General Business Energy & Utilities Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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Qatar Market Update – June 2016

In our June market overview we are seeing that the low price of oil is continuing to affect the economy in Qatar, with cut-backs and redundancies evident. However, despite the slow-down it is forecast that US $22.2 billion...more

Distressed Download

Lessons from Sabine - In March, Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman held that Sabine Oil & Gas Corp. satisfied the standards for rejection of several gathering and handling agreements between Sabine and its midstream...more

Upsetting the Outer Continental Shelf Ecosystem through Overbonding

At a time when the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) Well Control Rule has shifted focus away from its sister agency’s regulatory maneuvering, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) is changing...more

My Compliments to DTE

DTE acts quickly and reasonably to settle Milford bypass case. Since I previously wondered whether DTE was engaging in chicanery by providing a construction document that identified the proposed location of the easement...more

FERC Decision Signals that it Will Strictly Enforce Interconnection Procedures

On March 4, 2016, over the objections of the developer and a dissent from Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur, FERC issued an order authorizing the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. to terminate a generator...more

Jordan Cove LNG Setback

In a move that surprised some industry observers, on March 11, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order (the “Order”) that (i) denied Jordan Cove Energy Project, L.P.’s (“Jordan Cove”) application...more

Treatment of Gas Gathering Contracts in Bankruptcy

On March 8, 2016, Judge Shelly Chapman, presiding over the Chapter 11 cases of Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation and its affiliates ("Sabine"), granted Sabine's motion to reject certain midstream agreements between Sabine and...more

Decision Permits Rejection of Midstream Agreements in Bankruptcy

Decision establishes framework for future rulings that covenants in midstream agreements do not run with the land. On March 8, Judge Shelley C. Chapman of the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York...more

New York Bankruptcy Court Authorizes Rejection of Midstream Contracts

Bad news for midstream counterparties of bankrupt oil & gas producers: you may not be able to rely (as much as you might have expected) on covenants “running with the land” to save your contracts from rejection in...more

Dunes Sagebrush Lizard Decision Upholds Importance of Conservation Agreements

On March 1, the oil and gas industry won a significant victory when the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (“FWS”) decision that conservation agreements supported by the industry...more

Ohio Supreme Court: Form Oil and Gas Lease Not Void as Against Public Policy

Earlier this week, in an unsurprising but nevertheless meaningful decision, the Ohio Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the standard form oil and gas lease at issue was not “perpetual,” and thus was not void as against...more

Pierce Atwood Environmental Regulatory Compliance Calendar (RCC)

NEW REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS - Federal - Maine Massachusetts New Hampshire STATUS OF PREVIOUSLY REPORTED RULES COMPLIANCE DEADLINES   For more information, see our mobile-friendly ENViromation Center, an online tool...more

Fourth Circuit Joins Courts in Pennsylvania and Ohio in Holding that Dual Purpose Oil and Gas Lease Is Not Severable

As we have often reported, landowners’ efforts to evade the plain terms of “dual purpose” leases, providing for both production and natural gas storage, have almost universally failed. Most recently, on December 28, 2015, the...more

Sustainability in Retail: Going Strong and Expected to Continue

The COP21 meeting has been underway for the last week, with just a few more days left to go. The meeting, an annual session which started following the 1992 United Nations Framework on Climate Change, brings together...more

Another Season of Change in North Carolina Environmental Law - Part II

As discussed in Part I of our environmental legislative update published on November 12, 2015, the 2015 North Carolina legislative session resulted in a great deal of change for the state’s environmental programs....more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Affirms Striking of 24-Year-Old Default Judgment, and Holds That Leasing Is Not Enough to Claim...

The development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has led to a number of disputes about historical judgments that purportedly divested reserved oil and gas rights from their owners. During the 20th century, surface...more

Compliance with the Clean Air Act Increasingly Unlikely to Protect Companies from Nuisance Suits

A recent decision out of the Sixth Circuit found that the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) does not preempt common law claims brought against an emitter based on the law of the state in which the emitter operates. This decision, Merrick...more

Are Recorded Oil and Gas Leases Title Transactions Under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act?

In a decision issued November 5, 2015 in the matter of Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Buell, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a recorded oil and gas lease is a title transaction under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“ODMA”),...more

Ohio Supreme Court Issues Second Key Decision Interpreting Dormant Mineral Act

On November 5, 2015, in Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al. v. Kenneth Buell, et al., 2015-Ohio-4551, the Ohio Supreme Court issued its second decision interpreting Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (the “ODMA”). The ODMA is a...more

Renewable Energy Developers ? Beware of your Land Options

Four Arrows Investments 68 v Abigail Construction (20470/2014) [2015] ZASCA 121 - In a recent judgment the Supreme Court of Appeal held that any sale of a portion of agricultural land, whether conditional or not, shall...more

New Developments in Old Stratas: B.C. Proposes to Lower Threshold for Strata Termination

The British Columbia government recently introduced a bill that will, if passed, make it easier to cancel a strata plan and wind up a strata corporation under the Strata Property Act (Act). Currently, a unanimous resolution...more

Pennsylvania Court Holds Oil and Gas Reservations Do Not Terminate Upon Expiration of Lease

On Friday, October 9, 2015, a three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that a reservation of oil, gas and mineral rights in a deed does not terminate merely because the lease under which those rights were...more

EPA Issues New Residual Risk and Technology Rule for Petroleum Refineries

On September 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) promulgated its final Petroleum Refinery Sector Risk and Technology Review (“RTR”) and New Source Performance Standards (“NSPS”) rule...more

National Instrument 43-101 and Early Production Decisions: What are the Rules and What are the Risks?

Most mineral projects that proceed to commercial production do so on the basis of certain advanced technical studies. The key milestone is usually a feasibility study which demonstrates, among other things, the existence of...more

Alberta Court Strikes Out Pleadings Challenging Validity of Oil and Gas Permits

A challenge to the validity of oil and gas permits outside the judicial review process is a collateral attack and will be struck, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench held recently in Ominayak v Penn West Petroleum Ltd, 2015...more

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