Ryan J. Morgan

Executive Committee / Member
Ryan J. Morgan


Ryan J. Morgan’s practice involves the representation of upstream exploration and production companies, investors, and private equity clients in negotiating complex transactions, and operational agreements, and managing strategic business issues. Mr. Morgan’s practice focuses on acquisitions and divestitures of upstream energy assets, regulatory guidance, and oil and gas transactions, including joint ventures, participation agreements, joint operating agreements, exploration and development agreements, private equity financing transactions, and related industry contracts. He has also led and managed large teams conducting asset diligence on significant transactions. Mr. Morgan is the leader of the firm’s Energy Transactions Practice Group.

Representative Experience

  • Represented Fortune 500 energy client before regulatory agencies and provided key guidance in developing the process to establish pooling units for the largest active coalbed methane production program in the state
  • Assisted in multi-million dollar sale and purchase of coal assets and related facility, sales, and distribution contracts
  • Developed guidelines, led due diligence teams, and prepared transactional documents for several multi-million dollar acquisitions of upstream oil and gas assets, involving review of title, environmental issues, property rights, liability and litigation matters, negotiation of contract terms, and drafting of necessary documents
  • Represented Fortune 500 energy client in negotiating significant asset acquisitions in Marcellus shale
  • Provided guidance in developing major title and asset development projects for upstream E&P companies, managing project timelines, budget, and delivery goals
  • Litigated complex real estate and mineral ownership cases to allow clients to achieve development goals
  • Litigated “missing and unknown owners” case to allow the client to lease and produce oil and gas
  • Lead counsel responsible for negotiating transactions involving over 100,000 net mineral acres in Appalachia’s unconventional resource plays
  • Local counsel responsible for providing guidance on applicable law and analysis of complex title issues as well as lead counsel on asset due diligence for acquisitions, JV, and joint development agreements involving over one million net mineral acres in the Appalachian Basin
  • Handled acquisition by the foreign-based investment group of U.S. on-shore assets
  • Provided policy and implementation guidance for new legislation to clarify notice requirements in connection with the development of coalbed methane

Licensed In

  • West Virginia


  • J.D. West Virginia University College of Law
  • B.A. Swarthmore College


  • The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law
  • GOWV Oil & Gas Association
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Chair, Sistersville Heritage Foundation
  • West Virginia Governor’s School Advisory Committee
  • Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use Committee, West Virginia State Bar
  • West Virginia Law Review
  • Order of the Coif
  • St. George Tucker Brooke, Fellow


  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Energy Law (2012-Present), Energy Regulatory Law (2024-Present), Natural Resources Law (2021-Present)
  • Mountain Honorary
  • The State Journal, Generation Next 2010

Speaking Engagements

  • “An Update on Appalachian Shale Transactions,” TerraLex Global Meeting, Energy Practice Group, October 2012
  • “Shale Transactions in Appalachia: Key Transactional Documents,” EMLF Annual Institute, July 2012
  • “Overview of Pooling Affecting Appalachian Shale Development,” EMLF Annual Institute, May 2011
  • “Lease Maintenance Challenges,” The Foundation for Natural Resources and Energy Law/Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Joint Conference on Development Issues in Major Shale Plays, 2010
  • “East Meets West: An Overview of Operational Differences in Appalachia,” NALTA Annual Conference 2010
  • “Special Provisions for Pooling and Horizontal Drilling,” Michael Late Benedum Chapter, AAPL, Spring Meeting 2010
  • “Degasification of Coal Seams in Advance of Mining: Technical & Legal Issues,” WV Coal Mining Institute Fall Meeting 2009
  • “Coalbed Methane Gas & WV Law,” WV Desk & Derrick 2009 AIMEE Award of Merit
  • “Basics of Oil & Gas Leasing,” Michael Late Benedum Chapter, AAPL, Spring Meeting 2009
  • “Legal Issues on the Horizon,” North American Coalbed Methane Forum Annual Meeting 2009
  • “Due Diligence Transactions: Energy Acquisitions and Divestitures,” WV Desk & Derrick Annual Meeting 2009
  • Recent Developments in the Oil & Gas Industry
  • An Overview of Industry and Legal Issues Affecting the Coal Industry
  • Pooling Under West Virginia’s Coalbed Methane Act
  • Legal Issues with Leasing and Drilling Horizontal Wells
  • Legal Issues Associated with Coalbed Methane Development
  • Update on Pennsylvania Royalty Cases and Legislative Issues

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