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From Waste to Valuable Resource? Updates on Produced Water Regulation in New Mexico and Texas and the Implications from Whiting Petroleum on Gathering Agreements
Original Program Date :
Length: 60 Minutes


The presentation will address the differences in regulatory schemes in New Mexico and Texas by which to obtain a water right for oil and gas production, focusing on how produced water does not fit neatly within such regulatory scheme in either New Mexico or in Texas, often creating novel legal issues. The presentation will analyze one of these novel legal issues, the treatment of a water gathering agreement for produced water as an executory contract in bankruptcy, as decided in Whiting Oil and Gas Corp. v. BNN Western, LLC matter, and how to avoid some of the Whiting pitfalls in gathering agreements in the “western water” States.

Cristina Mulcahy, Stein & Brockmann, P.A.

Cristina A. Mulcahy’s practice areas include Water, Oil and Gas, and Environmental Law.

Ms. Mulcahy regularly appears in general stream adjudications throughout New Mexico on behalf of municipal, State government agencies, energy companies, and private clients. She specializes in general stream adjudications and related matters involving aboriginal water rights and federal claims for water, which often involve defending and prosecuting novel issues of law. On the water rights front, she also frequently advises municipal clients on their use, lease, storage, and carryover of their privately owned San Juan-Chama Project Water. She aids clients on such matters with a keen eye towards beneficially using such water for inter-state water compact compliance.

Additionally, in her water practice, Ms. Mulcahy advises municipal clients on Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Water Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, and attendant water quality compliance matters unique to each municipality and the challenging hydro-geologic realities of water systems in New Mexico.

Outside the water rights and water quality arenas, Ms. Mulcahy advises energy and energy-adjacent clients on a range of regulatory and litigation matters. This includes pro-actively addressing mineral title issues; developing minerals on state, federal, and tribal lands; royalty disputes; and advising clients on novel issues of law related to the regulation, disposal, and ownership of produced water in New Mexico and Texas. Her energy practice has included taking appeal of various agency decisions to both state and federal courts, as well as to the Interior Board of Land Appeals and the Interior Board of Indian Appeals.

Ms. Mulcahy is licensed in both New Mexico and Texas. She has been named a Southwest SuperLawyer “Rising Star” in Natural Resources Litigation since 2018 and Best Lawyers’ “One to Watch” in Environmental and Oil and Gas Law.

Outside of the office, Ms. Mulcahy enjoys skiing, ice-skating, playing lacrosse, hanging out with her dog, and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.


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