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McAnelly III, J.J. James
W. James McAnelly III
P: +1.713.221.1194
F: +1.713.222.3241

Jeri Bartush-Pirtle


James (J. J.) McAnelly is a partner in the Houston office of Bracewell. J. J. currently co-heads Bracewell’s oil and gas practice group. He represents oil, gas and energy industry clients in a broad range of oil and gas transactions, including the purchase, sale and/or financing of exploration and producing properties, processing plants, production and storage facilities and pipeline systems, as well as day-to-day operational representation. He also assists in the formation of joint ventures and partnerships for the funding, acquisition, operation and development of energy projects. He also has represented investors and lenders to coal mining operations and development projects.

J. J.'s finance practice focuses on the representation of commercial banks, investment banks and hedge funds in energy lending. He also represents lenders in structured finance and off-balance sheet transactions.

J. J. is nationally recognized by Chambers and Partners, Chambers USA (2010-2015) as a well-regarded upstream oil and deal lawyer and is ranked in Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional). According to the 2015 Chambers guide, sources say “when you do a deal with him he understands the needs of both sides and he attempts to address those concerns using his good working knowledge of the industry."

Representative Matters

Representing Noble Energy in the exchange of approximately 25,000 net acres in the DJ Basin with PDC Energy for $270 million.

Representing Noble Energy in the divestiture of Watternberg Field assets in the DJ Basin for $505 million to Synergy Resources.

Representation of Empyrean Energy PLC in the sale of its approximate 3% working interest in the Sugarloaf AMI Prospect in Karnes County, Texas (approximately 24,000 gross acres) to Carrier Energy Partners II, LLC for approximately $61.5 million plus a certain contingency payment.

Representation of a large integrated international energy company in multiple divestitures of its producing assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

Representation of Tall City Exploration LLC in an agreement with Moss Creek Resources, LLC to sell its Howard and Borden counties assets for $803 million.

Representation of Three Rivers Operating Company III LLC in connection with all acquisitions and divestitures of oil and gas assets.

Representation of Covey Park Energy LLC in connection with handling its acquisition and divestiture work since its formation in 2014.

Representation of Newfield Exploration Company in divestment of producing properties in the Maverick Basin (South Texas) covering approximately 146,000 acres and 127 wells.

Representation of Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent Inc. in the acquisition of a package of producing and undeveloped properties in the liquids window of the Anadarko Basin covering approximately 13,675 acres and 9 producing wells.

Represented Manti Equity Partners, LP in the $141 million joint sale of Eagle Ford acreage and production to a subsidiary of the Chinese company, MeiDu Holding Co., Ltd.

Represented an undisclosed private equity backed seller in the sale of Permian acreage and production to an undisclosed buyer for $1.24 billion.

Representation of Tall City Exploration LLC in the sale of $440 million in assets to American Energy – Permian Basin, LLC.

Represented Eni Petroleum in the $4.83 billion acquisition of Dominion's OCS Gulf of Mexico Assets.

Represented Covey Park in the purchase of Encana’s East Texas package for approximately $425 million.

Represented an undisclosed private equity backed seller in the sale of Permian acreage and production to an undisclosed buyer for $410 million.

Represented Kinder Morgan, as co-counsel, in connection with the $7.15 billion sale of El Paso's exploration and production business unit which included assets in the Eagle Ford Shale, Permian Basin, Haynesville Shale, Black Warrior Basin, Uintah Basin, Raton Basin, Powder River Basin, Gulf of Mexico, and in Egypt and Brazil.

Represented SWEPI LP, a unit of Shell, in connection with the $1.9 billion acquisition from Chesapeake Energy Corporation of approximately 618,000 net acres of oil and gas properties in the Southern Delaware region of the Permian Basin.

Represented Three Rivers Acquisition LLC and Three Rivers Operating Company LLC in their sale of all their Permian Basin oil and gas producing assets to Concho Resources for $1 billion.

Represented a large and integrated multi-national petroleum company in the $280 million acquisition of Barnett Shale leasehold interests from Quicksilver Resources Inc. as well as the joint development arrangements for the exploration and development of the acreage.

