Pipelines

News & Analysis as of

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Fifth Circuit Holds the Word “Replace” in Easement Grant is Ambiguous

Neither the courts of Texas nor Louisiana have directly addressed the meaning of the word “replace” in the context of a pipeline easement and, in particular, whether replacement requires the removal of the old pipeline or...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

Natural Gas Pipelines to Bolster Bi-Directional Capacity in Northeast up to 32%, EIA Data Shows

By 2017, natural gas pipelines are projected to convert up to 32% of their pipeline capacity into the Northeast to support the bi-directional flow of natural gas out of the region to the South and West, according to a U.S....more

The Shale Play Today - December 2014

In This Issue: - Breaking News: America's Next Energy Hub - Philadelphia Dealt Major Setback - First Long-Term Comprehensive Field Study of Natural Gas Underway - 1,000 More Miles of Pipeline Planned to...more

FERC plans conferences on EPA carbon rule impacts

If the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon regulations for power plants are adopted, how will state and regional efforts to comply with the rule impact the electric power grid? If states need new...more

Benesch Shale Industry Report Quarterly Summary - Q3 2014

In this Issue: - Top Issues and Considerations - Shale Industry Moves - Ohio Shale Infrastructure - Government - Excerpt from Shale Industry Moves: E&P – Overview for Ohio...more

US Presidential Permits for cross-border infrastructure

As the U.S.'s international trade in energy grows, so too has interest in the process for securing a federally required approval known as a Presidential Permit. The construction, operation, and maintenance of...more

Managing a FERC audit

What happens when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission audits a public utility? The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has jurisdiction over interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil, as well...more

Recent Regulations Prompt Revamped FERC Pipeline Cost-Recovery Policy

FERC proposes to establish a framework that allows pipelines to use surcharge or tracker cost-recovery mechanisms to accelerate system improvements associated with new safety and environmental compliance regulations....more

Pa. Gas Utility May Use Eminent Domain to Supply Private Power Plant

A Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, judge recently authorized a natural gas public utility to use its eminent domain power in condemning easements for the construction and maintenance of a pipeline to supply gas to a private...more

Report: New England electric sector will face gas supply deficit

A recently released report on the adequacy of New England’s natural gas pipeline infrastructure has identified the potential for shortfalls in gas supply to electric generators through 2020. The November 20, 2014 report,...more

FERC Issues Proposed Policy Statement on Cost Recovery Mechanisms for Modernization of Natural Gas Facilities

On November 20, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) issued a Proposed Policy Statement on cost recovery mechanisms, such as trackers or surcharges, that pipelines may use to recoup infrastructure...more

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