Securities Energy & Utilities

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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

Corporate Investigations & White Collar Defense - May 2015

It’s an Absolute Privilege to Meet You! Texas Supreme Court Rules That Internal Investigation Report Provided by Shell Oil to DOJ Enjoys “Absolute Privilege” - Why it matters: On May 15, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court...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

Red Notice Newsletter - May 2015

Welcome to the May 2015 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month on the anticorruption front, a German engineering firm tests Brazil's recently implemented anticorruption...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

Insights for Improving Conflict Minerals Compliance

As the annual May 31 deadline falls on a Sunday this year, companies must file their Conflict Minerals disclosures under Section 1502 of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act with the U.S....more

Shining a Light on Payments to Governments: The Current State of “Publish What You Pay” Rulemaking Around the World

Over the last few years, a number of key jurisdictions have adopted regulations requiring companies engaged in natural resource extraction activities to disclose the payments they make to governments and state-owned...more

CFTC Proposes to Exempt Certain Southwest Power Pool Transactions

On May 18, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a proposed order in response to an application submitted by Southwest Power Pool, Inc. (SPP) to exempt certain contracts, agreements and transactions for the purchase...more

SEC Charges Australian Mining Company for FCPA Violations Arising from Its Hospitality Program at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

On May 20, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced a $25 million settlement with Australian mining company BHP Billiton (the "Company") to resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) charges...more

Blog: PCAOB Publishes New “Audit Committee Dialogue”

The PCAOB has announced the publication of a new paper designed to address audit committees. The paper, Audit Committee Dialogue, provides insights from inspections of public company auditors that should assist audit...more

CFTC Proposes Changes to Trade Option Rules for End Users

The CFTC has proposed several important changes that would alleviate the reporting and recordkeeping obligations of end users with respect to trade options (or provide by rule certain relief currently only available under...more

IRS Releases Proposed New Rules for MLP Qualifying Income

Today, the IRS released anxiously awaited proposed regulations defining qualifying income for publicly traded partnerships, usually referred to as “master limited partnerships” (MLPs). ...more

Miners Beware: Regulators Read Your Investor Presentations

On April 9, 2015, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) published CSA Staff Notice 43-309 - Review of Website Investor Presentations by Mining Issuers (the Staff Notice), which summarizes the findings of a review of...more

UAE Issues New More Flexible 2015 Commercial Companies Law

The UAE continues to develop a more sophisticated corporate regulatory regime which has significant implications for government-owned companies, limited liability companies and joint stock companies. All companies are...more

Hedging Oil & Gas Production

The recent, dramatic decline in the price of oil illustrates the risk that every oil and gas producer has to declining energy commodity prices. This paper discusses various methods for “hedging” or reducing price risk. In...more

Going from A to A+: SEC Approves Amendments to Regulation A

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission unanimously adopted final rules to amend Regulation A, as mandated by Title IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act). Whereas the existing...more

Give and Take: Canadian Securities Regulators Ease Disclosure Burdens on Venture Issuers but Enhance Audit Committee Member...

On April 9, 2015, the Canadian Securities Administrators announced amendments to the continuous disclosure and governance obligations of venture issuers in three national instruments: National Instruments 51-102 Continuous...more

SEC Files Offering Fraud Action

The Commission filed another offering fraud action tied to the sale of interests in the development of oil and gas wells prior to the recent downturn in the price of oil. Beginning in 2010 the defendants raised about $4.4...more

Mining Issuers: Ensure your Websites and Investor Presentations Comply with NI 43-101

Mining issuers have their qualified persons (“QPs”) and occasionally legal counsel review technical disclosure, including news releases and technical reports, to ensure they comply with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of...more

Newsletter: March 2015

In This Issue: - Main Article: .. Inter Partes Review and the ITC: The Benefits and Risks of Filing IPR on Patents Asserted in an ITC Investigation - Noted With Interest: .. Securities Act Claims...more

FERC Lightens Compliance Load for Power Traders

In a time of increasing compliance requirements and enhanced regulatory scrutiny of power trading activities, a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) order brought some compliance relief to power traders and...more

2015 IPO Study

In this Issue: - Executive Summary - 2014 Overview - Year-Over-Year Analysis - Health Care - Technology, Media & Telecommunications - Energy & Power - Financial Services - Industrials -...more

Compliance Responses to Economic Downturns: A Focus On The Energy Sector – Part Two

II. Doing Less with Less - The current economic downturn in the energy space seems to follow a pattern, with businesses’ exhibiting predictable Pavlovian responses. When oil prices drop precipitously, companies who are...more

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