Energy & Utilities Civil Procedure

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Kazakhstan Ordered to Pay $506 Million for Crude Expropriation of Oil and Gas Investments

In a case that highlights both that governments are not above the rule of law and that it is difficult to swiftly enforce arbitral awards, a Swedish appeals court, on December 12, 2016, upheld a $506 million award against...more

It’s Now Easier To Be a Common Carrier Pipeline in Texas

We now know what it takes to establish common carrier pipeline status in Texas. According to the Texas Supreme Court in Denbury Green Pipeline Texas LLC v. Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd., all that is required is a reasonable...more

Supreme Court of Illinois Says Courts Can Decide ARES Rate Disputes

Courts – not the ICC – have jurisdiction over rate cases involving an ARES, said the Supreme Court of Illinois.[1] In a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Karmeier, the Court in December answered the Seventh Circuit’s...more

Court Finds That Enron’s Fraud Does Not Void Contract Entered Into With Enron Subsidiary

A federal appellate court has upheld a district court order enforcing an arbitration award by the ICC against the Republic of Nigeria in favor of Enron Nigeria Power Holdings, Ltd. (“ENPH”), a former subsidiary of Enron...more

The Limitation of Liability Act of 1851: Recent Court Decisions Highlight Significant Issue for Offshore Energy Industry

In 1912, a vessel owner by the name of White Star Lines invoked a little understood U.S. maritime law to limit its liability arising out of a maritime disaster. In 2010, a vessel owner by the name of Transocean invoked the...more

Louisiana Third Circuit Addresses Payment of Royalties in Situations Involving Production Under a Mineral Lease Pursuant to a...

In Gladney v. Anglo-Dutch Energy, L.L.C., the Third Circuit addressed the question of whether or not a mineral lessee must pay its lessor full lease-basis royalties for production undertaken during the effective period of a...more

Denbury v. Texas Rice "Texas Rice II": The Texas Supreme Court Affirms Common Carrier Status

On Friday, January 6, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas v. Texas Rice Land Partners (“Texas Rice II”), reversing the 9th Court of Appeals and reinstating the trial...more

Letters of Credit – Application of Fraudulent Exception

The High Court recently applied the ‘fraud exception’ to prevent payment under a standby letter of credit where the signatory who certified a presentation thereunder was aware that requirements being certified as true were in...more

The Supreme Court May Review Whether Regulatory Enforcement Actions Seeking Disgorgement are Subject to a Five-Year Statute of...

Federal regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), have the authority to impose...more

Quality Built Homes Revisited: The Court of Appeals Weighs In On Critical Issues

If you happen to work in local government, are a developer who has worked with a local government, or simply have an interest in the world of municipal water and sewer services, you are no doubt aware of the North Carolina...more

District Court Reviews Definition of “Gross Negligence” in Oil Pollution Act Reimbursement Action

On December 22, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in Water Quality Insurance Syndicate v. U.S., which reversed the Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center’s (NPFC) finding of gross...more

Delaware Law Updates – The Court of Chancery Determines $2 Billion Dispute Is One for an Independent Auditor to Decide

In Chicago Bridge & Iron Company N.V. v. Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, C.A. No. 12585-VCL (Del. Ch. Dec. 5, 2016), the Court of Chancery granted a buyer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, holding that the plain...more

Have You Reviewed Your Lease Maintenance Processes Lately?

You might conclude that the but-for-the-grace-of-God-that-could-be-me nightmare presented in In re: RPH Capital Partners is instructive only for lawyers. If so, you would be mistaken. The lesson: If you want to win the...more

Italian Constitutional Court declares the question of constitutional legitimacy on the “Spalma-Incentivi” Decree ‘groundless’

On December 7, 2016 the Italian Constitutional Court (the “Constitutional Court”) rejected the appeal filed by four solar energy operators against Art. 26, paragraphs 2 and 3 of Italian Law Decree no. 91, dated June 24, 2014,...more

California Sues Federal Government Alleging Inadequate Environmental Review of Offshore Drilling Proposal

In one of her last major legal actions before leaving office as California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, along with the California Coastal Commission (jointly the “Attorney General”), filed suit against various federal...more

Contractual compensation scheme in long-term gas supply agreement excludes common law remedies

Scottish Power UK Plc v BP Exploration Operating Co Ltd & ors [2016] EWCA Civ 1043, 1 November 2016 - The Court of Appeal considered the validity and scope of an industry-standard contractual provision specifying the...more

December 2016: Energy Litigation Update

Update on Clean Power Plan. In August 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) finalized a new set of standards, now known as the Clean Power Plan (the “Plan”), aimed at reducing carbon emissions from fossil-fuel...more

Pipeline Opponents Face Significant Obstacles in Securing Injunctive Relief

With the federal government recently approving major pipeline projects, it is expected that environmental and other special interest or lobbying groups will commence actions in an attempt to prevent or delay those projects...more

Texas Supreme Court Denial of Review Could Impact / Dissuade Health-Based Tort Claims Involving Neighboring Oil and Gas Activities

On December 2, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court denied review in Cerny v. Marathon Oil Corp., leaving in place the decision of the Fourth Court of Appeals, affirming summary judgment for the defendants and finding that the...more

Securing Rights-of-Way to CO2 Pipeline Corridors in the United States

In the previous article in this series The Future of Carbon Dioxide Injection EOR in the United States, we discussed the sources and cost of CO2 supply for enhanced oil recovery (“EOR”) in the United States and the benefits...more

Eleventh Circuit Clarifies CAFA Jurisdiction Continues After Dismissal of Class Claims

On November 22, the Eleventh Circuit clarified that Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) jurisdiction is not eliminated when the class claims are dismissed before the class is certified. The plaintiff, an Alabama trucking...more

Arbitration in Louisiana – Another Budding Romance?

Are Louisiana courts as enamored with arbitration as their Texas counterparts? Looks like it. East of the Sabine, submitting your dispute to arbitration means you are pretty much saying adieu, farewell and bye-bye to...more

Does MassDEP Have Authority to Regulate Electric Generating Emissions Under Section 3(d) of the GWSA? I’m Not So Sure.

As I have previously noted, I sympathize with the difficulties faced by MassDEP in trying to implement the SJC decision in Kain. However, that does not mean that MassDEP can simply take the easy way out. After rereading...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

Even as auto lending continues at near break-neck pace, regulators are expressing concerns about the rise (again) of subprime delinquencies from borrowers. The trend, at a time when the US economy is doing relatively well,...more

As Agency Enforcement Efforts Mount, CFTC Prohibits Private Lawsuits Against RTOs/ISOs for Market Manipulation

Incidents of alleged fraud and market manipulation in the energy markets increasingly have received the attention of federal agency enforcement efforts, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the...more

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