Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

Pipeline Operators Take Heed – Threatened Enviro Lawsuit May Lead to Greater Regulatory Requirements

On July 28, 2015, the National Wildlife Federation (“NWF”) filed an intent to sue notice against the Department of Transportation (“DOT”), arguing the DOT has not properly approved pipeline projects for more than 20 years. ...more

Red Notice Newsletter - August 2015

Welcome to the August 2015 edition of Red Notice, a publication of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This month on the anticorruption front, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

Managing Threats to Corporate Reputations (Part II of III)

Most companies do not adequately manage their reputations and the risks to their reputations. Too many companies are focused on “crisis” management, which is just another way to respond to a reputational risk that has already...more

Where There Is A Well There Is A Way - Out Tract Title Issues Regarding Horizontal Wells

Oh for the days of simplicity when a wellbore tract meant just that—a piece of property upon which a well has been located, drilled, and touched down all within the same tract. Vertical wells were so simple for title...more

Supreme Court of Kentucky Provides Guidance on Deduction of Post-Production Costs

On August 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of Kentucky published two opinions addressing questions about the propriety of deduction of certain post-production costs from royalty payments under an oil and gas lease. In Baker v....more

Activists Threaten to Sue if EPA doesn’t Update RCRA Regs to Cover Oil & Gas Industry

On Wednesday, August 26, a coalition of environmental groups threatened to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) if the regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”) are not updated to...more

Greater sage-grouse and land use in the inter-mountain west

The greater sage-grouse—a ground-dwelling, chicken-like bird—has been the focus of controversy pitting conservation against energy development and ranching interests across the inter-mountain west. The greater sage-grouse’s...more

U.S. EPA Proposes New Rules on Air Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector: Impacts to Owners and Operators

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a suite of proposed actions affecting the oil and gas industry. EPA’s proposed Clean Air Act rules address methane emissions from new and modified...more

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

"EPA Issues Clean Power Plan to Reduce Power Plant Carbon Emissions"

On August 3, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its final regulation, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), establishing carbon dioxide (CO2) emission guidelines for existing affected electric utility...more

Compressor Station Negligent Nuisance Verdict Reversed

Therapist: “We’re here today in group to bring closure to the traumatic events of Crosstex North Texas Pipeline L.P. v. Gardiner. Each side claims mistreatment by his adversary and by one component or another of the civil...more

FCA bans director for SIPP failings

FCA has banned Robert Shaw, former director of TailorMade Independent Ltd (TMI), from senior positions in the financial services sector and fined him £165,900. FCA found that Mr Shaw benefited financially from being the...more

More on Methane: Adjacency, Consistency, and a Major Source of Confusion

On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a package of four proposals to control methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. By far, EPA’s proposed New Source Performance...more

While New Methane Rules Get Most of the Attention, EPA Also Proposes New Site Aggregation Policies for the Oil and Gas Sector and...

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") released and asked for comments on a number of proposed rules affecting the oil and gas industry. While the methane emission regulations have received the...more

BESC Announces Microbe That Significantly Improves Isobutanol Yields

On August 14, 2015, the Department of Energy's (DOE) BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) announced the creation of a microbe that increases isobutanol yields by a factor of ten. The study, published in Metabolic Engineering,...more

RFA Asks EPA To Allow Higher Ethanol Blends In Midwest Region After Refinery Outage Leads To High Prices At The Pump

On August 14, 2015, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) asked EPA to waive Reid Vapor Pressure requirements for E15 and to also allow E12 blending. Reid Vapor Pressure is a measure of gasoline's volatility and is regulated...more

Energy Information Administration Issues Short Term Energy Outlook Report

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO) report. The report outlined expectations for regular gasoline to average a retail price of $2.41 for all of...more

U.S. EPA Proposes Methane Limits for Oil and Gas Industry

On August 18, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed rules to limit emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG), from certain new and modified facilities in the oil and natural gas industry. The...more

The SemCrude Bankruptcy: Commodity Traders Prevail Against Related Fraud and U.C.C. Claims

In 2008, SemCrude, L.P. and related entities (collectively, SemCrude or the Debtors) filed voluntary petitions for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. In connection with the SemCrude bankruptcy, a dispute...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - August 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus: Clean Water Act rule faces challenges from both sides - Courthouse News Service - Aug 18: A widely publicized new rule clarifying the definition of ’waters of the United States’ under the...more

EPA Launches Proposed Measures to Cut Methane and VOC Emissions from Oil & Gas Industry: Agency Clarifies Permitting Requirements...

Draft New Source Performance Standards to Reduce Methane and VOC Emissions - The oil and gas sector is the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) latest target regarding the reduction of GHG emissions. The White House...more

NIST Guide Highlights Cybersecurity Considerations for Utilities and Manufacturing Companies

In 2013 alone, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) responded to more than 256 cyber-incident reports—more than half of them in the energy...more

From Playa Lakes To Prairie Potholes: Four Things Energy Companies Need to Know About the WOTUS Rule

Have one or several playa lakes on or near a well pad in the Permian Basin? An access road nearby an ephemeral tributary of the Green River in the Uintah Basin? A pipeline that traverses lands dotted with prairie potholes in...more

Proposed Rule for Methane and VOC Controls in Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. EPA announced earlier this week a proposed rule to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the oil and natural gas industry. The proposal is nearly 600 pages long....more

EPA Issues Proposed Rules on VOC and Methane Emissions from Oil and Gas Operations

The EPA seeks to reduce VOC and methane emissions by 40-45% by 2025. On August 18, 2015, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published proposed changes to the new source performance standards (NSPS) and draft...more

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