Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

Nexen’s Fracking Water License has Run Dry - First Nation Prevails in BC Environmental Appeal Board Decision

First Nation Prevails in BC Environmental Appeal Board Decision By Mike Theroux, Brad Gilmour and Laura Gill In a decision released on September 3, 2015, the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board granted the appeal of...more

BREAKING: Wyoming Federal Court Halts Implementation Of Public Lands Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

Late yesterday, Judge Scott Skavdahl of the federal district court in Wyoming issued a much-anticipated order granting a series of preliminary injunction motions filed in litigation challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s...more

EPA Proposes New Methane and VOC Emissions Limits

Proposed new limits, intended to combat global warming, potentially affect numerous oil and gas operations. On September 18, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new limits on emissions...more

Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Question Of Unintentional “Take” Primed For Potential Fifth Circuit En Banc Or Supreme Court Review

Recently, industry won a major legal victory regarding liability—or lack thereof—for unintentional and indirect bird deaths under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Unfortunately, that victory could be short lived,...more

Senate Bill 350 Calls for Higher Renewables Portfolio Standard, Higher Energy Efficiency Targets, an Expanded System Operator, but...

As most of you know by now, Senate Bill (“SB”) 350, the much-chronicled and debated Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015, passed out of the California Legislature and is currently awaiting signature by Governor...more

Energy & Environment Update - September 2015 #4

ENERGY AND CLIMATE DEBATE - After a busy week with Yom Kippur and visits from Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Congress is focusing this week on finalizing a continuing resolution and preparing for new...more

Wage and Hour Claims Menace Producers

It’s common knowledge: Fair Labor Standards Act audits from the U. S. Department of Labor and lawsuits from workers for overtime violations are coming faster than a blitzing safety on a third and long. Native Oilfield...more

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Reverses Lower Court Decision and Allows a Natural Gas Well Project to Proceed in a Residential...

On September 9, 2015, Judge Mary Leavitt of the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania reversed the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County’s ruling, which had set aside the Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township’s (the...more

North Dakota Saltwater Disposal Enforcement Actions Highlight Key Legal and Social License Risks

Spills or improper disposal of oilfield produced water—which can be more than 10 times saltier than seawater and may also contain heavy metals and other chemicals—can turn even staunchly pro-oil and gas residents against...more

Oil Supplier Appeals Conoco’s Right To Buy Stake In Refinery Unit

In a long-standing dispute between Venezuelan state-owned Oil Company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (“Petroleos”) and ConocoPhillips, a New York district court judge upheld ConocoPhillips’ acquisition of a 50% stake in a Texas...more

SRBC Proposes Regulations to Authorize General Permits

The Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC or Commission) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on September 21, 2015 in which, among other things, the agency seeks to authorize general permits for projects that meet...more

Limitations of Liability: Do they work in the Alberta Oilpatch?

Let’s consider that contract you’re about to sign. Does it contain a limitation of liability? And if so, are those even enforceable? It’s been several years since we last wrote about limitations of liability and exclusion...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - September 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - Volkswagen says 11 million cars may be involved in emissions scandal; probes multiply: Reuters - Sep 23: Volkswagen AG said a scandal over falsified U.S. vehicle emission tests could...more

UK Shale Gas - Going all out for Shale

As part of a package of measures to kick-start the shale gas industry in the UK, the UK government issued a joint Written Statement by DECC and DCLG on 16 September 2015 containing a new shale gas and oil policy. This policy...more

Fifth Circuit Reverses Citgo Convictions Under Clean Air Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in United States v. CITGO Petroleum Corp., No. 14-40128 (5th Cir. September 4, 2015), reversed the district court’s convictions of Citgo Petroleum Corp. (Citgo) for alleged...more

Texas Railroad Commission Finds Earthquakes in North Texas Not Caused by Drilling Operations

Update: On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission concluded that these small earthquakes that occurred near Azle, Texas likely were not caused by drilling operations conducted by EnerVest Operating LLC. The Texas...more

Pennsylvania as an Energy Leader: The Path Forward

One question was central to the discussions that took place at Shale Insight 2015 – with its abundant shale gas reserves, how do we make Pennsylvania a true energy leader on the national and international stage? At the...more

Auction set for NJ offshore wind sites

The U.S. government has scheduled an auction for the rights to lease two areas of federal ocean space off New Jersey for offshore wind energy development. The auction, to be held November 9, 2015, will be the fifth...more

Propane inventory in US sets new record

As the U.S. prepares for another winter, government records show stockpiles of propane have reached record levels. What's in store for propane markets?...more

Federal Circuit Enforces Arbitration Award, Rejects Foreign Sovereign’s Immunity Challenge

In 1973, Chevron and Ecuador signed an agreement allowing Chevron to develop oil fields in Ecuador. Years later, litigation ensued and eventually Chevron commenced an arbitration action before a tribunal in the Hague. Ecuador...more

North Dakota Supreme Court Addresses What Creates a Fiduciary Relationship with a Land Broker

On September 21, 2015, the North Dakota Supreme Court found that a fiduciary relationship between an oil company and its landman could exist depending upon the existence of a confidential relationship. Irish Oil...more

How to “Score” a Contract from the Red Zone

Football pundits like to discuss Red Zone effectiveness. Driving to the goal line doesn’t much matter if you don‘t score. So, why would a negotiating party fail to score an enforceable contract while negotiating from the Red...more

Birds of a Feather? Greater Sage-Grouse Decision Shows That Conservation and Energy Development Can Flock Together

On September 22, energy developers in the West breathed a sigh of relief when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that the greater sage-grouse does not require protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)....more

Antitrust Matters - September 2015

Antitrust investigations are no longer limited to a nation’s borders, or even to a region. Enforcers are more and more sharing information and coordinating their investigative efforts as they strive to uniformly enforce the...more

Virginia’s Aboveground Storage Tank Regulations Are Amended

The Virginia State Water Control Board (“Board”) recently published long-awaited changes to the state’s petroleum aboveground storage tank (“AST”) regulations. This is a final regulatory action, and the changes become...more

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