In the Matter of Murphy Oil’s Appeal Regarding Northstar Final Unit Tract Participations

The Northstar oil field sits offshore the North Slope of Alaska and is comprised of both Federal and State leases. Murphy Oil, one of the producers in the field, sought to re-allocate rights to 6 million barrels of oil worth approximately $600 million from State to Federal leases. The Commissioner of the State of Alaska’s Department of Natural Resources conducted administrative hearings to resolve the ownership issue.


Econ One was retained by the State of Alaska to study the ownership issue. Barry Pulliam conducted a statistical analysis involving production and geological data from wells drilled on both Federal and State leases. Mr. Pulliam’s analysis supported the position that the disputed volumes were properly attributed to State, rather than Federal, leases. Mr. Pulliam testified at the hearings after which the Commissioner upheld the allocation decisions, rejecting Murphy’s claims.

In the Energy Brochure on the webpage we have several case briefs.  I’d keep the first (BP Oil).  I’d drop the Wright case (it won’t help attract energy clients these days), I’d move the Ven-related cases to the International Arbitration arena rather than energy.  The flat wind case is a Jane case, so perhaps should go.

In addition to the two I’ve listed above I’d like to add a couple of private sector matters which I’ll work up.