Energy

  • February 5, 2016

    Argentina Loses Bid To Overturn $136M ICSID Award

    An International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes committee on Friday refused to annul a $136 million arbitration award ordered against Argentina in favor of two French utility companies in a dispute over the impact of measures enacted during Argentina's financial crisis on foreign investors.

  • February 5, 2016

    Texas Justices Deny Rehearing In Oil Lease Money Dispute

    A family of mineral rights holders who contended Vantage Fort Worth Energy LLC stiffed them on bonus payments on an oil and gas lease was denied a rehearing in the case Friday by the Supreme Court of Texas, which in December had denied the group's petition for review.

  • February 5, 2016

    Oil & Gas Co. Osage Exploration Dips Into Ch. 11

    Citing the steady decline in crude oil and natural gas prices, oil and gas developer Osage Exploration and Development Inc. on Thursday said that it has filed for bankruptcy, with a plan to execute a sale of all of its assets.

  • February 5, 2016

    Yukos Shareholders Say Recent Rulings Don't Affect DC Suit

    Former Yukos shareholders seeking to enforce a $50 billion arbitration award against Russia told a D.C. federal court Friday that two recent judgments the country brought to the court's attention, including a Swedish judgment that a tribunal lacked jurisdiction to review related claims, have no bearing on their case.

  • February 5, 2016

    Swift Energy Gets Nod To Solicit Creditors On Ch. 11 Plan

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge gave Swift Energy the go-ahead Friday to solicit creditors on its Chapter 11 plan to swap out $900 million in bond debt for equity in a reorganized company, despite some expressing alarm over how unexpectedly elastic their recoveries were slated to be.

  • February 5, 2016

    FERC Gives Enviro OK To Kinder Morgan $2B LNG Project

    Kinder Morgan Inc.'s $2 billion proposed natural gas liquefaction project near the mouth of the Savannah River moved one step closer to approval Friday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's release of a favorable environmental assessment.

  • February 5, 2016

    Feds Unveil Overhaul To Critical Habitat Regulations

    Federal fish and wildlife regulators unveiled final regulations on Friday overhauling how they implement critical habitat designation requirements under the Endangered Species Act, a move blasted by environmentalists as a giveaway to oil and gas, mining and logging industries.

  • February 5, 2016

    SEC's Texas Office Eyes Investor Info As Energy Prices Drop

    As energy prices continue their downward spiral, securities regulators who oversee Texas are keeping a sharp eye on investor disclosures and monitoring them for potential conflicts of interest, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission regional director said in an interview with Law360.

  • February 5, 2016

    Nigeria Strong-Armed Deal In $500M Contract Beef, Co. Says

    An oil tanker supply company urged a New York federal court on Thursday to revive its suit to enforce a more than $500 million arbitration award against Nigeria's state-owned petroleum company, saying the nation’s government bullied one of the supplier’s directors into settling the contract dispute for a song.

  • February 5, 2016

    EPA Yanks Air Pollution Permit For Texas Coal Plant

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has overturned revisions to an air pollution control permit issued by Texas environmental regulators to a coal-fired power plant, saying the revised permit doesn't adequately enforce particulate matter emissions limits during the plant's planned startup, shutdown and maintenance activities.

  • February 5, 2016

    Texas Justices Deny Review In Oil Well Plugging Row

    Roland Oil Co., which had appealed a final order from the Texas Railroad Commission that canceled its extension to plug inactive oil wells, was denied review in the case Friday by the Texas Supreme Court, leaving in place a lower appellate court opinion siding with the commission.

  • February 5, 2016

    Taxation With Representation: Kirkland, Sullivan, Norton

    In this week’s Taxation with Representation, a Utah-based natural gas utility is acquired with the assistance of Kirkland & Ellis LLP tax pros, a medical device manufacturer acquires a peer and Lowe’s buys a Canadian hardware retailer.

  • February 5, 2016

    Tesoro Paying $8M For Bonuses Withheld In Steelworker Strike

    Petroleum firm Tesoro agreed Friday to pay $8.08 million to nearly 800 workers at two of its West Coast facilities, stemming from allegations it withheld bonuses from those employees as punishment for their participation in a nationwide strike last year, the National Labor Relations Board said.

  • February 5, 2016

    BlackRock, Green Investment Buy $613M In UK Wind Farms

    British government-owned Green Investment Bank said Friday it has partnered with private equity giant BlackRock to buy a portfolio of wind farms in the U.K. for £423 million ($612.6 million) from utility company Centrica and its partner EIG.

  • February 5, 2016

    White House Starts Review Of Offshore Drilling Blowout Rule

    Federal offshore regulators have sent their finalized rule tightening standards for blowout prevention systems and other well controls for offshore drillers, the linchpin of regulatory reforms pursued after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, to the White House's Office of Management and Budget for review.

  • February 4, 2016

    Fracking Co. That Won IP Suit Wants $3.6M In Attys' Fees

    An Idaho fracking support company told a North Dakota federal court Wednesday it wants $3.6 million in attorneys’ fees and a tripling of a $750,000 jury award after invalidating a competitor’s patent related to hydraulic oil extraction.

