Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

BP Case Reflects FERC’s Broad View of its Jurisdiction

On July 11, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or “Commission”) issued an order affirming an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) Initial Decision finding that BP America (“BP”) and certain affiliated entities...more

Shareholders Will Get to Trial in Petrobras Corruption Scandal Action

Yesterday I wrote about what may well be the next great bribery and corruption scandal across the globe involving the Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA). However, the current largest corruption...more

Red Flags Squelch Corrupt PDVSA Deal

As the Petrobras corruption scandal seems to be going strong, we turn our attention to what may be the most corrupt of all the national energy companies, the Venezuelan state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA)....more

North American Leaders Announce Energy Plan

On June 29, 2016, the North American Climate, Energy, and Environment Partnership was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama, and President Enrique Peña Nieto at the North American Leaders Summit...more

Securities Fraud – a Lesson for Promoters

We discussed SEC v. Arcturus et al last week and promised more. Here it is. Did defendants commit securities fraud? It doesn’t matter. Violations of Sections 5 of the Securities Act and 15.A of the Exchange Act are...more

Forecast is Hazy For EPA’s Regional Haze Oversight Authority

Earlier this month, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals stayed EPA’s disapproval of the Texas and Oklahoma regional haze state implementation plans, as well as EPA’s promulgation of its own federal implementation plan. The...more

Distress in the oil and gas industry: What happened to the price of oil?

To the delight of motorists everywhere, the price of oil suddenly halved in the second half of 2014, dropping from over $100 to less than $50 a barrel. It’s safe to say no one saw the fall coming: most banks and industry...more

FERC as Prosecutor, Judge and Jury?

May the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) initiate an enforcement investigation against a company for manipulating natural gas markets, order the company to show cause why it shouldn’t be fined and then decide the...more

Global Government Solutions® 2016 Mid-Year Outlook

This newest edition of the Global Government Solutions® series highlights increased government involvement in global commerce and provides the latest regulatory information corporate leaders need to navigate the intersection...more

Quantum Quarterly - Issue VIII – 1st Quarter 2016

We are pleased to present the latest edition of Quantum Quarterly, a publication of King & Spalding’s International Arbitration Group. This edition features an interview with Suzana M. Blades and Alberto F. Ravell, Managing...more

BOEM Unveils Tougher Guidelines for Supplemental Bonding on the US OCS

BOEM Unveils Tougher Guidelines for Supplemental Bonding on the US OCS July 21, 2016 The new guidelines restrict the ability of a company to rely on the financial strength of co-lessees to avoid additional supplemental...more

Oil & Gas Sector in Mexico: The Mexican Government Announces Round Two | Publications

On July 20, 2016, the Mexican government, through the Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (National Hydrocarbons Commission) (“CNH”), published in the Diario Oficial de la Federación (the Federal Official Gazette) the Bidding...more

When is a Joint Venture a Security?

Parvizian controlled Arcturus and Aschere, buying and selling interests in drilling projects. Each project had a managing venturor which supervised the project. Each venture included a confidential information memorandum,...more

Drilling Deeper: The Intersection of Producer Bankruptcies and Gathering Agreements

The issue of whether gathering agreements are subject to rejection in bankruptcy as executory contracts and whether certain provisions of those agreements run with the land and survive rejection will impact ongoing bankruptcy...more

Wolverine Pipe Line Company filing Condemnations in Washtenaw County for Detroit Multi Access Project

Wolverine appears to be staging the filing of lawsuits to secure rights from larger, commercial properties in Washtenaw County before implementing processes against residential properties in Wayne and Washtenaw...more

New PHMSA Rules on Safety Oil Spill Response Plans and Information Sharing Has Some Carriers Concerned

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) and the Federal Railroad Association this month proposed new regulations for trains that transport highly flammable...more

PIPES Act Puts More Priorities in PHMSA’s Regulatory Pipeline

On June 22, 2016, the Protecting Our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act of 2016 (PIPES Act) was signed into law. The new law reauthorizes the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials...more

U.S. Customs Aims to Increase Enforcement of the Jones Act

In what could foretell a significant increase in the enforcement of the coastwise trade provisions of the Jones Act, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Customs) announced on July 18 the creation of the National Jones Act...more

FERC Meeting Agenda Summary - July 2016

Below are brief summaries of the agenda items for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s July 21, 2016 meeting, pursuant to the agenda as issued on July 14, 2016. Agenda items E-6, E-19, E-21 and E-22 have not been...more

Louisiana Department of Revenue Targets Energy Companies in Rash of Oil Severance Tax Audits

The oil and gas industry has a significant and far reaching economic impact in Louisiana. According to one 2014 study, the total direct and indirect impact on the state is approximately $73.8 billion. Taxes make up a large...more

Transfer of Operatorship of Oil and Gas Assets Upon Insolvency

Operating agreements for oil and gas assets typically contemplate the immediate replacement of the operator by another working interest owner in the event of the operator’s insolvency. However, these provisions often become...more

One Small Step… Alberta Energy Regulator Makes Change to Interim Measures

HIGHLIGHTS - The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has considered feedback on the interim measures put in place in Bulletin 2016-16 and issued revisions and clarifications in Bulletin 2016-21.....more

Crisis Management in the Gas Patch (Part 1): Control of Well Insurance

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

Proposed Oil Refinery Regulations Tackle Safety Concerns

On July 14, 2016, the California Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a “landmark set of regulations to strengthen workplace and environmental safety at oil refineries across the state.” The refinery safety...more

Sales Tax Exemption for Manufacturing Held Inapplicable for Oil and Gas Equipment, but Questions Remain

Southwest Royalties, Inc. v. Hegar, No. 14-0743 (Tex. June 17, 2016)(“Southwest”), addresses the applicability of a sales tax exemption for property sold for use in manufacturing in the context of oil and gas production....more

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