Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

Comment Period Begins for EPA CERCLA 108(b) Bonding Rule for Hardrock Mining Industry

On January 11, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule for financial assurance requirements under Section 108(b) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act for the hardrock...more

Louisiana Third Circuit Addresses Payment of Royalties in Situations Involving Production Under a Mineral Lease Pursuant to a...

In Gladney v. Anglo-Dutch Energy, L.L.C., the Third Circuit addressed the question of whether or not a mineral lessee must pay its lessor full lease-basis royalties for production undertaken during the effective period of a...more

PDVSA and the Stench of Corruption

Of all the stench from corruption, not much is more odious than that from the Venezuelan state oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). Whether it is shaking down contractors for Rolex watches to simply schedule a...more

LNG in Europe 2016/2017: An Overview of LNG Import Terminals in Europe

Overview of LNG in Europe - Gas is a key source of energy supply to Europe, and plays a fundamental role in Europe’s energy supply mix. Europe is a net importer of gas, which enters Europe in one of two ways: as natural...more

Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment Released for Central California Federal Lands

On January 6, 2017, the federal Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued a notice of Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment (“DRMP Amendment”) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”) for oil and gas leasing and...more

Denbury v. Texas Rice "Texas Rice II": The Texas Supreme Court Affirms Common Carrier Status

On Friday, January 6, 2017, the Texas Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas v. Texas Rice Land Partners (“Texas Rice II”), reversing the 9th Court of Appeals and reinstating the trial...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - January 2017

Environmental and Policy Focus - Banning Ranch's future again in limbo as California's high court evaluates propriety of development approval - OC Register - Jan 4 - The future of Banning Ranch, a...more

Eastern District of Louisiana Dismisses Officer Compensation Fraudulent Transfer Claims in Tow v. Bulmahn

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana dismissed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee’s claims against officers and inside directors of ATP Oil & Gas Corporation in Tow v. Bulmahn on Wednesday. In Tow v....more

FERC Seeking Comment on Recovery of Income Tax Costs by Jurisdictional Natural Gas and Oil Pipelines and Electric Utilities

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the “Commission”) announced in December that it is opening a new inquiry and seeking comments regarding its current policies with respect to the recovery of income tax costs...more

With Time Running Out for EPA to Act, Oil & Gas Operators Grow Increasingly Anxious about Pending Aquifer Exemption Applications

December 31, 2016 marked a deadline for oilfield operators to comply with the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources’ (“DOGGR”) Aquifer Exemption and Compliance Schedule Regulations. Operators were required to either...more

Letters of Credit – Application of Fraudulent Exception

The High Court recently applied the ‘fraud exception’ to prevent payment under a standby letter of credit where the signatory who certified a presentation thereunder was aware that requirements being certified as true were in...more

2016 – A Bad Year For Bad Guys in Energy

Let’s look back at a cavalcade of crooks, criminals and miscreants who met up with justice in 2016. We do it to be reminded of the others who will be lurking in the 2017 shadows....more

Oil Pipeline Rate Regulation under Review by FERC – Is There a Place for the Consumer Voice?

Oil pipeline rates must be just and reasonable and may be challenged by their customer shippers and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA). FERC has observed through monitoring...more

Crisis Management in the Gas Patch (Part 3): Additional Insured Coverage

In a challenging business climate, such as when oil and gas are selling at low prices, exploration and production companies are not only increasingly selective with their drilling programs and capital expenditures, but are...more

Significant Developments in Canadian Energy – For the Month of December 2016

Conventional - December 15, 2016 – Athabasca Oil Corporation entered into agreements with Statoil ASA and its wholly owned subsidiary Statoil Canada Ltd. to acquire their Canadian thermal oil assets for consideration...more

Fracking, Earthquakes and Civil Authority

In last week’s post, we discussed the rapid development of the hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) industry in the United States, and some of the innate risks presented by those operations. In particular, the post focused on a...more

District Court Reviews Definition of “Gross Negligence” in Oil Pollution Act Reimbursement Action

On December 22, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued an opinion in Water Quality Insurance Syndicate v. U.S., which reversed the Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center’s (NPFC) finding of gross...more

Value Trends of Gas Stations and Car Washes

In a previous post, “What is ‘Just Compensation’ For Gas Station Acquisitions,” we explored various methods for valuing gas stations and car washes in an eminent domain action, including a recommendation by a gas station...more

Have You Reviewed Your Lease Maintenance Processes Lately?

You might conclude that the but-for-the-grace-of-God-that-could-be-me nightmare presented in In re: RPH Capital Partners is instructive only for lawyers. If so, you would be mistaken. The lesson: If you want to win the...more

EPA Publishes Study on the Impacts of Fracking on Drinking Water

Since the beginning of the fracking boom, the potential impact of fracking operations upon groundwater has been a hotly contested area. The most recent addition to the public debate is a new EPA report, entitled “Hydraulic...more

Renewable Energy Update - December 2016 #4

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewables challenge natural gas plants on price in latest Lazard analysis - Utility Dive - Dec 20 - The latest version of Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE) shows...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - December 2016 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - California sues to block offshore oil hydraulic fracturing - OC Register - Dec 20 - California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the California Coastal Commission filed...more

Trial judge’s misapprehension of the evidence results in new trial for workplace fatality

We previously posted about the trial decision in R. v. Precision Drilling Ltd., 2015 ABPC 115 (CanLII), where the court found the employer guilty of two charges arising from a workplace fatality at a drilling rig. The...more

California Sues Federal Government Alleging Inadequate Environmental Review of Offshore Drilling Proposal

In one of her last major legal actions before leaving office as California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, along with the California Coastal Commission (jointly the “Attorney General”), filed suit against various federal...more

PHMSA Sets Standards to Enhance Safety of Underground Natural Gas Storage Facilities

On December 14, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), a division of the Department of Transportation (DOT), issued an Interim Final Rule (the “IFR”) to implement safety standards for the...more

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