General Business Civil Procedure Energy & Utilities

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PA Court Holds That Natural Gas Producer Improperly Deducted Fees

Post-production costs deducted from gas royalties, such as interstate transportation charges and marketing costs, must be incurred while a producer still holds title to the gas....more

Ontario Court of Appeal Confirms Parties May Adjudicate Contract Disputes Through Application Despite Factual Questions

In a recent decision, Energy Fundamentals Group Inc. v. Veresen Inc. (Veresen), the Ontario Court of Appeal confirmed that, even where there are factual questions the court must resolve, a contract dispute may be adjudicated...more

Alaska Supreme Court Says Exploration is a Transfer of Interest in State Land, Cannot Be Allowed Without Full Public Notice and...

The Alaska Supreme Court’s recent decision in Nunamta Alukestai v. Pebble Limited Partnership, No. 7011 (Alaska filed May 29, 2015) significantly alters the permitting process for projects within the jurisdiction of the...more

Competition News, June 2015

It is a cardinal rule of antitrust that – absent very limited exceptions – parties can do business, or refuse to do business, with whomever they choose. The Supreme Court solidified that premise in United States v. Colgate &...more

Transocean/BP Settlement Ends Texas Law Insurance Dispute: What Are the Possible Future Implications?

A lesser known but interesting legal issue regarding the 2010 BP oil spill was whether an operator (BP) could recover insurance proceeds as an additional insured under its driller's (Transocean) insurance policies for...more

Mercuria v Citigroup: The issues and implications for the commodities market

The judgment on the claim brought by Mercuria Energy Trading Pte Ltd and Mercuria Energy Group Ltd (Mercuria) against Citibank NA and Citigroup Capital Markets Ltd (Citi), has now been published by the English Commercial...more

Texas Supreme Court: Companies Shielded from Defamation Claims for Statements in Internal Investigation Reports

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court joined the majority of jurisdictions in holding that a company enjoys an absolute privilege when providing the Department of Justice (DOJ) with an internal investigation report containing...more

Plans of Arrangement under CBCA: Lessons from Connacher Oil

In early 2015, 9171665 Canada Ltd. and Connacher Oil and Gas Ltd. (together Connacher) applied to the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench (Court) for a final order pursuant to section 192 of the Canada Business Corporations Act...more

English Court Trumps Arbitration Clause in Favor of One-Stop Litigation

The English High Court in Monde Petroleum SA v WesternZagros Ltd [2015] EWHC 67 (Comm) recently decided whether a dispute resolution clause in a settlement agreement referring disputes to the English court superseded an...more

In re El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. Deriv. Litig., C.A. No. 7141-VCL (Del. Ch. Apr. 20, 2015) (Laster, V.C.)

In this post-trial opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery determined that a general partner breached a limited partnership agreement in connection with a “drop-down” transaction. The Court held that the partnership’s...more

U.S. Supreme Court Lets Natural Gas Act Preemption Seep Away

In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., No. 13-271 (April 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held in a 7-2 opinion that state law antitrust claims against defendant natural gas pipeline companies did not fall within the field of...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

Is Your ORRI What You Think It Is?

Bankruptcy Court reinforces importance of parties’ intent in determining the nature of overriding royalty interests under state law. On April 2, 2015, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds FERC Approval of Maryland Natural Gas Facility

On April 24, the D.C. Circuit issued its opinion in Myersville Citizens for a Rural Community v. FERC, upholding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or the “Commission”) approval of Dominion Transmission’s...more

It’s All About the Process: Lessons from Delaware Court on MLP’s Conflicts Committee Approval

On April 20, 2015, the Delaware Court of Chancery issued a post-trial opinion in the case In Re: El Paso Pipeline Partners L.P. (C.A. No. 7141-VCL), finding El Paso Pipeline GP Company LLC, the general partner (GP) of El Paso...more

Operator Granted Summary Judgment Against Producer for Disputed Invoice Amounts

A gas facility operator was recently awarded summary judgment for its unpaid invoices, even though the non-paying producer disputed the amounts owing and claimed various set-offs. In SemCAMS ULC v Blaze Energy Ltd, 2015 ABQB...more

Protection of Confidential Commercial Information Affirmed in Freedom of Information Decision

On February 19, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) denied leave to appeal from the judgment of the Alberta Court of Appeal (Court) in Imperial Oil Limited v. Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner). ...more

SCOTUS Holds Natural Gas Act Does Not Preempt State Law Antitrust Claims

In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., Case No. 13-271 (Apr. 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Natural Gas Act did not preempt retail customers’ state law antitrust claims against interstate gas pipeline operators for...more

Recent Court of Appeals Decision Guts Force Majeure Clauses in Most Oil and Gas Leases

On March 31, 2015, the New York State Court of Appeals issued an opinion in the case of Walter R. Beardslee, et al. v. Inflection Energy, LLC, et al., interpreting the applicability of force majeure clauses to extend the...more

No Equitable Extension of a Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Lease

Whoa! I didn’t see this one coming. Pennsylvania lessees are not entitled to an equitable extension of the primary term of an oil and gas lease in the face of a legal challenge to the validity of the lease....more

Arbitration Outcomes Not Binding on Subsequent Arbitration Panels, Court Rules

A recent Alberta Court of Queen's Bench decision in ENMAX Energy Corporation v. TransAlta Generation Partnership addresses long-standing legal principles such as stare decisis and res judicata in the context of arbitration...more

March 2015: Energy Litigation Update

Drilling Contracts and Rig Maintenance. Drill rig contracts, which take a similar format around the world, have for years been construed by many as entitling contractors to be paid a day rate while fixing equipment failures...more

Another George Clooney Film in the Making? Nevada Supreme Court Rejects Rule Against Perpetuities Argument for Mining Agreement

The Nevada Supreme Court recently decided that the rule against perpetuities does not apply to area-of-interest provisions in commercial mining agreements. While you should not expect this case to become a summer blockbuster...more

Italy: GSE Claims Reimbursement of FiT Payments from Conto Energia I Plant Owners

Owners of early generation Conto Energia I photovoltaic (PV) plants are currently receiving letters from the Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (GSE) announcing that it will adjust the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) downwards and claim...more

Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner: Don’t Deny Earthquake Claims as Man-Made by Linking Them to Fracking

The jury is still out on whether hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” causes earthquakes, but carriers whose policies afford coverage for quakes have recently been denying such claims, asserting that they are excluded because...more

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