Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

Energy Legislation Gains Momentum: Bills Pass House and Senate Committees

After much anticipation, both the House and the Senate Committees passed their long awaited energy bills. Much is covered in the two packages, and many amendments have been tabled for when the bills hit the floor in the fall....more

Energy bills move forward in Congress - Bipartisanship marks initial stage, but difficult debates may lie ahead

The US Senate and House of Representatives have taken significant steps in recent days to advance the first comprehensive energy legislation since the passage of Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Much has...more

EPA Adopts Significant Revisions to Underground Storage Tank Regulations

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has promulgated significant new provisions both to its 1988 underground storage tank (UST) regulations and to its 1988 state program approval (SPA) regulations. 80 Fed. Reg. 41566...more

Activists ask Court to Scrap EIR and Stop Fracking

Today, July 30, the Center for Biological Diversity (“CBD”) filed a complaint in Sacramento County Superior Court against the Division of Oil, Gas & Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”). CBD claims, among other things, that DOGGR...more

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That Insured May Settle Tort Claim Without Insurer Consent Under “Fair and Reasonable” Standard

In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. American Nuclear Insurers, a divided Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, deciding an issue of first impression under Pennsylvania law, recently held that when an insurer defends its insured subject to a...more

Why project bonds are on the rise in Latin America

Latin American project bonds continue to grow as a source of infrastructure financing, particularly as private capital is needed to close multi-billion-dollar shortfalls in spending for needed infrastructure projects in Latin...more

Pennsylvania Court: Using Property for Gas Storage Holds Production Rights Under “Dual Purpose” Leases

A recent trial victory for Range Resources – Appalachia LLC and Columbia Energy Ventures LLC (CEV) fills gaps left by the prior leading decisions on “dual purpose” storage and production leases, and cements the rights of...more

Contracts – It’s More About the Drafting Than the Suing

It’s been said that your most important decisions are made when you write your contract, not when you have to sue on it. Kachina Pipeline Company v. Lillis agrees. In a gas-purchase agreement, can the pipeline operator...more

Competition News July-August 2015

French merger control: The Competition Authority agrees to approve the prospective acquirer of assets sold by the purchaser - On May 15, 2015, the Competition Authority authorized, subject to certain conditions, the...more

Fate of Injection Wells in Historically Exempt Aquifers Comes Closer to Determination

A lawsuit seeking an immediate halt to oil and gas wastewater injection at 2,500 wells across California took a positive turn for energy producers last week as Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez denied plaintiffs’...more

‘Seller Capitulation’ Fueling Increase in Sale of Energy Sector Assets

What are the key issues confronting the energy sector today that investors – particularly private equity investors – need to be aware of as they look for energy investment opportunities? A: We see increasing signs of...more

Canada’s New Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act and its Implications for Companies Subject to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt...

On June 1, 2015, Canada’s Extractive Sector Transparency Measures Act (“ESTMA” or “the Act”) came into force. Approved in December 2014, but not in force until this month, the Act requires companies in the extractive sector...more

Gov. Brown Assembles Fracking Review Panel

According to several news organizations, Governor Brown has announced plans to form a new panel to review the recent well stimulation study conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology (“CCST”)....more

Potential Upstream Investment Under the New Iranian Petroleum Contract

The signing of the JCPOA regarding Iran nuclear sanctions may usher in a new era of major international investment in the Iranian oil and gas industry....more

Toilet to Frac: Legal and Practical Aspects of Using Municipal Effluent for Fracing in Texas

Thus far, the idea of using purified municipal sewage effluent—“reclaimed water” in industry parlance—for city water supplies has proven a tough sell. Human psychology poses significant barriers to overcoming the “toilet to...more

FTC Narrows Scope of HSR Reporting Exemption for Certain Acquisitions

On July 20, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released revisions to its interpretation of the rule, 16 C.F.R. §802.5, that exempts certain acquisitions of “investment rental property assets” from reportability under...more

FERC Rejects Requests for Clarification but Provides Additional Details Regarding Pipeline Modernization Surcharge Mechanisms

On July 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued an order (“July 16 Order”) denying the request by the Process Gas Consumers Group (“PGC”) and the American Forest and Paper...more

Distressed Download - July 2015

First Circuit Rules Bankruptcy Code Preempts Puerto Rico's Recovery Act - On Monday, July 6, the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the February 6, 2015 order and injunction of the Puerto Rico District...more

SEC Brings Complaint in $68 Million Affinity Fraud Scheme

On July 6, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in connection with a $68 million affinity fraud scheme allegedly orchestrated by Bingqing Yang, through her wholly owned management companies, Luca...more

Fracking, Trigger Warnings, and a Safe Room

First, an apology. I have brought shame to my own self and this blog for failing to invoke trigger warnings about activities I will mention again, after the appropriate trigger warning. (I had no idea there were so many.)...more

…But Coal Bed Gas Is Not The Same As Natural Gas

In a PA Superior Court opinion handed down after the Sissons v. Stanley case (109 A.3d 265, described in the previous blog posting), the court ruled that a reservation of gas rights in a 1932 deed, reserving to the grantor,...more

UPDATE – Indonesia’s New Draft Oil & Gas Law

Indonesia has recently made public a full copy of its draft oil and gas law for review and parliamentary discussion. By way of update to our client alert of 21 April 2015, we can now review the further revised and full...more

U.S. renewable energy share highest since 1930s

In 2014, about 9.8% of the total energy consumed in the U.S. came from renewable energy sources, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This represents the highest share of total domestic energy supply...more

BP’s 2015 New York Law GTCs for Crude Oil and Products Trading: Key Changes

BP Global Oil Americas (BP) recently published the 2015 edition of its General Terms & Conditions for Purchases and Sales of Crude Oil, Refined Petroleum and Related Products (GTCs), which are governed by New York law. The...more

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