Represented the majority working interest owner in the acquisition and documentation of oil and gas leases (35,000+ acres) in an east Texas gas play, the negotiation and documentation of various exploration and development agreements involving those oil and gas leases, the negotiation and documentation of various service provider contracts including drilling contracts and field services contracts and the negotiation and documentation of a JV for the ownership and operation of a gathering system related to the discovered field.

Represented a Fortune 100, non-E&P industry company with respect to various joint ventures with industry players in the wolfbone, niobrara and bakken shale plays.

Represented large, integrated multi-national oil and gas company in various Gulf of Mexico OCS transactions from 2001 to the present, including the formation and documentation of a joint venture to drill five prospects with another industry player and the acquisition of all the stock of a publicly-traded E&P company.

Represented subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company in various upstream acquisitions since 2000, including the $240 million purchase of oil and gas working interest and gathering pipeline assets from Marathon in the Permian Basin in Texas.

Represented a large independent in various acquisitions and divestitures of producing properties and prospects in the Barnett Shale area of north Texas since 2004.

Represented the majority partner in the formation of a limited partnership to acquire and develop conventional oil and gas properties in Oklahoma and coal bed methane properties in north central Louisiana.

Represented seller in $50 million sale of partnership interests of limited partnership that owned producing oil and gas properties in south Texas.

Represented a Fortune 500 midstream gas company in numerous acquisitions and divestitures of midstream assets since 2000 including the 2002 $750 million purchase of a subsidiary of a large, integrated oil and gas company that owned a Texas intrastate gas pipeline system and two south gas storage facilities, and the 2004 $100 million purchase of oil pipeline and refining assets located in west Texas.

Represented another master limited partnership in various acquisitions of midstream assets including the acquisition of a large gathering system, processing plant, off-take pipeline and rail loading facility located on-shore in California.

Represent various money center banks and regional banks in lending transactions to all facets of the energy industry including both upstream E&P companies and midstream companies.

Represent borrowers and target companies in their energy loan and structured finance transactions with banks, hedge funds and other capital providers.

Represent hedge funds in their various transactions related to the energy arena.

Publications and Speeches

“A&D Buyside,” Oil & Gas Investor,  May 2016.

"New Twists On An Old Structure," Oil and Gas Investor, August 1, 2015.

"Coming to America: Commercial and Legal Aspects of Foreign Investment in U.S. Oil and Gas Projects," 60th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute, July 2014.

"Recent Legal Developments in the Roaring Utica Shale," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, May 8, 2014.

"Overview of Trades: Joint Exploration and Joint Venture Agreements," Meeting of the American Association of Professional Landmen, June 2012.

"Unconventional Resources: Lessons Learned in Buying, Selling & Joint Venturing Shale Assets," Texas Energy Law Symposium, January 20, 2011.

"How to Form a Joint Venture," Energy Capital Forum, June 2010.

"Purchase and Sale Agreements in Hard Times," 35th Annual University of Texas School of Law Ernest E. Smith Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Institute, March 2009.

"Careers in Oil and Gas," University of Texas Law School Journal of Oil Gas & Energy Law, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

"Capital Perspectives: Eni Acquires Dominion Offshore Gulf of Mexico Assets," Oil & Gas Financial Journal, August 2007.


J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 1993
B.B.A., with honors, The University of Texas at Austin, 1990

Bar Admissions



State Bar of Texas, Oil and Gas Section
Institute for Energy Law, Co-Chair – 68th Annual Oil & Gas Conference; Advisory Board
Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation
Texas Journal of Oil, Gas and Energy Law, Board of Advisors
University of Texas Energy Center, Advisory Council


Chambers & Partners, Chambers Global, Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional), 2011-2016
Chambers & Partners, Chambers USA, Energy: Oil & Gas (Transactional), 2010-2016; Energy & Natural Resources, 2009
American City Business Journals, Houston Business Journal, Who’s Who in Energy, 2013-2015
Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC, Expert Guides to the World's Leading Energy and Natural Resource Lawyers, 2013
Legalease, The Legal 500 United States, Energy: Transactions, 2012-2013
Thomson Reuters, Texas Super Lawyers, 2003-2005, 2013-2016