Scott O’Connor’s practice focuses on oil and gas and complex commercial litigation. He has litigated and arbitrated numerous disputes involving onshore and offshore operating agreements, royalty claims, gas balancing agreements, oil and gas purchase contracts, farmout agreements, preferential purchase rights, and purchase and sale agreements. He has defended national and state class actions involving oil and gas pricing practices including antitrust litigation, and has represented oil and gas clients as creditors and debtors in bankruptcy proceedings.
Prior to joining Gordon Arata, Scott clerked for the Honorable A. J. McNamara, former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. During law school, Scott was a member and Managing Editor of the Loyola Law Review and a member of the Moot Court staff.
- Successfully represented the Orleans Levee District against claims by the Plaquemines Parish Government (PPG) that the Levee District was required to convey various lands including valuable mineral rights in Plaquemines Parish to the PPG
- Successfully represented Hunt Oil Company, et al. in the district court and on appeal in holding Southeast Offshore, Inc. liable for its assignee's multi-million dollar proportionate share of operating expenses and end-of-lease abandonment costs associated with two OCS leases after Southeast Offshore's assignee defaulted on those obligations
- Successfully represented the Orleans Levee District against claims for unconstitutional takings of oil and gas revenues asserted by class-action plaintiff's in connection with lands that the Louisiana legislature directed the Levee District to return to various prior owners (and their successors) under the Return of Lands Act of 1984 for lands in the Bohemia Spillway
- Successfully defended Texaco Exploration and Production, Inc. in arbitration against claims by Ridgelake Energy, Inc. that Texaco breached a participation agreement, acted willfully and was grossly negligent in failing to make deferred development rental payments under a mineral lease granted by the State of Louisiana
- Served as Louisiana counsel for Amerada Hess Corporation against Marathon Oil Company on claims that Marathon breached its obligations under an offshore operating agreement and related contracts when it transferred its interests in several OCS oil and gas leases to a third party that did not have the financial capability to satisfy its obligations, including multi-million dollar obligations to plug and abandon wells and remove platforms from the offshore leases. After motions for summary judgment were filed, Amerada reached a favorable settlement.
- Successfully defended Apache Corporation in multi-district, multi-party federal class action litigation against antitrust and royalty claims alleging that Apache intentionally underpaid royalties on crude oil based upon artificially deflated posted prices and participated in an industry-wide conspiracy to devalue crude oil at the lease
- Successfully represented Texas Eastern Transmission Corporation in litigation with Amerada Hess Corporation and Marathon Oil Company over long-term gas sales contracts affecting offshore production from the South Pass area in the Gulf of Mexico. Under contract interpretations pressed by Amerada and Marathon, Texas Eastern's exposure exceeded $1.2 billion.
Select Reported Cases:
- Plaquemines Parish Government v. Department of Natural Resources, 23 So.3d 357 (La. App. 1st Cir.), writ denied, 23 So.3d 920 (La. 2009)
- Chieftain International (U.S.) Inc. v. Southeast Offshore, Inc., 553 F.3d 817 (5th Cir. 2008)
- Haspel & Davis Milling & Planting Co. v. Board of Commissioners of Orleans Levee District, 493 F.3d 560 (5th Cir. 2007)
- Amerada Hess Corp. v. Marathon Oil Co., Civil Action No. 03-0985 (E.D. La. 2003)
- In re Lease Oil Antitrust Litigation (No. II), 186 F.R.D. 403, 142 Oil & Gas Rep. 532 (S.D. Tex. 1999)
- Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. v. Amerada Hess Corp., 145 F.3d 737 (5th Cir. 1998)
- Louisiana State Bar Association
- St. Thomas More Inn of Court
- American Association of Professional Landmen
- Professional Landman's Association of New Orleans - Board of Directors (2002-2005)
- Listed in Chambers USA 2012
- Listed in Louisiana SuperLawyers