Energy RSS

  • April 23, 2014

    Houston Atty Sued Over Salt Dome Collapse Settlement Advice

    The Painter Law Firm was slapped with a suit in Texas state court Tuesday by former clients who say the firm bungled litigation against an oil field saltwater disposal company that allegedly damaged several privately owned underground salt dome caverns.

  • April 23, 2014

    Forest Oil Wants $24.5M Enviro Damage Award Tossed

    Forest Oil Corp. asked a Texas appeals court on Wednesday to throw out a $24.5 million judgment the company was slapped with for allegedly contaminating a contracted landowner’s property with radioactive material and other waste, arguing that a member of the arbitration panel that issued the award was biased.

  • April 23, 2014

    Green Field's Battle-Forged Ch. 11 Plan Gets The Go-Ahead

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge gave the thumbs-up Wednesday to oil field services company Green Field Energy Services Inc.'s Chapter 11 plan, after the major parties in the once-contentious case came to an agreement on how asset-sale proceeds should flow to creditors.

  • April 23, 2014

    Texas Fracking Nuisance Award Could Embolden Plaintiffs Bar

    A Dallas jury’s Tuesday award of $2.9 million to a family in one of the first trials alleging fracking caused severe health problems doesn’t have energy companies quaking in their boots, but lawyers say it could spur copycat cases and affect settlement talks in similar litigation.

  • April 23, 2014

    DOE's Moniz Calls For 'Urgency' In Climate Change Action

    Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz said Wednesday the agency plans to harness all of its administrative authority to curb greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, maintaining it needs to take urgent action rather than waiting for congressional legislation.

  • April 23, 2014

    Texas Fracking Co. Challenges $2M IRS Deficiency

    A Texas-based hydraulic fracturing company is protesting an Internal Revenue Service notice reducing the amount of deductions allocable to its oil, gas and geothermal properties by approximately $2 million, according to a petition filed in U.S. Tax Court.

  • April 23, 2014

    Grid May Not Be Ready To Lose Coal, FERC Official Says

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Philip Moeller expressed concern on Wednesday that the electric grid doesn't have the infrastructure to replace retiring coal and nuclear plants, saying some U.S. regions could be subject to rolling blackouts due to energy deficits in the next few years.

  • April 23, 2014

    Planned $615M Gas Plant In W.Va. Moves Closer To Reality

    Buffalo-based Moundsville Power LLC on Tuesday got closer to building a $615 million combined cycle natural gas power plant near Moundsville, West Virginia, on the Ohio river, the company said.

  • April 23, 2014

    Heckmann Reaches $27M Settlement For Shareholder Suit

    Attorneys for a class of shareholders suing a company known until recently as Heckmann Corp. — which provides fluids and environmental services to the energy industry — over its $505 million acquisition of China Water and Drinks Inc. told potential class members Wednesday that they have reached a $27 million settlement.

  • April 23, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: Charter, Eni, Carlo Tassara

    Charter Communications is closer to inking a deal to snag 1.5 million subscribers from Comcast as the cable giant looks to appease competition regulators before they review its $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable, while Hungary’s MOL Group has snapped up more than 100 Czech gas stations from Italy’s Eni.

  • April 23, 2014

    Google, SunPower Put Up $250M For Solar Lease Program

    Google Inc. and SunPower Corp. are investing as much as $250 million in a new program to finance residential solar lease projects, the companies announced Wednesday.

  • April 23, 2014

    Post Oak Energy Sinks $100M Into Texas Oil Co.

    Texas-based oil and gas company Crown Oil Partners V LP has received a $100 million equity commitment from Post Oak Energy Capital LP in a move intended to help further Crown Oil's development and growth, Post Oak said Wednesday.

  • April 23, 2014

    SunEdison Gets $104M To Fund Ontario Solar Plants

    Solar manufacturer SunEdison Inc. said Wednesday that it has received CA$115 million ($104 million) in financing from Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. to bankroll the construction of two solar plants in Ontario that will provide a combined 33 megawatts of electricity.

