both oil and gas and coal and lignite development.
Representation of an independent oil and gas exploration company in its successful acquisition from a publicly traded oil and gas exploration company of a 72% net revenue interest in 2,640+/- acres of oil and gas leases that are “held by production” and cover seven sections of land in the East Holly Field of DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. This acreage is held by natural gas production from the “Haynesville Shale” formation by third parties and includes the Cotton Valley formation and depths above the Cotton Valley formation. The Firm represented the Buyer in the negotiation and execution of the Purchase and Sale Agreement, the performance of the Buyer’s due diligence investigations, and the closing of the acquisition.
Representation of an independent oil and gas exploration company in its successful negotiation with a capital venture fund for the funding of the development of an enhanced oil recovery prospect (the “Prospect”) involving oil, gas and mineral leases covering 4,080 net acres, more or less, located in Miller County, Arkansas (the “Leases”). He negotiated and drafted the organizational documents for the formation of a limited liability company (the “Company”) operated by the parties to acquire the Leases and develop, operate, lease and sell oil, gas and mineral interests, and wells related thereto in the Prospect, and other prospects in which oil, gas and mineral leases may be acquired for development by the Company.
Representation of a capital investment client in the negotiation, drafting and execution of a “LicenseAgreement” by which the client obtained exclusive “worldwide” development and licensing rights to a public Louisiana university’s patents for the use of nanofilament catalytic materials in the Fischer-Tropsch Synthesis (conversion of natural gas to diesel) process first developed by the Germans during World War II. The agreement identifies the development milestones to be achieved by the licensee in the development of the licensed “know-how,” and the royalties to be paid to the public university.
Representation of an independent oil and gas exploration company in its successful negotiation of a Prospect Development Agreement that encompasses the identification, exploration and development of oil and gas prospects, the provision of prospect development concepts, identification of seismic lines to be acquired encompassing such concepts, evaluation of geological and geophysical data so developed, and upon the completion of such data acquisition and evaluation, the acquisition by the client of a leasehold position covering lands for a given prospect sufficient for the drilling of a well prospective for the production of oil or gas in paying quantities, and the drilling of wells on such leasehold so acquired. The prospect development agreement identifies seven (7) separate prospects situated in various portions of the East Central portion of Louisiana and the Southwest portion of Mississippi that range from development play to prospect leads to wildcat prospects, and details the duties of the parties thereto for the mutual development of each.
Representation of an independent oil and gas exploration company in its successful negotiation with a publicly traded oil and gas exploration company of (1) a Purchase and Sale Agreement for the sale of an undivided fifty percent (50%) interest in certain oil and gas properties and associated rights in its Eagle Ford Oil Shale Prospect underlying 20,000+/- acres of lands situated in two adjoining counties in Texas, and (2) Joint Development and Joint Operating Agreements by which the Seller and Buyer jointly own, explore, develop and operate these Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas properties.
The Best Lawyers in America © Shreveport, LA – Energy Law, Environmental Law, Litigation – Environmental, Mining Law, Natural Resources Law, Oil & Gas Law, Real Estate Law, since 2010
Best Lawyers ®, Shreveport, LA – Oil & Gas “Lawyer of the Year”, 2011, 2015
Best Lawyers ®, Shreveport, LA – Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year”, 2014, 2016
Best Lawyers ®, Shreveport, LA – Litigation – Environmental “Lawyer of the Year”, 2017
Best Lawyers ®, Shreveport, LA – Real Estate Law “Lawyer of the Year”, 2019, 2022
Best Lawyers ®, Shreveport, LA – Natural Resources Law “Lawyer of the Year”, 2020
Super Lawyers ® – Energy & Natural Resources, Real Estate, Business/Corporate, 2008, 2010, and 2012-2023
“Louisiana Lignite,” The Landman Magazine, February 1987.