Key Experience

  • Lead counsel in more than 100 oil and gas acquisitions and divestitures over the past 20 years.
  • Has focused on upstream mergers and acquisitions since 2000.
  • Board certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law.


Michael Byrd is a transactional lawyer who knows oil and gas from the ground up. Before focusing on upstream mergers and acquisitions, Mike was immersed in the nuts and bolts of oil and gas exploration and development for nearly two decades, as both a lawyer and a landman. He has been certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for more than 20 years, and he has served 5 times as chair of the Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Exam Commission, which writes and grades the exam for that certification.

Representative Work

  • Advised a private E&P company in its acquisition of oil and gas assets, in exchange for a combination of company equity interests and cash. The sign and close transaction was fully negotiated and closed in two weeks and involved complex post-closing adjustments for title and environmental defects and indemnity claims.
  • Advised Diamondback O&G LLC in a Participation and Development Agreement whereby an affiliate of The Carlyle Group will provide $620 million to fund drilling programs in the Permian Basin, the majority of which will come out of production revenue from the drilling programs.
  • Obtained a complete victory on behalf of Yates Energy Corporation in the Texas 4th District Court of Appeals in a dispute over conflicting claims to valuable mineral rights in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale oil field. The ruling makes new law that will have a significant impact in resolving similar title disputes.
  • Represented Sanchez Energy Corporation in a joint development agreement with Blackstone Group LP for a $2.3 billion acquisition of Eagle Ford Shale assets from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. The transaction more than doubled Sanchez’s position in the Eagle Ford Shale, made it one of the largest operators in the Western Eagle Ford region and significantly increased its stock price.
  • Counseled Diamondback Exploration Inc. in a $2.43 billion acquisition of oil and gas assets in the Delaware Basin, including 76,000 prime net acres in Pecos and Reeves counties. The transaction, which included complex indemnity provisions and leasing options, was negotiated and documented in only eight days and doubled Diamondback’s prime drilling inventory.


Public Service and Affiliations