  • February 4, 2016

    $75M New Gulf DIP, Disclosure Cleared at 11th Hour

    Oklahoma-based New Gulf Resources secured 11th hour approvals in Delaware late Thursday for a final $75 million debtor-in-possession loan and Chapter 11 disclosure, amid warnings of future challenges to the company restructuring plan and $570 million debt rework.

  • February 4, 2016

    Obama To Pitch $10-Per-Barrel Oil Fee In 2017 Budget

    President Barack Obama will pitch a plan requiring oil companies to pay the government $10 for each barrel of oil in a move the administration says will incentivize the private sector to reduce the nation’s reliance on oil, the White House said Thursday.

  • February 4, 2016

    Enviros, States Urge High Court Not To Grant Stay Of CPP

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, green groups, clean-energy companies and several states and cities on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court not to grant a stay of the EPA’s controversial Clean Power Plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

  • February 4, 2016

    Barclays Fights To Get $453M FERC Case Put On Hold

    Barclays Bank PLC on Thursday urged a California federal judge to halt the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s suit seeking an affirmation of its $453 million penalty against the bank and four of its traders for allegedly manipulating electricity prices.

Expert Analysis

  • FERC 'Seaway II' Order Is A Win For Oil Pipeline Industry

    Emily Pitlick Mallen

    The importance of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recent decision regarding Seaway Crude Pipeline Company LLC extends beyond the purview of the Interstate Commerce Act's pipeline regulation. It provides some of the strongest words on FERC’s primacy over its administrative law judges' authority and sets an important precedent on ratemaking principles, say attorneys at Van Ness Feldman LLP.

  • 'Uptiering' As A Strategy To Restructure Oil Cos.

    Jennifer Wisinski

    The key question that many exploration and production companies currently face is what the best strategic options to survive the depressed crude oil price market are. The most notable development in 2015 in out-of-court restructurings has been the use of junior-lien financings and “uptiering” transactions, say attorneys with Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Oklahoma Quakes Trigger Legal Concerns For Energy Cos.

    Daniel M. McClure

    With more than 70 earthquakes shaking Oklahoma since the start of the year, seismicity is staged to remain a focus for the energy industry in 2016. Earthquake litigation appears to be trending up, and a variety of patterns are becoming apparent to ensure that seismic risk mitigation investments are efficiently targeted at a time when the energy industry faces tightening financial pressures, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Navigating EU’s Ownership Unbundling Rules

    Filip Moerman

    The strict rules passed by European authorities in 2009 to curtail conflicts of interest resulting from the simultaneous holding of transmission and production interests are often perceived as stymieing energy investment. Investors will need to make a convincing case, through detailed and effective mechanics, that the risk for conflict of interest and undue influence is properly contained, say attorneys with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

  • CPUC Net Metering Decision Is Good News For Clean Energy

    Sheridan J. Pauker

    While the California Public Utilities Commission's approval of a new tariff structure for future net energy metering customers will impose certain fees and increase monthly ratepayer charges, it has been strongly praised by the clean energy industry as largely preserving the economics of a customer's decision whether to install distributed energy resources, say attorneys at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

  • The Yieldco Catch-22 Is Solvable

    Robert Winner

    2015 was a tough year for stock prices of yieldcos, and that pain continued into 2016, with yieldcos dropping an average of 43 percent in price per share over the last 12 months. But not all is lost for the future of yieldcos, says Robert Winner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • Pa. Methane Rules May Be Tougher Than Federal Standards

    Jennifer A. Smokelin

    Pennsylvania's new plan to reduce methane emissions follows similar proposed rulemaking by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, the rule's new general permit requirement is expected to exceed the scope of the federal rulemaking effort and could further increase the burden on industry due to additional preconstruction permitting and the associated time lag and costs, say attorneys at Reed Smith LLP.

  • High Court Ruling May Mean More Demand Response Scrutiny

    George (Chip) Cannon Jr.

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Electric Power Supply Association indicates that demand response providers can continue to sell load reductions into wholesale energy and capacity markets. However, the ruling also removed a cloud of jurisdictional uncertainty, and FERC is likely to continue aggressively scrutinizing wholesale demand response activities, say attorneys at Akin Gump Strauss ... (continued)

  • In Congress: Republican Messaging, Fiscal Year 2017, Flint

    Richard A. Hertling

    A new challenge to bipartisan, comprehensive energy legislation came last week when several Democratic senators introduced an amendment aimed at providing emergency resources to Flint, Michigan, to address severe contamination from lead in the city’s drinking water, say Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • Top SEC Disclosure Triggers For E&P Co. Annual Reports

    William B. Nelson

    In light of the harsh environment for oil and natural gas production, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission staff has within the last 12 months issued a number of comment letters to exploration and production companies relating to disclosures about the effects of weakened market conditions. Reporting E&P companies should be taking these letters into account when preparing their 2015 year-end reports, say attorneys with Haynes and Boone LLP.