The EENR Center would like to recognize and thank our current sponsors:

Blank Rome LLP
Bracewell & Giuliani LLP

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Collaborating co-sponsor
with the Center for U.S. and Mexican Law
ENTRA Energy Transactions LLC

The Houston law firm of Connelly Baker & Wotring LLP provided initial funding to create the EENR Center, and we gratefully recognize them as a  Founding Partner.

Become a sponsor of the EENR Center


The Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center

The Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law Center links energy issues with impacts on environment and natural resources. Building on the academic excellence of the faculty in these areas and the complex and multi-faceted energy and environmental issues in Houston, the Center provides a forum for education and discussion of the most important issues of the day, such as climate change, air pollution, clean coal and renewable energy.

News and Events

round-storage-tank_3249Nov. 13, 2014 -- Legal scholars and practitioners from across the United States and around the world explored the subject of international dispute resolution in the oil and gas sector recently in a conference co-hosted by the Environment, Energy & Natural Resources Center at the University of Houston Law Center. For more, visit

Professor WeaverProfessor Weaver (sitting, third seat from the left) spoke at the International Law Institute's program on International Oil and Gas Development in Washington DC on May 5 and 6, 2014. The ILI program is directed by Georgetown University School of Law and Guly Sabadi, a partner at the Dentons law firm.  The two-week ILI program brought together leaders from government ministries and agencies in countries with oil and gas production, including Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Nigeria, and Madagascar, for intensive learning and dialogue on many aspects of international petroleum contracting, financing, dispute resolution, natural gas development and power development. The Institute fostered dialogue among the participants who exchanged opinions based on their experiences in the diverse countries represented. The young man standing to the left of Professor Weaver is Kenyon Weaver, an associate at Dentons, who spoke on stabilization provisions.  And yes--he is Professor Weaver's son!

The University of Houston Law Center, through its Center for U.S. and Mexican Law, co-sponsored an event on Mexican legal reforms with Weatherford International.  The event featured Mexican legislators, commissioners from the petroleum agency, academic experts and lawyers representing companies, all of whom were able to engage in dialogue about the Mexico reforms and what the future is likely to bring, especially in terms of private investment in the Mexican petroleum industry.  Andrews Kurth Energy Law Scholar Julian Cardenas and A.A. White Professor Jacqueline Weaver attended and joined in the discussion with the audience and panelists. Adjunct Professor Ricardo Colmenter, the General Regional Counsel Western Hemisphere for Weatherford, sponsored and hosted the seminar. Click here for more information.

Featured in the photo are Prof. Rosado (right), Prof. Weaver (center) and Tatiana Motta (left)

Prof. Jacqueline Weaver participated in several events in Rio de Janeiro on December 9 and 10, 2013, organized through CEDPETRO, a center of excellence in the study of energy law in UERJ, the State University of Rio de Janeiro. The events were organized by Prof. Marilda Rosado de Sa Ribeiro, who teaches Petroleum Law in the Private International Law program of UERJ. The visit also allowed an exchange of ideas about unitization of oil and gas fields with ANP, the National Petroleum Agency of Brazil.

Featured in the photo are Prof. Rosado (right), Prof. Weaver (center) and Tatiana Motta (left),a federal attorney positioned within ANP who graduated from the Masters of Law program in Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Law at the University of Houston Law Center in 2009.  Ms. Motta recently worked with ANP in the first bid round for the Pre-Salt areas under the new production-sharing regime.

Prof. Weaver spoke on "The Role of the Regulator in Offshore Safety: Best Practices," which traced the regulatory and other changes to business-as-usual after the Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. She also spoke on the Resource Curse to a class of law students at UERJ and met with the students doing advanced legal research work there and with the Vice Dean about promoting further exchanges of students and professors. She answered many questions about shale gas development in the U.S. because Brazil has recently conducted a bid round that may usher in shale development.


On November 6, the UHLC student chapter of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators held a successful discussion of careers in the international oil and gas industry, with more than 60 students attending.  The distinguished panel of speakers included Jim Barnes (partner in Barnes & Cascio), Jose L. Valera  (partner at Mayer Brown),  Anthony F. Newton (partner, K&L Gates LLP), Elvis Angyiembe (Regional Compliance Counsel, Weatherford International, and Marco Padilla (Senior Counsel, Ethics & Compliance, Weatherford International).


