Sean B. Murphy | Founding Partner (retired)

PRACTICE AREAS

Oil & Gas

EDUCATION

University of Oregon, School of Law (J.D. 1990, Oregon Law Review)
Utah State University (B.S., magna cum laude, 1987)

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE IN

California

Sean Murphy was a founding partner of Day Carter & Murphy. He was a member of the Firm’s Oil & Gas practice group where his main focus was real property and mineral acquisition and leasing.

Sean has significant experience in the preparation of oil and gas, mineral, and geothermal title opinions, including financing, acquisition, drill site, division order, and supplemental title opinions on private, state, and federal lands. He has also conducted real property and mineral title and environmental due diligence in connection with various major acquisitions of mineral fee and mineral leasehold estates, and major acquisitions of cogeneration plants.

Sean has represented parties to federal oil, gas and geothermal leases, unit agreements, and operating agreements before Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service, and has also represented mining clients before Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Department of Interior, Office of Hearings and Appeals.

  • Downey Brand, LLP, Oil, Gas & Mineral Practice Group, Former Chair; Former Recruiting Partner
  • Former Judicial Clerk for the Honorable Alan C. Bonebrake of the Circuit Court Judge For The State of Oregon
  • California Independent Petroleum Association, Associate Member
  • Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, Member; Regional Program Committee, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, Chair
  • Bakersfield Association of Petroleum Landmen, Member
  • Sacramento Petroleum Association, Member
  • State Bar of California, Real Property Law Section, Member
  • Boy Scouts of America, Golden Empire Council, Buena Vista District, Roundtable Committee, Member

Oil & Gas

  • Represent major and independent oil and gas and geothermal companies in the preparation of drilling, acquisition, division order, supplemental, and financing title opinions on onshore, offshore, private, state, and federal lands.
  • Represented numerous oil and gas companies, energy companies, and lenders as special counsel in connection with numerous multimillion-dollar project finance transactions, including the negotiation, drafting, and analysis of transaction documents, the conduct of real property title due diligence and the issuance of financing title opinions, and related project finance advice and counsel.
  • Represent major and independent oil and gas, geothermal, and energy companies in a full range of title, due diligence, and transactional matters as part of numerous acquisitions of producing and non-producing properties, to date the collective value of which has been in the billions of dollars.
  • Advise clients on the interpretation and enforcement of the numerous provisions in Joint Operating Agreements and their related Exhibits, including Gas Balancing Agreements and COPAS Accounting Procedures.
  • Advise clients on the interpretation of oil and gas leases, including allowable royalty deductions, consequences of a cessation of production, notice of default issues, suspension of royalties and consent to assign requirements.
  • Represent major and independent oil and gas, geothermal, and energy companies in all types of commercial loan and finance transactions and related counseling, including senior and subordinated credit facilities, second lien financing, working capital financing, and debt restructuring transactions.
  • Represent major and independent oil and gas and geothermal companies in the negotiating, drafting, and analysis of all types of operational and transactional agreements, including purchase and sale agreements, joint operating agreements, unit agreements, farmout agreements, development and exploration agreements, leases, surface use agreements, easements, and power purchase agreements.

Renewable & Traditional Energy

  • Represent energy companies in the development of major underground gas storage projects in connection with the acquisition of rights in land for storage, pipeline and compressor station easements, and mineral owner consents, as well as the negotiation of master services agreements, drilling contracts, and other operational and transactional documents.
  • Represent energy companies in connection with major acquisitions of numerous power plants and associated pipeline systems, including the negotiation and documentation of power purchase agreements, the negotiation and drafting of power plant site lease agreements, the conduct of real property title due diligence, and related transactional matters.
  • Represented the private developers of a 28-megawatt hydroelectric power plant in the negotiation and documentation of the acquisition of easements and rights-of-way from the underlying landowners and in the subsequent $70 million project finance of such development.
  • Represent wind and solar energy companies in land acquisition and development of commercial energy projects, with an emphasis on real estate, title due diligence, development agreements and related matters.
  • “Everything Old is New Again: Lease Maintenance Issues that Arise When Oil Prices Drop,” 62 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 20-1 (2016)
    July 2016
  • AAPL, “Oil and Gas Law: Comparison of Laws on Leasing, Exploration and Production”
    2010
  • The Landman Magazine, “Comparison of Oil and Gas Law in Texas and California (Part I and Part II)”
    November-December 1999 and January-February 2000
  • ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources, The Year in Review, “Public Lands and Land Use Committee Annual Report”
  • 1999-2001
  • California Environmental Law and Land Use Practice, Matthew Bender, Chapter on “Forestry Development”
    1999
  • 43rd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, “Mining Law Update”
    1997
  • Mining and Geothermal Institute of American Association of Professional Landmen annual meeting, “1996-1997 Mining and Geothermal Federal Legislative and Regulatory Highlights”
    1996-1997
  • 36th Annual West Coast Landmen’s Institute, “We Know a Thing or Two Because We’ve Seen a Thing or Two:  A Thirty Year Perspective on Title”
    September 2018
  • Private Client, “Farmout Agreements and JOAs” 
    May 2017
  • Private Client, “Key Considerations for Farmout Agreements”
    November 2016
  • 62nd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, “Everything Old is New Again: Lease Maintenance Issues that Arise When Oil Prices Drop”
    July 2016
  • Day Carter & Murphy LLP Bakersfield Breakfast Series, “Lease Maintenance Issues in Today’s Market: What’s Enough?”
    May 2016
  • 33rd Annual West Coast Landmen’s Institute, “In Good Times, Bad Times and Everything in Between: The Always-Important Farmout Agreement”
    September 2015
  • 58th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, “Mining and Public Land Law Update”
    July 2012
  • Bakersfield Association of Petroleum Landmen, “Title Review on Federal Lands: What Do You Review, Where Do You Find It, and Does It Really Matter?”
    February 2012
  • 29th Annual West Coast Landmen’s Institute, “Top Leasing: From the Bottom Up”
    September 2011
  • Day Carter & Murphy LLP Bakersfield Breakfast Series, “The Duty to Protect Against Drainage”
    April 2011
  • AAPL Field Landman Seminar, “An Overview of Consent to Assign Issues in Acquisitions”
    April 2011
  • 21st Annual West Coast Landmen’s Institute, “Landmen and the Unauthorized Practice of Law”
    September 2003
  • 47th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, “Environmental Law Update”
    July 2001
  • 16th Annual West Coast Landmen’s Institute, “Comparison of Oil and Gas Law in Texas and California”
    September 1998
  • Sacramento Petroleum Association, “Liability for Plugging and Abandoning Idle Wells”
    1997
  • 15th Annual West Coast Landmen’s Institute, “Geophysical Trespass”
    September 1997