Energy & Utilities General Business Civil Procedure

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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

A Lesson in Lease Administration

What must a Louisiana lessee do to avoid statutory penalties for non-payment of royalty, and what must a royalty owner do to put the lessee on notice that royalties are not being paid? The answers are, more than the lessee...more

MATS in the Supreme Court–Toxic to EPA?

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday on whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unreasonably decided not to consider the cost of regulation when the EPA determined it was “appropriate and necessary” to...more

Texas Supreme Court oral arguments (3/15)

The Texas Supreme Court will hear three oral arguments on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Austin. The cases involve (1) breach of a gas-purchase agreement, (2) calculation of oil-and-gas royalties, and (3) application of the...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

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Shades of Sheppard?

In Wagner & Brown, Ltd. v. Sheppard, 282 S.W.3d 419 (Tex. 2008), the Texas Supreme Court held that the termination of Sheppard’s lease (Sheppard was the Lessor) did not terminate her participation in a unit into which her...more

Alabama Supreme Court Affirms Dismissal in Walter Energy

On February 20, 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama dismissing claims asserted by Walter Energy, Inc. against investor Julian A. Treger, his firm Audley Capital...more

Conflict Minerals Filings—Round Two

It’s that time of year again. Form SD filings are due June 1st (May 31st falls on a Sunday). For those who have been diligently working on your company’s annual report and proxy statement, it is time to turn your attention...more

Harrison Decision: Cabot Oil Denied Equitable Extension of Oil and Gas Lease

The decision marks another departure by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from “mainstream” oil and gas jurisprudence. On February 17, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court (the Court) unanimously ruled that state law does not...more

Zachry Construction Corp.: The End to Indemnity for Exemplary Damages?

In August 2014, the Texas Supreme Court decided Zachry Construction Corp. v. Port of Houston Authority of Harris County, 2014 WL 4472616 (Tex.). While the case involves construction issues—and specifically the enforceability...more

Dispute Resolution Clause in Settlement Agreement Supersedes the Underlying Agreement

Monde Petroleum SA v Westernzagros Ltd [2015] EWHC 67 (Comm) - In 2006, WesternZagros Ltd (WZL), an oil and gas company incorporated in Cyprus, entered into a consultancy agreement with Monde Petroleum SA (Monde), a...more

Texas Supreme Court Revisits Additional Insured Coverage for Deepwater Horizon Disaster

In In Re Deepwater Horizon, No. 13–0670 (February 13, 2015), the Texas Supreme Court had occasion to consider the extent to which the scope of additional insured coverage is limited by the terms of a contract between the...more

Loss of cargo due to piracy held not to be an “in-transit loss”

Trafigura Beheer BV v Navigazione Montanari SpA [2015] EWCA Civ 91 - The subject vessel was chartered to carry a cargo of oil from Abidjan, Ivory Coast to Lagos, Nigeria. Clause 46 of the charter (on an amended BPVOY3...more

Court Strikes Down Surcharge on Utility Users Imposed Under a Franchise Agreement

Surcharge Collected for General Revenue Purposes Under a Franchise Agreement must be Approved by Voters - A surcharge on electric utility bills collected by a power company pursuant to a franchise agreement and remitted...more

Supreme Court Decides Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc.

On March 4, 2015, the Supreme Court decided Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc., No. 13-553, holding that a rail carrier can prove discrimination under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulation Reform...more

Scanning The Post-Burlington Northern CERCLA Landscape

Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States, 556 U.S. 599 (2009), holding that a party must “take intentional steps to dispose of a hazardous...more

Texas Supreme Court Relaxes Its Grip on the Discovery Rule

The Texas Supreme Court – that elephants’ graveyard of claims and causes of action – has sided with a lessor-plaintiff who relied on the discovery rule to defeat a limitations defense. For the many with low expectations when...more

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