Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

Truthful . . . but Not Forthcoming? FERC Staff Takes Aggressive View of Material Omissions as Basis for Intent in Maxim Power

Recent positions taken by FERC’s Enforcement Staff in the Maxim Power show cause proceeding add to the uncertainty regarding what information market participants must volunteer when communicating with the Commission,...more

FTC Consent Agreement with Par Petroleum Demonstrates Increased Agency Focus on Competitive Effects

On March 18, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ordered Par Petroleum Corporation to terminate its storage and throughput rights at a key gasoline terminal in Hawaii. This action will settle FTC charges seeking to...more

BLM Issues First Federal Regulations for Hydraulic Fracturing

On Thursday, March 26, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published in the Federal Register the Final Rule on hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The Final Rule sets...more

Does Robust Compliance Mean Understood Compliance?

If I had to summarize my experience of last week, where I participated in three compliance events, that statement from one of my lunch partners, would be it. First, an up front thank you to the organizers of the Inside...more

Crude-by-Rail Still Outcompetes Pipelines in the Bakken

With low oil prices and producers slashing the rig count in the Bakken shale, it is fair to ask whether crude-by-rail will be able to compete with pipelines in the region. The bottom line is that crude-by-rail is likely to...more

Fifth Circuit Rules Only a Seaman Can Commit Seaman’s Manslaughter

A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court serves as a good reminder that criminal statutes say only what they say, and that it is up to the legislature to revise statutes to expand their scope...more

State of Wyoming Joins Independent Producers In Opposition To Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

The Wyoming Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint today in Wyoming federal district court asking the court to set aside recently finalized federal regulations related to hydraulic fracturing on federal and public lands....more

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard

Wednesday the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Michigan v. EPA, a Clean Air Act case involving hazardous air pollutant regulations, with implications for fossil fuel-fired power plant owners and operators in...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

Schlumberger Faces More Than $232.7 Million in Penalties and Pleads Guilty to Criminal Charges for Violations of U.S. Sanctions

On March 25, 2015, Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings, Ltd. (“SOHL”), a wholly owned subsidiary of Schlumberger Ltd., the world’s largest oil-field services company (collectively “Schlumberger”), agreed to plead guilty to...more

Long-awaited regulations for fracking on federal land: what they mean for business

This client alert is part of an ongoing series by DLA Piper attorneys on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas production in the US and internationally....more

Falling prices at the pump put a premium on energy IP

Crude oil prices, which have declined over 60 percent in the past six months, are at recent record lows. The impact of the price decline is being felt throughout the energy sector. Commentators agree that with few exceptions,...more

Final Rules Released for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Tribal Lands

The Bureau of Land Management contends that its new rules are consistent with state regulations and industry standards, but stakeholders believe that the rules are unnecessary or simply miss the mark. ...more

Shipwrecks and the Nairobi Convention

What is the Convention all about? The Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007 comes into force on 14 April 2015. When the Convention applies, it will impose strict liability and insurance...more

Gas Lines to Pipelines: The Case for Comprehensive Federal Energy Legislation

We’ve struggled with the consequences of an insufficient federal energy policy for nearly half a century. From the gas lines of the 1970s to the Keystone XL pipeline controversy of the past several years, the federal and...more

New Fracking Regulations on Disclosure and Disposal Could Cost Industry $32M Per Year

New regulations setting standards for hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, in oil and gas wells drilled on federal lands were issued recently by the Obama administration through the U.S. Department of the...more

Certificated Natural Gas Storage Capacity Is Based on Science Not Sales, FERC Rules

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (the Commission) issued an order on Thursday, March 19, 2015, refusing to allow the abandonment of certificated working gas capacity when the reason for the request was unrelated to...more

Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Hits the Courts

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which involves the proposed twinning of the existing Edmonton-Burnaby pipeline and the expansion of a marine terminal, was the subject of a number of court decisions last year involving...more

Must the Lessee Be Wary of the Executive Right Owner?

You are negotiating to take a big oil and gas lease. The run sheets show you are dealing with an executive right owner on behalf of himself and his NPRI owner. His proposed terms are odd: a lower-than-market royalty and a...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: BLM Issues Final Rule on Hydraulic Fracturing Operations on Federal and Indian Lands

On March 20, 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) released its long-awaited final rule for hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian land. The rule establishes new requirements to ensure wellbore integrity, protect...more

Third Circuit refuses to permit Debtor Lessor to Reject an Oil and Gas Lease

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit confirmed that the Pennsylvania Landlord and Tenant Act is inapplicable to an agreement by a landowner authorizing the “lessee” to extract oil and gas lying beneath the property's...more

California’s Class II Underground Injection Wells Subject to Increased Scrutiny

EPA sets new requirements and compliance deadlines for a stricter regulatory oversight program. On March 9, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a letter to the California State Water Resources Control...more

UK budget 2015

Earlier today the UK government delivered its last budget before the UK general election in May. Many of the measures were, as one might expect so close to an election, focused on personal rather than corporate taxation....more

EPA Releases Notice On The GHG Emissions Of Pennycress Oil

On March 12, 2015, Christopher Grundler, Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, signed the Notice Of Opportunity to Comment on an Analysis of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Attributable to Production and...more

California Crude Trains: How Much Oil Is Actually Coming In and Where Is It Coming From?

California has become ground zero for legal opposition to crude-by-rail projects. Opponents decry derailments, toxic vapors, and other ills. Yet despite the dire images painted by crude-by-rail’s opponents, the reality on the...more

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