Energy

  • August 27, 2015

    5th Circ. Urged To Consult Texas Court On Insurance Penalty

    The Texas Supreme Court should determine whether any violation of a state insurance law triggers penalty interest, a group of defense attorneys told the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday, backing an insurer fighting a policyholder’s $25.4 million win in a Hurricane Katrina coverage suit.

  • August 27, 2015

    Enviros Appeal Seattle Judge’s Shell Arctic Fleet Ruling

    Environmental groups appealed Thursday a Washington court ruling that the Port of Seattle did not need to conduct an environmental review before allowing Royal Dutch Shell PLC's Arctic drilling fleet to call the city home.

  • August 27, 2015

    Taylor Energy Settles Decade-Old Gulf Oil Spill Dispute

    Taylor Energy Co. LLC has settled with three environmental groups in Louisiana federal court over a decade-old Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company said Thursday, though the exact terms of the yet-to-be-finalized deal were unavailable.

  • August 27, 2015

    $225M Exxon Deal Offers Blueprint For Pollution Review

    ExxonMobil Corp.’s $225 million pollution settlement with state environmental authorities, approved by a New Jersey judge this week, is notable not only for its size and the level of public scrutiny it endured, but also the guidance it provides companies facing similar claims for natural resource damages, attorneys say.

  • August 27, 2015

    Navajos Back DOI Uranium Mining Ban Near Grand Canyon

    The Navajo Nation has urged the Ninth Circuit to keep more than 1 million protected acres around the Grand Canyon off limits to uranium mining, saying the tribe's "long and sordid" history with uranium mining backs the government's decision to err on the side of environmental protection.

  • August 27, 2015

    Tribal Gas Tax Refunds Constitutional, Wash. High Court Says

    The Washington Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge over a state law allowing the governor to negotiate gas tax refund agreements with Native American tribes, shooting down claims that the pacts run afoul of the state’s constitution.

  • August 27, 2015

    Clean Power Plan Casts Shadow Over Utility Deals

    Southern Co.'s admission that the Clean Power Plan influenced its $8 billion move to acquire gas infrastructure utility AGL Resources is a sign that coal-heavy utilities may look to cut deals with their gas-focused counterparts to handle the plan's stiff carbon emissions reduction targets.

  • August 27, 2015

    Oil Well Monitors Score Cert. In OT Collective Action

    Flow testers responsible for monitoring oil and gas wells scored conditional certification in Texas federal court Thursday in a collective action accusing their employer of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act by improperly classifying them as independent contractors in order to stiff them on overtime pay.

  • August 27, 2015

    EPA's Clean Water Rule Halted In 13 States

    A North Dakota federal judge on Thursday blocked the implementation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' rule clarifying the jurisdictional scope of the Clean Water Act in 13 states just one day before the rule was to go into effect, calling the measure "exceptionally expansive." 

  • August 27, 2015

    Stations Want $3.6B Chevron, BP Collusion Suit In State Court

    Chevron USA Inc., ExxonMobil Corp., BP West Coast Products LLC and other major oil refiners should have to face a putative class action alleging they rigged fuel prices, costing California consumers at least $3.6 billion, in the Golden State, a gas station owner contended Wednesday.

  • August 27, 2015

    Sunoco Pipelines Face New Challenge In Pa. Court

    The Clean Air Council on Thursday renewed its push to stop a Sunoco Inc. subsidiary’s ongoing Mariner East pipeline project from crossing Pennsylvania, alleging in a state court lawsuit that the two pipelines are in interstate commerce and do not entitle the company to eminent domain rights.

  • August 27, 2015

    DOE Program Awards $24M To Develop Efficient Solar Tech

    The U.S. Department of Energy this week handed out $24 million in the form of 11 competitive grants to solar technology companies and research institutions as part of a program to encourage a new generation of higher-efficiency solar modules.

  • August 27, 2015

    Murray's W.Va. CWA Challenge Goes Up In Smoke

    Murray Energy Corp.'s challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's new rule clarifying the scope of the Clean Water Act belongs in the Sixth Circuit, a West Virginia federal judge said when she dismissed the suit Wednesday.

  • August 27, 2015

    Marathon Says AG's Antitrust Suit Has 'Rhetoric' But No Teeth

    Marathon Petroleum Co. LP has moved to toss Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway's case alleging the company violated federal antitrust laws by restricting competition throughout the state, arguing that “for all its rhetoric” the complaint “fails to allege any unlawful conduct.”

  • August 27, 2015

    5th Circ. Won’t Rehear Tax Suit Over $84M Oil Co. Stock

    The Fifth Circuit unanimously denied requests for an en banc hearing Wednesday from the family of deceased oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall, after ruling last week that the family can be held liable for unpaid gift taxes on $84 million generated by Marshall selling his stock back to Marshall Petroleum Inc. but striking millions in interest liability.

  • August 27, 2015

    Total SA Sheds $905M Of North Sea Assets

    French oil conglomerate Total SA said Thursday that it will sell its interests in two pipelines and a gas terminal in the North Sea to North Sea Midstream Partners for £585 million ($901 million).

