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Oil & Gas


Robinson & McElwee represents both individuals and businesses before the West Virginia Tax Department. In the area of federal taxation, our attorneys handle petitions before the United States Tax Court, as well as refund suits in federal district court. Members of the Business & Corporate Practice Group have argued numerous cases concerning West Virginia tax matters before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. The Business & Corporate lawyers also regularly represent business clients with regard to property tax assessments and appeals.

Real Property/Titles

Robinson & McElwee attorneys can handle all aspects of title work, from the simplest to the most complex, in a timely fashion. We employ a team of highly trained and experienced title examiners and title analysts who provide detailed and accurate title opinions and certifications and assist its clients in accurately determining ownership of mineral and leasehold rights, and where necessary, assisting in curative actions. We have issued thousands of title opinions for drilling units and well-site acreage for producers and developers.


Robinson & McElwee has represented clients in judicial and administrative proceedings involving a wide variety of issues. We have defended complex contractual and operational disputes, leasehold disputes, and allegations of property and surface damage. We have defended claims of sub-surface contamination allegedly related to conventional and hydraulic fracturing, defended lawsuits claiming flood damages from oil and gas extraction, and a host of other issues.

Government Relations

With the development of the Marcellus and Utica shales, the legislative and regulatory environments in West Virginia and Ohio have been dynamic. Attorneys at Robinson and McElwee are experienced with reviewing and drafting legislation, commenting on proposed legislation and rules and appearing before the regulatory community. We are also sensitive to competing industry interests, public perception and media issues, and are prepared to assist our clients with legal representation in coordination with government and media relations.


Oil and gas operations are seeing increased scrutiny from environmental regulators as a result of drilling activity in West Virginia and Ohio. The US Army Corps of Engineers is giving closer scrutiny to the laying of pipeline near and over jurisdictional waters, and the 2011 Horizontal Well Drilling Act imposed new requirements for the horizontally drilled wells that have come to predominate in the state. Air issues have begun to take center stage in the oil and gas arena.

Business and Corporate

Our experienced oil and gas attorneys counsel and assist our clients with day-to-day legal issues related to operational issues, as well as drafting and review of various agreements such as joint operating agreements, rights-of-way, surface use agreements and other contractual matters. We also assist with transactional matters, including the purchase and sale of oil and gas interests.


All permits for oil and gas wells drilled in West Virginia are issued by the Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Oil and Gas. Appeals of conventional and horizontally-drilled wells are appealed to the Shallow Gas Well Review Board or the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, while coal bed methane permits are reviewed by the Coal Bed Methane Review Board.

Oil and Gas Industry

Oil and gas development has exploded in the past several years, especially with the unlocking of non-conventional gas sources, and it will likely continue to increase in importance in the future.

Robinson & McElwee’s West Virginia and Ohio offices sit in close proximity to both the Marcellus and Utica shale gas plays, and conveniently and efficiently serve our oil & gas clients. We serve all aspects of the oil and natural gas industry, from local producers to midstream transport to interstate pipelines.