Dale E. Cottingham

Dale E. Cottingham

Dale is well-known and respected in the legal industry. He focuses his practice on Oil and Gas Law and Water Law.  He serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Oklahoma City University School of Law, teaching Natural Resources Law, Water Law and Environmental Law since 1997. Dale is a regular speaker at various Oklahoma Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Seminars, on specific topics including Oil and Gas Law, Water Law, Wind Energy and Environmental Law. He is a long time member and former President of the Oklahoma Mineral Lawyers Society (2009-2010). He recently authored an article, The Jurisdiction Of The Oklahoma Corporation Commission To Clarify Its Spacing Orders And Any Fiduciary Duties Arising From Those Orders, for the Oklahoma Bar Journal.

Dale has won many honors including being named one of The Best Lawyers in America in Energy Law, Environmental Law, and Water Law. He is licensed to practice in Oklahoma and Texas.

Dale has also been very involved in a variety of community organizations including Board of Deacons and Long Range Planning Committee, First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, and Genesis Class, First United Methodist Church, Edmond.

Dale’s most recent experience includes:

  • Oil and gas royalty class actions
  • Leasing disputes in the Barnett shale in Tarrant County, Texas
  • Joint Operations disputes
  • Field Wide Unitization
  • CO2 Unitization
  • Gas Balancing disputes
  • Clarification of Spacing Orders
  • Interstate Oil Pipeline Spills
  • Challenge to Oklahoma’s laws prohibiting the export of water out of state
  • Groundwater and Stream Water Permitting

Areas of Experience

  • Remediation of Contaminated Sites
  • Resolution of Pollution Complaints at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission
  • Aquifer Pollution/Soil Pollution Lawsuit
  • Public and Private Salt Water Disposal Permitting
  • Co2 Operations/Unitization
  • CO2 Purchase Agreements
  • Soil Farming Permitting
  • Annular Injection of Drilling Mud
  • Field Wide Unitization
  • Disputes Involving Allowables
  • All Phases of Gas Balancing Disputes
  • Gas Measurement Disputes
  • Oil & Gas Surface Damages Act Disputes
  • Habendum Clause Disputes
  • Royalty Disputes
  • Pugh Clause Disputes
  • Free Gas Clause Disputes
  • Implied Covenant to Protect Against Drainage
  • Implied Covenant to Market
  • Implied Covenant to Develop
  • Disputes over Operations
  • Joint Operating Agreement Disputes
  • All Phases of Joint Operating Agreements
  • All Phases of COPAS Disputes
  • All Phases of IADC Drilling Contract Disputes
  • Protection of Gas Storage Units
  • Permitting of Gas Storage Units
  • Condemnation for Purposes of Gas Storage
  • Gas Storage Agreements
  • Drilling Rig Collapse Disputes
  • Quiet Title Disputes
  • Oil & Gas Revenue Accounting Disputes
  • JIB Collection Disputes
  • Pipeline Condemnation
  • Stream Water Permitting
  • Groundwater Permitting
  • Large Scale Interbasin Water Transfers
  • Out of State Water Transfers
  • Water Permits for Mines/Quarries
  • Water Management Plans for Mines/Quarries
  • Water Sale Agreements
  • Water Acquisition Agreements
  • Acretion Disputes
  • Avulsion Disputes
  • River Course Changes
  • Oklahoma Corporation Commission Practice
  • Water Flood Unitization
  • Earthquake Class Action

Scholarly Articles:

  • “The Jurisdiction of the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to Clarify its Spacing Orders and Any Fiduciary Duties Arising from Those Orders”, 82 Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 2028 (September 3, 2011)
  • “Schedules of Use for Appropriated Streamwater”, 81 Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 1867 (September 4, 2010)
  • “Compensation, Moral Claims, and the Decline of Riparian Rights.”, 31 Oklahoma City University Law Review 257 (2006)
  • “Re-Entry of Existing Bore Holes and the Oklahoma Surface Damage Act”, OBA Mineral Law Section Seminar Materials (September 12, 1997)
  • “The Right to Enter and Remediate under the Typical Oil and Gas Lease”, 67 Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 1087 (March 30, 1996)
  • “Money Damages Versus Cleanup in Pollution Cases”, 48 Oklahoma Law Review 79 (1995)
  • “An Abridged Primer on the Law of Public Nuisance”, 30 Tulsa Law Review 355 (1994)
  • “Injuries to Land Resulting from Oil and Gas Operations: Measure of Damages”, 60 Oklahoma Bar Association Journal 3245 (December 30, 1989)

Teaching and Speaking

  • Natural Resources Law, 1997 to Present
  • Water Law, 1997 to Present
  • Environmental Law, 1998 to Present
  • Frequent speaker on oil and gas law topics
  • Frequent speaker on water law topics

Recent Engagements:

  • Recent Oil and Gas Royalty Class Actions and Related Matters
  • McKnight v. Linn Operating, Inc., 10-CV-00300-R, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • Unit Petroleum Co. v. Panola, Case No. CJ-07-215, in the United States District Court for Latimer County, State of Oklahoma
  • Cimarex Energy Company, Oklahoma Corporation Commission Application Cause CD No. 201103741
  • Unit Petroleum Co., Oklahoma Corporation Commission Application Cause CD No. 201103821
  • Range Petroleum Company, Oklahoma Corporation Commission Application Cause CD No. 201105113
  • Oxy U.S.A. – Managed investigation and remediation of interstate oil pipeline spill
  • Crawley Petroleum Corporation v. Chesapeake Operating, Inc., Case No. CJ-2010-25, in the District Court of Ellis County, State of Oklahoma, Gas Balancing
  • Lime Rock Resources A, L.P. et al. v. Chaparral Energy, Inc., et al., North Texas Oil and Gas Lease Litigation
  • ONEOK: Gas Storage Condemnation
  • ONEOK: Corporation Commission proceedings to protect gas storage area
  • Protest Chaparral Application for Permission to Conduct CO2 Flood, CD No. 201203768, Oklahoma Corporation Commission
  • Chesapeake Exploration, LLC., et al. v. BP America Production Company, Case No. CIV-10-0519-HE, in the United States District Court for The Western District of Oklahoma, Resolution of arbitration regarding BP Purchase of Woodford Shale assets
  • Krug v. Helmeric and Payne, Case No. CJ-98-06012, in the District Court In and For Tulsa County, State of Oklahoma, Gas Drainage case


J.D., Southern Methodist University School of Law, 1982

B.A. in English with honors, Oklahoma Baptist University, 1979


Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Ratings

Benchmark Litigation
Energy, Oil and Gas
Water Law

Best Lawyers
Lawyer of the Year – Oklahoma City
Energy Law -2011
Water Law -2012
Energy Law -2014
Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law -2017
Oil and Gas Law -2018

Best Lawyers
Commercial Litigation
Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law
Energy Law
Litigation – Environmental
Oil & Gas law
Water Law

Environment Ranked Individual


Oklahoma Supreme Court
All Oklahoma Lower Courts
Texas Supreme Court
All Texas Lower Courts
United States District Court of the Western District of Oklahoma
United States District Court of the Eastern District of Oklahoma
United States District Court of the Northern District of Oklahoma
United States Court of Appeals, Texas Circuit
United States Supreme Court


Oklahoma Bar Association
Oklahoma City Mineral Lawyers Society
President 2009-2010
Texas Bar Association