Oil & Gas Pipelines

News & Analysis as of

FERC Policy Statement Regarding Pipeline Recovery of System Modernization Costs

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) issued a Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities (the “Policy­­­.Statement”), opening...more

"Managing Related-Party Transactions With Yieldco and MLP Vehicles After El Paso Pipeline"

Sponsors generally form a yieldco or a master limited partnership (MLP) because the structure of these permanent capital vehicles allows for the issuance of equity to investors at a lower cost of capital, providing a...more

Justices Spar Over Pre-Emption as High Court Allows State Law Antitrust Claims to Proceed Against Interstate Pipelines

The recent 7-2 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Oneok, Inc. et al. v. Learjet, Inc. et al. ruled that state law antitrust claims brought against interstate pipeline companies by a group of manufacturers and other retail buyers...more

Obama Administration Releases First Installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review

The Obama Administration released the first installment of its Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”), which focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (“TS&D”). The QER was first launched in Obama’s Climate Action...more

PHMSA Targeting Pipeline Construction - Enforcement Focus on 60-Day Notification Requirement

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has stepped up enforcement efforts concerning pipeline and LNG terminal construction. Construction-related inspections have resulted in a number of recent enforcement...more

FERC Finalizes Rule on Natural Gas and Electric Scheduling Practices

The reforms are aimed to address natural gas and electric scheduling concerns resulting from the increase in gas-fired generation, to provide greater flexibility to industry participants, and to better ensure reliable and...more

FERC Issues Policy Statement On Natural Gas Pipeline Modernization Cost Recovery

On April 16, 2015, FERC issued a Policy Statement in Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities, Docket No. PL15-1-000, 151 FERC ¶ 61,047 (2015). Effective October 1, 2015, the Policy Statement...more

Department of Energy Report Calls for U.S. to Modernize Energy Infrastructure, Invest in Natural Gas Pipelines

On Tuesday, April 21 the Obama Administration released the first Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”) as a component of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. The extensive report analyzes energy infrastructure in the United...more

FERC Issues Order No. 809 On Gas/Electric Coordination

On April 16, 2015, FERC issued a Final Rule in Coordination of the Scheduling Processes of Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines and Public Utilities, Order No. 809, Docket No. RM14-2-000, 151 FERC ¶ 61,049 (2015). Recent cold...more

SCOTUS Holds Natural Gas Act Does Not Preempt State Law Antitrust Claims

In Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc., Case No. 13-271 (Apr. 21, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Natural Gas Act did not preempt retail customers’ state law antitrust claims against interstate gas pipeline operators for...more

FERC Revises Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Nomination Timelines

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a much-anticipated final rule modifying some of the scheduling practices used by interstate natural gas pipelines to better coordinate the scheduling...more

Recent Crude Oil Train Derailments Intensify the Spotlight on Rail Safety and the Value of Oil Pipelines

Few of us can erase from our memories the imagery of fires blazing at the scenes of crude oil train derailments in West Virginia in early February and in Illinois earlier this month. The fact that these trains carrying Bakken...more

Gas Lines to Pipelines: The Case for Comprehensive Federal Energy Legislation

We’ve struggled with the consequences of an insufficient federal energy policy for nearly half a century. From the gas lines of the 1970s to the Keystone XL pipeline controversy of the past several years, the federal and...more

Trans Mountain Pipeline Project Hits the Courts

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which involves the proposed twinning of the existing Edmonton-Burnaby pipeline and the expansion of a marine terminal, was the subject of a number of court decisions last year involving...more

Denbury Part II: Big Changes Coming in Texas Pipeline Condemnations ?

Is Denbury’s Green Pipeline a common carrier? That question is alive and well in Texas. In Texas Rice Land Partners Ltd. v. Denbury Green-Texas Pipeline, LLC, the Beaumont court of appeals reversed a summary judgment granted...more

Natural Gas Infrastructure Needs for Electric Generation—Not What Would be Expected

While Congress and the President continue their “Keystone XL Pipeline Dance”, a new report from the Department of Energy (DOE) discusses the changing needs for additional domestic natural gas infrastructure to meet increased...more

Litigation Alert: "Texas Appellate Court Says Pipeline Must Convince Jury of Common Carrier Status in Condemnation Case"

An intermediate Texas appellate court has called for an extensive jury role in the ongoing issue of determining when a pipeline is a common carrier. Common carrier status is critical to the pipeline company’s ability to use...more

Crude-by-Rail Update: What to Expect From Recent Crude Oil Derailments

These are uncertain and stressful times for all involved in the transportation of crude oil by rail. Since February 14, two fiery derailments in West Virginia and Ontario have refocused an unwelcome spotlight on the necessity...more

The Shale Play Today - February 2015

In This Issue: - Now is the WOTUS of Our Discontent.....: "Waters of the United States" or "WOTUS" in the esoteric taxonomy of the Clean Water Act ("CWA"), is a term with which many are becoming increasingly...more

Missouri Federal Court Cuts Claims in Pipeline Property Damage Action

Underscoring the need for plaintiffs to show concrete proof of harm in suits alleging property damage, a federal district court dismissed a suit alleging that an oil pipeline contaminated farmland in Missouri. See Henke v....more

Change in permitting process for companies conducting hydrostatic testing in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s general permit for discharges from hydrostatic testing of tanks and pipelines expired on December 20, 2014. Companies who have not previously obtained a general permit and are planning to conduct hydrostatic...more

Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass a bill to expedite federal review of some spects of proposed natural gas pipelines. Known as H.R. 161, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act is officially...more

Alien Tort Case Development: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Against Occidental Petroleum

In mid-December, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of claims filed pursuant to the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) against Occidental Petroleum. Plaintiffs in the case argued that Occidental should be held...more

The “LNG Permitting Certainty and Transparency Act”— A Positive Step Toward Expediting U.S. LNG Export Projects

Restrictive regulations and permitting processes that operate at glacial speed (as opposed to market speed) pose the primary hurdles to greater U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In response to a chorus of...more

Mexico Is Becoming the Single-Largest U.S. Shale Gas Export Customer

On December 2, 2014, President Enrique Peña Nieto inaugurated Phase I of the new Los Ramones Gas Pipeline, which could by year end 2016 double the volume of gas the U.S. exports by pipeline to Mexico. Pipelines to Mexico...more

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