EENR Archive Calendar of
Prior Environmental Events in Houston

Research & Publication

Barrett Schitka, UHLC 2015, is the winner of the 2014 Association of International Petroleum Negotiator's (AIPN) annual writing competition. His article, titled "Applying Game Theory to Oil and Gas Unitization Agreements: How to Resolve Mutually Beneficial, Yet Competitive Situations," is now published in the Journal of World Energy Law and Business and can be accessed here.  Barrett will be attending the annual international AIPN conference in Budapest, Hungary in October as a guest of the AIPN.  UHLC students have a pattern of winning papers in this competition and have enjoyed the all-expense paid trips to the annual conferences in many cities around the world. Barrett is one of the first students to enroll in the University of Calgary-UHLC's International Energy Lawyers Program, launched three years ago to allow students in the two energy capitals to graduate with a JD degree from both schools in four years. In May 2015, he will have graduated from both schools.

"International Law and Mexico’s Energy Reform”

Visiting Professor Julian Cardenas participated as a guest speaker at the forum, “Preparing for Energy Reform:  International Experiences and Considerations”,  sponsored by the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)  in Mexico City, on October 3, 2013.  

Andrews Kurth Energy Scholar Hosts Petroleum Transaction Law Discussion

Julian Cardenas Garcia 118 TUIIOn April 24, Andrews Kurth Energy Scholar Julian Cardenas hosted a lunch panel discussion on New Legal Trends for Transnational Petroleum Transactions.  The presentation included an international guest speaker, Dr. Alfredo De Jesus, Lecturer at the University of Versailles and the University of Paris XI, who addressed the legal theory of international petroleum transactions.  

Prof. Cardenas also discussed his research on Best Industry Practices and Environmental Regulation for Offshore Petroleum Operations - A Contribution to the Study of the Lex Petrolea, and he presented a method for the applicability and enforcement of industry standards in the oil industry.

Andrews Kurth Energy Scholar Comments on LNG Export Policy

Susan  SakmarProf. Susan Sakmar, an Andrews Kurth Energy Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor at UH Law Center, recently submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Energy's proposed policy for exports of liquified natural gas.  more...

UH-Calgary International Energy Law Program

University of CalgaryThe University of Houston Law Center and the University of Calgary Law School have established a new International Energy Law Program . This program allows graduates to sit for the bar in both the United States and Canada. more...


UHLC student wins World Bank writing award


University of Houston Law Center student Jessica Ireton is the winner of an international writing competition sponsored by a division of the World Bank for her article exploring the use of WikiLeaks cables as evidence in arbitration hearings.

Ireton, who will graduate in December, has focused her studies at the Law Center on international arbitration, international legal issues, and the energy sector.

The 2014 Student Writing Competition hosted by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) at the World Bank includes a $1,000 award. Her essay will be published in an upcoming issue of the ICSID Review—Foreign Investment Law Journal, one of the foremost periodicals on foreign investment law and international investment dispute settlement.

Ireton’s article, “The Admissibility of Evidence in ICSID Arbitration:  Considering the Validity of WikiLeaks Cables as Evidence,” proposes that international arbitral tribunals operate in a new transnational legal environment rather than the traditional international law environment.  It then considers how such tribunals might treat the admissibility of WikiLeaked diplomatic cables and similarly sensitive evidence.

She was encouraged to consider the treatment of WikiLeaked evidence within the developing body of transnational legal theory by Visiting Professor Julian Cardenas while taking his course on International Investment Law.    

The ICSID-appointed panel of judges included three experts in the field of international investment arbitration, Dr. Ahmed El-Kosheri, Professor Andrea Bjorklund, and Ms. Mahnaz Malik.

Ireton will join the firm of Chamberlain Hrdlicka as an associate in the Energy section after graduation.

Exciting Opportunity Available for a Spring 2015 Externship at the Texas Legislature

Upper-level UHLC students who are interested in environmental and energy law may wish to consider spending the spring 2015 semester participating in the Environment and Energy Law Internship Program of Texas (EELIPT).  This program, sponsored by Texas State Representative Eddie Rodriguez and administered by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), provides students the opportunity to conduct research, attend hearings, track legislation, and carry out other tasks during the semi-annual legislative session at the Texas Capitol in Austin.  If selected, UHLC students can earn up to six credits and may be eligible to receive a stipend to assist with out-of-pocket expenses. 

For more information about the program, please go to
For information on academic credit, contact Prof. Erma Bonadero, Externship Program Director, at ecbonade@central.uh.

The application deadline is noon on December 2, 2014, so please do not delay!