• September 2, 2014

    Enviros, Pa. Township Want Sunoco Pipeline Denial To Stand

    Environmental groups and a suburban Pennsylvania municipality told the state’s Public Utilities Commission on Friday that two administrative law judges ruled correctly when they concluded a natural gas pipeline proposed by a Sunoco Inc. subsidiary could not bypass local zoning controls in more than 30 municipalities.

  • September 2, 2014

    Duke, Piedmont Tap Dominion To Build $5B Gas Pipeline

    Duke Energy Corp. and Piedmont Natural Gas Co. Inc. said Tuesday that they have tapped Dominion Resources Inc. to build and operate a $5 billion natural gas pipeline serving North Carolina that will be jointly owned by the three companies and gas utility AGL Resources Inc.

  • September 2, 2014

    Blackstone, GIC Team Up In $500M North Sea Energy Venture

    Private equity firms Blackstone Energy Partners and Blue Water Energy, aided by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, are teaming up to back startup oil and gas company Siccar Point Energy with $500 million to explore the resource-rich North Sea, the companies said Sunday.

  • September 2, 2014

    New Puerto Rico Law Rejected As Vitol Dodges Pollution Suit

    A New York federal judge refused Friday to revise orders dismissing Vitol SA, Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. and other energy companies from Puerto Rico’s suit seeking compensation for alleged groundwater contamination, finding a Puerto Rican law passed in response to the rulings violates the separation of powers.

  • September 2, 2014

    Callon Petroleum Drops $213M For Texas Oil, Gas Lands

    Independent oil and gas producer Callon Petroleum Co. said Tuesday that it has agreed to pay $212.6 million for over 6,200 acres of undeveloped oil- and gas-rich properties in the Permian Basin of west Texas that the company estimates holds 4 million barrels of oil equivalent.

  • September 2, 2014

    Commerce Keeps Countervailing Duties On Chinese Oil Pipes

    The U.S. Commerce Department has kept in place a series of countervailing duty orders on Chinese shipments of steel pipes used in oil wells after determining that producers there are still benefiting from unfair government subsidies, according to a Federal Register notice set for publication Wednesday.

  • September 2, 2014

    Marathon Looks To Buoy $3B Hess Deal With Note Offering

    Marathon Petroleum Corp. kicked off a public offering of senior notes Tuesday to drum up even more capital to back its nearly $3 billion acquisition of rival Hess Corp.'s sprawling gas station network, after locking down a $700 million term loan last week.

  • September 2, 2014

    Saudi Oil Bribe Suit Against Swiss Bank Won't Be Heard In NY

    A New York judge tossed a case brought by a Saudi Arabian oil investment company against private Swiss bank Pictet & Cie that alleged it aided in a kickback scheme that cost the company $350 million, saying the use of a New York bank account in the alleged fraud didn’t establish jurisdiction in the state.

  • September 2, 2014

    Halliburton To Pay $1B To Settle Deepwater Horizon Claims

    Halliburton Co. on Tuesday agreed to pay nearly $1.1 billion to settle most private plaintiffs' claims against the company stemming from its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico.

  • September 2, 2014

    Dealmakers Q&A: Gray Plant's Mark Williamson

    The announcement of a transaction involving the acquisition of a publicly held company often leads to the filing of one or more “strike” suits against the public company. Reform is needed — likely through judicially imposed shifting of attorney fees — in order to reduce the number of frivolous suits, says Mark Williamson of Gray Plant Mooty.

  • August 29, 2014

    Keystone XL's Fate May Hinge On Neb. Supreme Court Ruling

    The Nebraska Supreme Court has set a Sept. 5 hearing to consider the state’s challenge to a decision striking down a law that authorizes the governor to approve the route for the Keystone XL pipeline — a case the Obama administration has said will have a huge impact on whether the controversial project can move forward.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas High Court To Let Jury Resolve Enbridge Pipe Damages

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled that a jury should determine whether the damage to a couple’s property by Enbridge Pipelines East Texas LP is temporary or permanent and then calculate damages for the couple based on that finding, according to a decision that reversed the appellate court’s finding.

  • August 29, 2014

    Exxon Ruling Gives Employers More Leeway In Bonus Plans

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday upheld an Exxon Mobil Corp. plan that stripped a top executive of $5 million in nonvested stock rights when he joined a rival energy firm, paving the way for more employers to use incentive plans to keep top talent in place without running afoul of the state's noncompete laws.

  • August 29, 2014

    IPO Filings Soar In Late-August Heat

    Initial public offering activity was back in action this week with at least 12 companies packing into the pipeline, including a slew of biotech firms, a Blackstone Group LP-backed solar energy firm and a real estate investment trust that may make the largest debut of its kind.

