Michael Byrd focuses his practice on oil and gas mergers and acquisitions, with particular emphasis in the upstream segment of the industry. Mike has served as lead counsel in over 100 oil and gas M&A transactions. He also prepares and negotiates a wide range of upstream agreements, and advises his clients on oil and gas disputes. 

Since 1998, Mike has been certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law. He has served five times as Chair of the Oil, Gas and Mineral Law Exam Commission, which writes and grades the exam for that certification.

Clients have described Mike as a “phenomenal attorney; he’s very detail-oriented, really in the trenches and is extraordinarily knowledgeable about the upstream industry.” (Chambers USA 2021)

Before joining Porter Hedges, Mike had his own law firm and prior to that, was a partner at an AmLaw 100 law firm.

Honors & Recognitions

Chambers Global, Leading Lawyer in Energy: Oil and Gas Transactions, United States

Peers say of Mike, "he's tremendously experienced, has good command of the subject matter and knows the space very well."

Chambers USA, Leading Lawyer in Energy: Oil and Gas Transactions, Nationwide

"Michael is highly competent in the field and extremely responsive. He definitely adds value in negotiating energy-related contracts."

The Legal 500, Recommended Lawyer in Oil and Gas Transactions, 2020

Best Lawyers in America, Energy Law and Oil & Gas Law

Texas Super Lawyers, Energy & Natural Resources Law

Houston Business Journal, Who’s Who in Energy, 2013-2014, 2016

  • 2023 Chambers Global
  • Board Certified - Oil Gas Mineral
  • Chambers 2024



J.D., University of Texas School of Law, with honors

B.B.A., University of Texas at Austin, with honors



Louisiana (inactive)

Pennsylvania (inactive)


Acquisitions and Divestitures

  • A private company in the sale of mineral rights in the Midland Basin for ~$14 million
  • Diamondback Energy, Inc. in its acquisition of all leasehold interests and related assets of Guidon Operating LLC in exchange for 10.63 million shares of Diamondback common stock and $375 million cash.
  • Diamondback Energy, Inc. in connection with its $2.2 billion acquisition of QEP Resources.
  • A private E&P company in its acquisition of oil and gas assets, in exchange for a combination of company equity interests and cash. The sign and close transaction was fully negotiated and closed in two weeks and involved complex post-closing adjustments for title and environmental defects and indemnity claims.
  • Diamondback Exploration Inc. in a $2.43 billion acquisition of oil and gas assets in the Delaware Basin, including 76,000 prime net acres in Pecos and Reeves counties. The transaction, which included complex indemnity provisions and leasing options, was negotiated and documented in only eight days and doubled Diamondback’s prime drilling inventory.
  • Confidential large cap public E&P company in an exchange of assets in Texas and New Mexico valued at approximately $60 million with a confidential private equity portfolio company, using a complex transaction structure that successfully avoided public disclosure of the client’s entry into the area.
  • Newfield Exploration Company in the $588 million sale of its Granite Wash assets in Texas and Oklahoma to Templar Energy LLC. Negotiated and successfully disputed all title defects asserted by the buyer, saving the client more than $27 million in purchase price adjustments.
  • Magnolia Oil & Gas Corporation in an acquisition of producing properties and undeveloped acreage in the Eagle Ford Shale from various sellers, including a portfolio company of IOG Capital, LP.
  • Diamondback Energy, Inc. in the acquisition of Energen Corporation for $9.2 billion in stock.
  • Diamondback Energy, Inc. in a $212.5 million acquisition in the Permian Basin from ExL Petroleum Management, LLC, et al.
  • Diamondback Energy, Inc. in an acquisition of largely undeveloped acreage in the Permian Basin from Ajax Resources, LLC, for a combined $1.24 billion in cash and equity.
  • Diamondback Energy, Inc. in a $100 million acquisition in the Permian Basin from EnergyQuest II, LLC.
  • Viper Energy Partners LLC in a $38 million acquisition of fee mineral interests in the Midland Basin from Fort Worth Mineral Company LLC.
  • Ad hoc group of unsecured noteholders of Breitburn Energy Partners LP in the formation of a new exploration and production company and acquisition of the Delaware Basin assets in Breitburn’s $3.6 billion restructuring.
  • Newfield Production Company in the sale of multiple wellbores in the Bakken Shale, North Dakota, to Arkoma Drilling, LP, for $2.5 million plus the assumption of all P&A liability.
  • Triple Crown Resources, LLC in a $400 million acquisition of producing properties and undeveloped acreage in the Permian Basin from Broad Oak Energy II, LLC.
  • Diamondback O&G LLC in a $53.2 million sale of producing and non-producing Permian Basin assets to Double Eagle Energy.
  • Viper Energy Partners LLC in a $123 million acquisition of overriding royalty interests in the Eagle Ford Shale from DGK ORRI Company, L.P., an affiliate of The Blackstone Group.
  • Gulfport Energy Corporation in a $1.85 billion acquisition of assets in the Oklahoma SCOOP play from Vitruvian II Woodford, LLC.
  • Gulfport Energy Corporation in an $86.6 million acquisition of assets in the Utica Shale from XTO Energy Inc. and Phillips Exploration, LLC.
  • Gulfport Energy Corporation in a $50 million sale of assets in West Virginia to American Petroleum Partners Operating, LLC, an Apollo portfolio company.
  • Leading public E&P company in a combination of mergers and asset purchases to acquire assets in the Delaware Basin and the Powder River Basin for $2.3 billion.
  • Newfield Exploration Company in connection with its $471 million acquisition of Stack play assets from Chesapeake Exploration Company.
  • Goodrich Petroleum Company in the sale of Eagle Ford shale assets to EP Energy E&P Company for $118 million.

Additional Representation

  • Diamondback O&G LLC in a Participation and Development Agreement whereby an affiliate of The Carlyle Group will provide $620 million to fund drilling programs in the Permian Basin, the majority of which will come out of production revenue from the drilling programs.
  • Sanchez Energy Corporation in a joint development agreement with Blackstone Group LP for a $2.3 billion acquisition of Eagle Ford Shale assets from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. The transaction more than doubled Sanchez’s position in the Eagle Ford Shale, made it one of the largest operators in the Western Eagle Ford region and significantly increased its stock price.
  • Blackstone Group LP in connection with its investment in a $140 million drilling partnership in the Marcellus Shale.
  • GSO Capital Partners in an equity and debt investment to fund the $1.24 billion acquisition of assets in the Marcellus Shale from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.
  • Obtained a complete victory on behalf of a client in the Texas 4th District Court of Appeals in a dispute over conflicting claims to valuable mineral rights in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale oil field.
  • Primary drafter of the statute allowing Marcellus Shale operators in Pennsylvania to drill horizontal allocation wells in the absence of pooling authority.

*The selected list of transactions includes transactions that were completed prior to Mike’s employment with Porter Hedges LLP.