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General partner to pay $171 million for special committee’s failure to act in good faith: 2 key takeaways

In In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Derivative Litigation, 2015 WL 1815846 (Del. Ch. Apr. 20, 2015), the Delaware Court of Chancery (Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster) issued a post-trial opinion finding that the general...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: The Broader Lesson of the El Paso Pipeline Decision

Alternative entities, such as limited partnerships and limited liability companies, have an advantage over corporations because of the greater flexibility to define the terms of the arrangement by contract. ...more

Must the Lessee Be Wary of the Executive Right Owner?

You are negotiating to take a big oil and gas lease. The run sheets show you are dealing with an executive right owner on behalf of himself and his NPRI owner. His proposed terms are odd: a lower-than-market royalty and a...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Range Resources Case

On March 6, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court decided a case involving the duties owed to the non-executive holder of a nonparticipating royalty interest by both the executive rights holder and the lessee that negotiated the...more

The Executive Right and the NPRI – What is the Relationship?

The duty owed by the executive right holder to its non-participating royalty interest holder in Texas, long haunted by the ghost of Clinton Manges, is again examined. From KCM Financial, et al. v. Bradshaw and its...more

Louisiana Lessee Could be Liable for Withholding Information

A Quiz - You are in Louisiana and are described as having a “lesion beyond moiety”. What do you do? A. Contact your primary care physician for an appointment...more

SEC Continues To Focus On Microcap Fraud

The Commission continues to focus on microcap fraud actions with two new manipulation cases involving penny stocks. In one a former registered representative acted as an unregistered broker and then engaged in a series of...more

Class Actions Can Strain Retail Electric Providers

In August 2014, a putative class action suit was brought against Ambit Energy Holdings LLC, Ambit Texas, LLC, Ambit Northeast LLC, and Ambit New York, LLC (collectively, “Ambit”) in New Jersey federal district court. Class...more

Listen to the Words In the Injunction Battle

In Lightning Oil Company v. Anadarko E&P Offshore, LLC, the surface and 1/6 of the minerals of the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area is owned by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 5/6th of the minerals is owned by the...more

Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute

Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., No. 7:12-cv-00133-O (N.D. Tex. Jul. 14, 2014) - Northern District of Texas dismisses bad faith claims against insurer and adjuster in dispute over coverage for...more

SEC Brings Fraud Charges Against Oil and Gas Company and Its CEO

On August 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission instituted cease-and-desist proceedings against Houston American Energy Corp., an oil and gas exploration and production company, and John F. Terwilliger, its CEO, for...more

ACER 2014 REMIT Report Confirms Continued Inquiries into Market Conduct

ACER calls for substantial funding increase to enable more aggressive monitoring and enforcement efforts in coordination with national regulators. On Tuesday 10 June 2014, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy...more

Operator Wins JOA Fight

MDU Barnett Ltd. P’ship v. Chesapeake Exploration Ltd. P’ship is at least three things: - The culmination of an unhappy relationship between an operator and non-operators. - What happens when joint owners’ interests...more

“A letter of intent is the invention of the devil [that] should be avoided at all costs.” -- Stephen R. Volk, Esq. regarding the...

A Dallas jury recently reminded us why Mr. Volk lamented letters of intent. Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. is currently appealing that jury’s finding of $319MM in actual damages and $914MM for improper benefits due to...more

Going Public: Powhatan Energy Fund’s “Insurance Policy” Regarding FERC Enforcement’s Non-Public Manipulation Investigation Into...

On February 28, 2014, Powhatan Energy Fund (“Powhatan”) launched a public website disclosing that for more than three years, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Office of Enforcement (“OE”) has been...more

Texas Supreme Court Will Review Reversal Of $20 Million Judgment

Two intriguing factors are present in the Texas Supreme Court’s decision to review Hooks v. Samson Lone Star, LP. It is out of the ordinary for this court to consider a court of appeals reversal of a large jury verdict. ...more

Texas Court Of Appeals: Providing "Treasure Map" To Potential Investors Without Non-Disclosure Agreement Does Not Destroy Trade...

A Texas Court of Appeals upheld a jury's determination that a seismic map of an underground natural gas field retained its trade secret status, despite the fact that the owner gave the map to the alleged misappropriator and...more

Avoiding multimillion-dollar liability for de facto partnership breach under Texas law: one useful tip

After a lengthy trial, a Dallas jury has found that a de facto partnership existed between Energy Transfers Partners, L.P. (ETP) and Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. “to market and pursue a pipeline project to transport...more

The Investigative and Enforcement Priorities of the FERC Office of Enforcement

The past year has been marked by several record-breaking penalties imposed on companies and individuals by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) for alleged misconduct in the energy markets. On November 21, 2013,...more

FERC Requests that U.S. District Court Affirm Penalties for Market Manipulation

On October 1, 2013, we reported here that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued orders on August 29, 2013, assessing civil penalties against, and requiring disgorgement of profits by, Lincoln Paper and...more

Haynesville Shale Fraud Judgment Reversed

Vestiges of the early Haynesville Shale land rush remain. Imagine: The lease is about to expire. Lessee (Mecom) offers lessor (Henderson) $90 per acre for an extension, telling him, “I could extend for two more years...more

Barriers to Cooperation between the CFTC and FERC Hinder Investigations into Energy Market Manipulation – A Legislative Fix May be...

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) has initiated investigations into energy market manipulation in the last two years that have resulted in nearly $1 billion in penalties and profit disgorgements from companies...more

Prospect Generator Is Vindicated

The prospect generator’s worst nightmare is presented in Southwestern Energy Production Co. v. Berry-Helfand and Muncey. I will over-simplify the facts: Hefland and Muncey toil for years generating James Lime prospects in a...more

Fiduciary Duties In Oil Patch Deals

I. GENERAL. A. Introduction. In selecting a form of business entity for an oil patch deal in Texas the organizer or initial owners can consider the following five business entity forms: • Corporation •...more

Court Rules FERC Does Not Have Authority to Fine Trader for Manipulation of Futures Contracts

Pursuant to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) fined a natural gas trader $30 million for manipulating the settlement price for natural gas futures contracts on the New York...more

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