  • August 29, 2014

    Wind Co. Seeks Sanctions Over 'Frivolous' Antitrust Appeal

    Gamesa Wind US urged the Seventh Circuit on Thursday to hit a wind turbine maintenance company with sanctions for attempting to appeal a dismissal of antitrust counterclaims that it had argued were too weak for federal jurisdiction, claiming it was well-deserving of attorneys’ fees for the “frivolous” appeal.

  • August 29, 2014

    FERC Nominee Could Help Mend Fences With States

    With a pragmatic reputation as Arkansas' top utility regulator and head of the national umbrella group for state utility chiefs, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission nominee Colette Honorable could help mend frayed relations between the commission and states over electric grid policy, including FERC's controversial transmission planning rule, experts say.

  • August 29, 2014

    US, Myanmar Broker $480M PE-Backed Solar Project

    New York-based private equity firm ACO Investment Group will partner with Myanmar to develop an approximately $480 million solar energy project in the Southeast Asian nation, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Thursday as part of the U.S.’ ongoing efforts to attract investment and trade with Myanmar.

  • August 29, 2014

    Energy Groups Challenge EPA Carbon Solid Waste Regulation

    Three energy groups on Thursday urged the D.C. Circuit to reject an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation calling carbon dioxide emissions “solid waste” when transported in pipelines and stored in geological formation, arguing the rule contradicts Congress' intent. 

  • August 29, 2014

    Oil Cleanup Is Covered Despite Settlement, Texas Court Says

    A Texas appeals court ruled Friday that Plantation Pipe Line Co. didn’t forfeit excess coverage purchased from Highlands Insurance Co. by settling coverage claims stemming from a 1975 oil leak against its lower-level insurers for less than the full limits of those policies, reversing a lower court decision.

  • August 29, 2014

    WTO Dispute Roundup: Rare Earth, Energy Rows Cool Down

    In Law360's latest rundown of the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body proceedings, members adopt reports faulting China's rare earth elements export barriers, Canada takes steps to settle a dispute over its green energy subsidies, and Antigua seeks peace in a years-long online gambling fight.

Expert Analysis

  • Tax Clarification Should Clear The Way For Renewables

    Arnold E. Grant

    A recent notice from the Internal Revenue Service on production and investment tax credits provides welcome clarity that can only encourage tax equity investors who have been on the sidelines due to prior uncertainty over renewable energy projects, say attorneys at Reed Smith LLP.

  • Calif. Anti-Fracking Ordinances On Shaky Legal Ground

    Jeffrey D. Dintzer

    Compton’s hydraulic fracturing ban may implicate the Takings Clause of the U.S. and California Constitutions since fracking is meant to access energy resources that cannot otherwise be extracted from the underlying property — the ban could constitute a taking of private property without just compensation, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Nathaniel Johnson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • How To Protect In-House Legal Privilege Internationally

    Martje Verhoeven-de Vries Lentsch

    Many companies regularly communicate with in-house legal advisers all over the globe. Are these communications privileged? By answering five questions, companies and attorneys can perform a high-level, initial assessment of legal privilege protection in a multijurisdictional context, says Martje Verhoeven-de Vries Lentsch of De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek and Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Tracking Fracking: Where Is Ill. 1 Year Later?

    Lawrence W. Falbe

    While final hydraulic fracturing regulations in Illinois can reasonably expect approval by mid-October, the rules may be challenged on the basis that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources did not properly consider all public comments and revise them accordingly, say Lawrence Falbe and Sanford Stein of Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • Tales From The Dark Side Of Emerging Markets

    Kevin Atkins

    The challenges facing investors in emerging markets can increase exponentially when host governments are interventionist and prioritize nationalistic policies over the development of resource wealth, as seen in some transactions in the oil and gas sector, say Kevin Atkins and Rahwa Gebretnsaie of Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

  • As Climate Changes So Does Focus On Methane Emissions

    Andrew R. Wheeler

    Given that the Obama administration has focused almost entirely on carbon dioxide up until now, stakeholders should be prepared for the president to move quickly and aggressively to reduce methane emissions from the natural gas sector in the coming months, say attorneys at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Tax-Free REIT Spinoffs Could Be The Next Big Thing

    Thomas A. Humphreys

    Windstream Holdings Inc.’s recent tax-free real estate investment trust spinoff highlights an intriguing option for U.S. corporations — particularly those in the technology, telecommunications or utility sector — as the IRS continues to expand the range of “real estate” assets that can be held by an REIT, say Thomas Humphreys and Matthew Lau of Morrison & Foerster LLP.

  • Russia's Commitment To Int'l Law Will Be Tested By Yukos

    Emmanuel Gaillard

    Whether the Russian Federation complies with the Permanent Court of Arbitration's final award — $50 billion — for its destruction of Yukos Oil Company will demonstrate the extent of the country's commitment to honoring international obligations and the rule of law, say Emmanuel Gaillard and Yas Banifatemi of Shearman & Sterling LLP.