Energy & Marine

Contractual Litigation

Mark Clark is a Partner with Thompson Coe whose practice focuses on energy, marine and environmental casualty and related insurance coverage matters including the litigation of oilfield contractual claims.  Mr. Clark’s practice is based primarily in Houston, Texas where he resides with his family.  Mr. Clark also spent ten years in New Orleans practicing law and currently maintains an office in New Orleans.  Mr. Clark works with a team of lawyers both in Houston and New Orleans.

Mr. Clark has litigated contractual matters in the onshore and offshore oil and gas industry.  His work includes the representation of an E&P company in the recovery of operating costs under Joint Operating Agreements and Farmout Agreements, litigated lease disputes and litigating contractor disputes related to drilling and production.  Mr. Clark has both defended and prosecuted claims for payment of invoices under Master Service Agreements.  Mr. Clark has prosecuted and defended claims under the Louisiana Oil Well Lien Act and the Texas Oil Well Lien Act.  While Mr. Clark is primarily a litigator he also drafts and negotiates Master Service Agreements and turnkey drilling contracts.

Mr. Clark has significant experience in litigating and drafting Oil and Gas Indemnity Agreements.  Mr. Clark has written hundreds of opinions for clients on the enforceability of indemnity opinions.  Mr. Clark has both prosecuted and defended dozens of cross claims for breach of contract and declaratory judgment for the enforcement of Oil Well Indemnities.  Mr. Clark is well versed in the anti-indemnity statutes of Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico.

Mr. Clark was the lead attorney for the matter styled In Re Larry Doiron, Inc. 879 F.3rd 568 (2018).  In that case Mr. Clark was successful in defeating an oil well indemnity claim by convincing the U.S. Fifth Circuit sitting En Banc to unanimously change the legal test for determining whether a contract is maritime or not in the Offshore Oilfield Services industry.  The case is one of the most significant Offshore Oil and Gas Maritime cases from the U.S. Fifth Circuit in the past decade and it dramatically impacts the enforceability of indemnity agreements. 

Property and Casualty

Mr. Clark has 20 years of experience defending Oil and Gas related defendants in all manner of oil well casualties.  A brief sampling of some of the casualty and property cases Mr. Clark has handled appear below:

  • Defense of insurers and oil companies in Louisiana Legacy Oilfield Pollution claims.
  • Defense of oil tool supplier who allegedly leased defective drill pipe causing loss of hole drilled to 15,000 feet.
  • Defense of oil transportation company that allegedly placed reclaimed crude oil into pipeline causing millions of dollars of damage to Corpus Christi refinery.
  • Defense of oil field services company that allegedly failed to properly maintain offshore oil derrick resulting in explosion.
  • Defense of drilling contractor concerning well blowout and resulting pollution damage.
  • International arbitration concerning injury to worker injured off the coast of Nigeria while working aboard a floating derrick.
  • Defense of Company Man in East Texas wherein a well blowout injured a derrick hand.
  • Defense of Oil and Gas company whose produced water disposal pipeline ruptured killing a worker.
  • Defense of Oil and Gas company in a blowout which caused multiple injuries.
  • Defense of coil tubing contractor who lost tools down hole. 
  • Defense of Jones Act claims arising from Drill Ships, Semisubmersibles and other drill vessels.
  • Defense of Platform claims arising from exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Defense of collisions and allisions taking place in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Defense of wrongful death diving claims.