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Adam Rankin


110 North Guadalupe, Suite 1, Santa Fe, NM 87501

Adam provides strategic counsel to oil and gas companies and the energy industry on environmental and natural resources compliance, permitting, and administrative appeals.

Adam also has extensive experience navigating New Mexico’s complex water rights issues, water adjudications, and Indian water rights settlements.

Oil and Gas: Adam guides oil and gas clients through state and federal administrative and regulatory matters relating to all aspects of exploration, drilling, and development, including compulsory pooling, commingling, unitization, acid gas disposal, surface waste management facilities, air quality permitting, and environmental compliance and remediation.

Renewable Energy Development: As part of Holland & Hart’s Energy and Infrastructure team, Adam helps developers and lenders in the development, financing, and construction of large wind and solar energy projects by conducting due diligence on state environmental, permitting and regulatory issues for wind, solar, and geothermal projects and related transmission projects.

Litigation: Adam focuses on environmental litigation relating to spills and remediation, including water rights adjudication.

Natural Resources: Adam represents clients before the Interior Board of Land Appeals, challenging Bureau of Land Management orders relating to oil and gas development and lease issues, and the New Mexico Environment Department's Environment Improvement Board and Water Quality Control Commission on matters relating to air permitting and water quality. He also represents clients before the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer on water rights issues, permit applications, and water transfers.

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Adam clerked for Justice Edward Chávez of the New Mexico Supreme Court.


  • Horizontal and vertical drilling, including:
    • Compulsory pooling
    • Well spacing and non-standard locations
    • Downhole and Surface Commingling
    • Unitization and Communitization
    • Secondary and Tertiary recovery projects
    • Gas injection projects
    • Disposal of oilfield waste
    • Use and storage of produced water
  • Oil and gas environmental and regulatory compliance, including emissions and air quality issues and spill reporting and compliance
  • Water rights litigation, permitting, and administrative hearings
  • Brief and argue complex commercial, environmental, and natural resources issues in federal and state courts and before state and federal administrative agencies
  • Private, State, and Federal royalty obligations
  • Complex electronic discovery and document production
  • Expert and fact witness preparation for trials, depositions, and state and federal compliance actions

Client Results

  • Represents oil and gas clients before the New Mexico Oil and Gas Division/Commission, State Land Office, and Bureau of Land Management in all administrative and regulatory matters, including operator and working interest disputes, acid gas disposal, carbon dioxide injection and pressure maintenance projects, unit development and approval, horizontal drilling, and surface waste management facility permitting and compliance issues.

  • Guides major oil and gas exploration and production companies through all aspects of water development and management issues, including water rights applications and administrative protests, deep brackish water development, produced water re-use and recycling, acquisition and leasing of water rights, and water transportation.

  • Defended a major oil and gas gathering company against environmental contamination claims before the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission to a favorable settlement with the New Mexico Environment Department.

  • Guided a major oil and gas production company through regulatory response for environmental remediation and cleanup and settlement of private landowner tort claims.
  • Defended a major oil and gas company air permit approval against a challenge before the New Mexico Environment Improvement Board.
  • Reversed a BLM decision on appeal before the Interior Board of Land Appeals.

  • Guided oil and gas companies on preparation and submittal of air permitting and regulatory self-disclosures and responses to state and federal agency document requests.
  • Defended major gasoline retail marketer against the State of New Mexico regarding allegations of false claims relating to legacy environmental contamination from leaky underground storage tanks.

  • Represented major oil and gas producers challenging state and federal royalty underpayment assessments.

  • Represented major oil and gas producers in class action royalty underpayment cases relating to production of natural gas and carbon dioxide in state and federal courts.



Speaking Engagements


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


  • Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch, Environmental Law; Oil and Gas Law, 2021, 2022
  • Chambers USA, Natural Resources & Environment, 2021, 2022
  • Chambers USA, Associate to Watch, Environment, Natural Resources, & Regulated Industries, 2015-2017
  • Southwest Super Lawyers® Rising Stars, Energy & Natural Resources, 2018-2019 

Professional and Civic Affiliations

  • State Bar of New Mexico, Member, 2009-present
  • New Mexico Defense Lawyers Association, Member, 2010-present
  • New Mexico Oil and Gas Association, Member, 2010-present
  • American Bar Association, Member, 2010-present
  • First Judicial District Access to Justice Committee, Member, 2011-present
  • New Mexico Access to Justice Commission, Commissioner, 2012-2020

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