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Notwithstanding the technological advances in recent years that have significantly increased oil and gas production in the U.S., there is a growing global focus on use of cleaner renewable energy sources, such as geothermal energy. In bankruptcy cases, legal issues often arise with respect to exploration and production projects, including the question of whether an oil and gas or geothermal lease can be assumed or rejected by the debtor.

This article discusses the relevance of characterization of an exploration and production lease for purposes of assumption and rejection under § 365 of the Bankruptcy Code. It also explores and examines, more generally, the treatment of oil and gas and geothermal leases in and outside bankruptcy.

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Camisha is the Founder and Managing Member of Simmons Legal. She is dedicated to assisting parties in protecting their interests in corporate restructuring, creditors’ rights, real estate transactions, other business transactions, and litigation matters.

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