  • August 26, 2015

    Shell's Benzene Too Pure To Infringe Patent, Judge Rules

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday threw out an inventor's lawsuit accusing Shell Oil Company of infringing his patent on a method of producing benzene after finding that Shell's process of making benzene, as well as the purity level of the final product, weren't covered by the patent.

  • August 26, 2015

    Energy Companies Brace For Ch. 11 As Oil Prices Stay Low

    After a year of speculation on how the energy industry would cope with plummeting oil prices, this fall could be the season for more bankruptcies, restructurings and asset divestiture for oil companies facing a tough lending environment and the looming roll-off of a number of hedges, lawyers say.

  • August 26, 2015

    Luminant Smokes Most Of EPA’s Clean Air Act Suit

    A Texas federal judge has ruled that the federal government waited too long to bring a Clean Air Act suit against Energy Future Holdings Corp. subsidiary Luminant Generation Co., tossing the majority of the suit over the operation of two coal-fired power plants.

  • August 26, 2015

    Court Can't Step Into $2B Row's Arbitration, 5th Circ. Says

    The Fifth Circuit declined to halt arbitration between AVIC International USA Inc. and Tang Energy Group Ltd., confirming Tuesday that the lower court does not have jurisdiction until arbitrators rule on the $2.25 billion dispute over a joint wind energy investment.

Expert Analysis

  • EPA Aggregation Rule May Be As Important As Methane Regs

    Michael J. Nasi

    While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rule for methane emissions has received the bulk of media attention, another proposed rule on the aggregation of multiple surface sites into a single source for air-quality permitting purposes may have as much or more of a direct impact on oil and gas operations, say attorneys at Jackson Walker LLP.

  • The Rationale Behind BP Texas Manipulation Ruling

    Paul J. Pantano Jr.

    Administrative Law Judge Carmen Cintron relied heavily on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission v. Barclays Bank PLC as support for her holding that BP PLC engaged in the manipulation of Texas' natural gas market in 2008, dismissing BP's contention that relying on the Barclays case is inappropriate because a federal court is reviewing the case de novo, say attorneys at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP.

  • Think 10th Circ. Endorses State RPS? Think Again

    Harvey L. Reiter

    While some advocates of renewable energy have characterized the Tenth Circuit's ruling in Energy & Environment Legal Institute v. Joshua Epel as an endorsement of states adopting renewable portfolio standards, that is not the case. The Commerce Clause may not bar states from favoring one energy technology over another, but it does bar states from favoring in-state over out-of-state competitors, says Harvey Reiter of Stinson Leonard Street LLP.

  • SemCrude Bankruptcy's Many Lessons For Energy Traders

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    It is apparent that two downstream purchasers — J. Aron & Co. and BP Oil Supply Co. — employed robust risk management practices that included appropriate transaction documentation and credit risk management during their relationship with now-bankrupt SemCrude LP. Those practices certainly played a role in a recent Delaware decision favorable to the purchasers, say attorneys with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • How To Protect IP In Energy Industry Joint Ventures

    Jennifer Roscetti

    Economically advantageous oil and gas joint ventures come with risks that originate from sharing intellectual property. One common theme of past disputes is the importance of understanding whether a change for your partner — such as forming a joint venture with a competitor or losing control of a subsidiary — means a change for you, say Jennifer Roscetti and Charles Collins-Chase of Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP.

  • Royal Succession And Oil Stay Steady In Saudi Arabia

    Edward Rose

    Despite the rapidity of recent changes that have affected Saudi Arabia's energy sector, the basic legal framework remains unaffected. Under the kingdom's current government, it appears the country's petroleum policy will be directed both externally toward global oil markets and domestically at expanding the nation's economic base, promoting energy efficiency and continuing a drive for greater industrialization, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • Inside EPA's Plan For Reducing Methane Emissions

    Stacie B. Fletcher

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's recently proposed methane regulations for the oil and gas sector largely build on controls and work practice standards already employed pursuant to existing new source performance standards addressing volatile organic compounds, say Stacie Fletcher and David Schnitzer of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • 10th Circ. Shields 1st-Time Payment From Preference Attack

    Michael L. Cook

    Defense to preference claims, because it uses phrases like “ordinary course of business” and “ordinary business terms,” has provided ample opportunity for litigation. In accepting a first-time transaction between parties as “ordinary course,” the Tenth Circuit in the case of C.W. Mining Co. rejected the holdings of many lower courts, says Michael Cook of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.

  • Top 5 Ways To Help A Law Professional Land A Job

    Mark Newall

    It is a hard truth, but a law degree is a tough thing to have nowadays. Overloaded with thousands of dollars in debt and only a few job prospects that require a law license, many law graduates are looking for ways to manage their careers. We suggest some proven methods to amplify and accelerate your job search, says Mark Newall of Essex Partners Legal.

  • The Clean Power Plan's Winners And Losers

    Robert S. Fleishman

    At the risk of oversimplifying the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, renewable energy, especially solar and wind, natural gas, though not quite to the extent proposed in the plan's draft rule, and nuclear energy are all winners — coal is the big loser, say attorneys at Morrison & Foerster LLP.