Scott Petry began practicing oil and gas law in 2000, after he graduated from the University of Texas School of Law and obtained his license to practice law in the Great State of Texas. At the University of Texas, he was afforded the opportunity to work as Research Assistant to respected oil and gas professor Ernest E. Smith, who is also the author of the treatise, Texas Law of Oil and Gas. While working for Professor Smith, Mr. Petry assisted in drafting and researching various revisions to the book, International Petroleum Transactions, by Ernest E. Smith, John S. Dzienkowski, et al. This work ignited within Mr. Petry a fascination with the complexities of the law of oil and gas that continues to this day.
Nonetheless, his background in oil and gas runs deep to his roots in New Iberia, Louisiana. While most people may know of New Iberia for a certain hot sauce that causes mosquitoes to explode in midair (it really does not – he’s tried this several times and confirmed that this was indeed just a clever marketing ploy), it is an area that supports many hard-working men and women in the oil and gas industry. Indeed, his uncles all worked for various drilling companies and his father managed a bulk oil distributorship for Amoco and Mobil products. He grew up in the “patch”, watched the interaction of good people like his father with others in the industry, and saw firsthand the value that the oil and gas industry brought to families and community.
Yet, when it was time to go to Louisiana State University, he focused on business and marketing. Working in the patch, including a few stints during Louisiana summers at a local pipe coating yard, taught him the value of both a good degree and air conditioning. As fate would have it, his marketing degree proved fruitful when he marketed himself into a Measuring While Drilling Engineer position with an oilfield services company. While he greatly enjoyed his work in this field, and learned valuable technical expertise, he occasionally pondered the thought of law school. He decided to make that thought a reality when the offshore rig he was on took a “kick.” From there, the crew shut in the emergency rams, and everyone started running to those little orange escape capsules. In that moment, he was not pleased to learn the disconcerting effect on the psyche watching assorted fishing boats, crew boats, and other supply boats circling the rig at a distance but not moving in to pick people up for fear of an explosion, can have. The practice of law (and air conditioning) seemed like a more promising, and hopefully safer, future.
Upon acceptance to UT Law, his mother lamented to his siblings that he was going to Texas, he would probably find a Texas girl, she would not know how to make a roux, and he might not move back. The prophecy came to be. He found that Texas girl in law school, graduated, and went to work for the Railroad Commission of Texas as a Hearings Examiner (i.e., Administrative Law Judge).
While at the Railroad Commission of Texas, he met many interesting people and learned many fascinating things: adjudication of lease line spacing and density exceptions; rulings on violations of environmental rules and regulations; hearings for injection wells and saltwater disposal permits; field rules hearings; hill country BBQ cookoffs; and others. In addition, he helped answer questions from the public, and explained to them that the RRC was not a Rube Goldberg device, but was instead the preeminent regulatory entity preventing waste of hydrocarbons and protecting correlative rights. With that, in case they played Trivial Pursuit, he would occasionally point out to them that many aspects of OPEC were based on the RRC’s regulatory structure.
Shifting gears, in 2004, Mr. Petry went from focusing on oil and gas regulatory matters in Austin to focusing on oil and gas transactional work in Houston with the firm of Thompson & Knight, LLP. A practitioner at the Railroad Commission, Brian Sullivan, previously suggested to him that Don Sinex would be a great person to work with in the transactional aspects of oil and gas exploration and production. Indeed, Mr. Sullivan was correct. Scott Petry and Don Sinex have been working together since 2004, and they have found that they complement each other well – they have combined their extensive experience in oil and gas exploration and production matters with the fundamentals of oil and gas rules and regulations to provide clients with the “bigger picture”. They continue to counsel their clients on all aspects of oil and gas law and do their best to make sure that all the pieces of the oil and gas legal puzzle fit together. Mr. Petry’s clients include oil and gas companies, both large and small, and individual landowners and/or mineral owners.
When he is not pecking away at the computer on work related matters, he enjoys his time with his family and a hobby or two. He has been homebrewing beer since 1992 and donates beer and food for their annual charity fundraiser, “Skotoberfest”. The proceeds go to various charities, but always include the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in honor of the son of a good friend and RRC co-worker. It is for a worthy cause, and clients often attend (hint, hint). Skotoberfest, replete with multiple bands, custom pint glasses, and t-shirts, has been going on since 2003, and he appreciates the support and never-ending patience of that Texas girl (who does indeed know how to make a roux).