Energy & Utilities Securities General Business

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August 2015: Energy Litigation Update

Reserve Reports During the Oil Slump. The collapse of oil prices in the latter half of 2014 has led to SEC scrutiny of exploration and production (E&P) company compliance with rules regarding the calculation and reporting of...more

D.C. Circuit Reaffirms Previous Conflict Minerals Decision: Disclosure Requirement Violates First Amendment

In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reaffirmed its previous decision striking down a narrow portion of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) conflict...more

Blog: New GAO Report On Conflict Minerals Compliance

By coincidence, the same day that the three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit struck down (again) a portion of the conflict minerals rule (see this post), the GAO issued a report to Congressional Committees entitled “SEC...more

Updated NBP and Beach terms and conditions: Key differences between the old terms and the new 2015 terms

For many years the Short Term Flat NBP Trading Terms and Conditions 1997 (the “NBP 1997 Terms”) have been the standard terms for trading gas on the UK’s national transmission system for natural gas (the “UK NTS”) and the...more

BP Case May Again Test Limits of FERC’s “In Connection With” Enforcement Jurisdiction

A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Administrative Law Judge last week issued an Initial Decision finding that BP America (BP) and certain related BP entities violated FERC’s Anti-Manipulation Rule. Following a...more

PetroChina Class Action Dismissed

On August 3, a federal district court in New York dismissed with prejudice a securities class action suit filed against Chinese oil and gas company PetroChina Co. Ltd. The suit alleged that statements in the company’s 2011...more

CFTC Extends Comment Period on ICE Futures Rule Certification

The Division of Market Oversight of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, at the request of ICE Futures U.S., has granted a 45-day extension of the public comment period with respect to its proposed amendments to certain...more

Vantage Drilling Self-Reports Potential FCPA Violation

On August 4, Vantage Drilling Company, an international offshore drilling contractor, acknowledged that an overseas agent had entered into plea discussions with Brazilian authorities and provided evidence in the ongoing...more

The CSA’s Latest Continuous Disclosure Review: Two Key Takeaways for Material Contract and Mining Disclosure

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) recently published their annual review of Canadian public companies’ continuous disclosure filings in CSA Staff Notice 51-344 - Continuous Disclosure Review Program Activities for...more

CFTC’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee to Meet on July 29

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee will hold a public meeting on July 29. The Advisory Committee will discuss how energy and environmental markets would be affected...more

Asia-Pacific Energy Sector Update: Financing Renewable Energy Projects

In all jurisdictions, financing for greenfields projects is available from traditional sources - commercial banks, export credit agencies (ECAs, such as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Korea's...more

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest - Volume X, Issue 27

In this issue: - Court of Appeals for Third Circuit Overturns District Court Ruling Regarding Exclusion of Shareholder Proposal From Proxy Statement - FINRA Updates Its Interpretation of the SEC's Financial...more

What You Need to Know About TTIP

TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) is a comprehensive trade and investment agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and the US. The main aims of the proposed agreement are to increase trade...more

Updated: CFTC Clarifies Regulation of Forward Contracts with Embedded Volumetric Optionality

With recent release, the CFTC hopes to eliminate market uncertainty on forward contracts with embedded volumetric optionality. UPDATE (June 18, 2015): On May 12, 2015, the CFTC adopted the Proposal as proposed (as used...more

FCPA Compliance and Ethics Report-Episode 171-FCPA Enforcement in the Energy Industry [Video]

In this episode I discuss enforcement of the FCPA in the energy industry, it genesis and the business response by the energy industry. ...more

Blog: This Year’s Conflict Minerals Filings Show Some Improvement, According To Early Review

An early review of conflict minerals filings for the 2014 reporting period shows improvement in “detail, clarity and quality,” according to this article in BNA. As reported by Elm Sustainability Partners, a conflict minerals...more

LEAP 3.0: The Streamlined and Updated Master Agreement

The Leadership for Energy Automation Practices (“LEAP”) published its new master agreement, the LEAP Master Agreement for the Purchase and Sale of Physical Commodities Version 3.0 (the “LEAP 3.0”) on June 10. This agreement...more

Are your sponsorship and hospitality controls enough to satisfy the FCPA? Maybe not

On May 20, 2015, the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) settled an administrative proceeding with global mining /commodities producer BHP Billiton, resolving allegations that the company violated the books and records...more

ESMA Guidelines on the application of Sections C6 and C7 of Annex I to MiFID I

EMSA has recently published Guidelines on which commodity derivatives fall within the definition of "financial instrument" for the purposes of MiFID I. The Guidelines give clarity on the status of forwards, and guidance on...more

CFTC Proposes Order to Exempt Southwest Power Pool Products

Recently, the CFTC issued a Proposed Order in response to a 2013 request by the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) for exemption of certain SPP electric energy products from CFTC regulation. Scope of Exemption - The...more

Oil and Gas Company with Republic of Guinea Operations Announces Conclusion of DOJ Investigation

Houston-based Hyperdynamics Corp. announced in an 8-K filed on May 26 that the DOJ had closed its investigation into alleged FCPA violations by the company in the Republic of Guinea. A parallel investigation by the SEC...more

Tariff Compliance Is Not Enough: FERC Imposes Nearly Thirty-Five Million Dollars in Penalties and Disgorgement against Powhatan...

On May 29, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued an Order against Powhatan Energy Fund, LLC and its trading partners, Dr. Houlihan Chen, HEEP Fund, LLC and CU Fund, Inc. (together, “Powhatan”). FERC...more

Canada's Resource Revenue Transparency Rules Now in Force

Canada's new Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act was proclaimed in force today, in keeping with the federal Government's committed timeline. The Act imposes mandatory reporting requirements for each entity engaged in...more

Proposed Regulations on Publicly Traded Partnerships Affect Natural Resource Industry

The IRS proposed regulations [REG-132634-14] to provide guidance on what is “qualified income” from a publicly traded partnership’s (PTP) activities regarding minerals or natural resources, such as oil and gas fracturing...more

Exercising Registration Rights Did Not Violate Fiduciary Duties

Molycorp, Inc. is a publically traded Delaware corporation engaged in a the production and sale of rare earth oxides. Private equity investors held 44% of Molycorp’s stock, appointed certain directors and had demand...more

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