  • April 23, 2014

    Halliburton Sues Ex-Chief Scientist For Stealing Trade Secrets

    Halliburton Energy Services Inc. launched a suit in Texas state court on Monday against a former chief scientist the company claims has breached an intellectual property agreement by taking company trade secrets with him to go work for a competitor.

  • April 23, 2014

    Gibson Dunn, Simmons Rep Fajr Capital On $500M NPS Buy

    A consortium of investors led by Fajr Capital Ltd. has purchased National Petroleum Services for more than $500 million, the two sides said Wednesday, in a deal Fajr said marks the "largest private equity transaction in the MENA region" this year.

  • April 23, 2014

    Pa. Rep. Appeals After Corbett Denies Drilling Info Request

    A Democratic lawmaker in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives asked the state’s Office of Open Records on Tuesday to review a decision by Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration denying a formal request for information about plans to raise $75 million by leasing public parkland for oil and gas drilling.

  • April 23, 2014

    Kirkland Taps Simpson M&A Partner For New Houston Office

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP said Tuesday it's picked up a former Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP mergers and acquisitions partner, known for guiding energy-focused deals for clients like Blackstone Energy Partners and Petrohawk Energy Corp., to strengthen its corporate practice at its new Houston office.

  • April 23, 2014

    Andrews Kurth Guides Hilcorp In BP Alaska Oilfield Buy

    BP PLC said Tuesday that it's selling stakes in four oilfields it operates in Alaska's North Slope region to Houston-based Hilcorp Energy Co. in order to focus on developing its Prudhoe Bay operations and a massive liquefied natural gas pipeline project.

  • April 23, 2014

    Hess Reaps $1B From Thai Gas Project Sale

    Hess Corp. said Monday that it's unloading its stake in two gas projects in Thailand to Thai oil and gas development giant PTT Exploration and Production PLC for about $1 billion in cash, continuing its recent selling spree.

  • April 22, 2014

    NJ Ethics Agency Backs Pinelands Pipeline Voter's Recusal

    New Jersey’s ethics watchdog got behind a Pinelands Commission attorney on Tuesday, saying she rightly recommended that a commissioner abstain from voting on an agreement to greenlight a $90 million natural gas pipeline, which resulted in a deadlocked vote and the agreement's rejection.

Expert Analysis

  • Should Gov't Be Held Liable For WWII Industrial Pollution?

    Christopher H. Marraro

    The question of whether the U.S. government should be held liable for cleanup costs at industrial facilities that produced war material during WWII is playing out in ExxonMobil Corp. v. USA. We believe that three cases decided in the 1990s, which remain good law, answer this question in the affirmative, say Christopher Marraro and Thomas Hogan of BakerHostetler LLP.

  • Mandatory Pro Bono Is Not The Answer For Practitioners

     Amanda D. Smith

    The State Bar of California has decided to follow New York's lead and require prospective attorneys to record 50 hours of pro bono service in order to be eligible for admission. While we applaud the intentions behind these initiatives, there are a number of reasons why state bars should limit any mandatory pro bono requirement to this context, rather than extend it to licensed attorneys as some have suggested, say attorneys with the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Earth Day And The Evolution Of Environmental Law

    Timothy J. Bergere

    Since 1970, environmental lawyers have been immersed in a myriad of federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations, beginning with the National Environmental Policy Act. As the movement has grown, Earth Day has become a placeholder for the idea that we can better manage our environment, and in the legal community, it reminds us that we must continue advancing the law with the goal of a cleaner environment in mind, says Timothy Bergere of Montgomery McCracken Walker Rhoads LLP.

  • Proper Economic Analysis In Anti-Kickback Statute Cases

    Sophie Yang

    Economic analyses in cases involving the Anti-Kickback Statute require careful evaluation of the market outcome. Analysts need to isolate and measure the effect of any intent to induce from the impact of other market factors. Then, the analysis can be used by the court for the interpretation and application of the Anti-Kickback Statute, say Sophie Yang and Bernard Ford of Navigant Consulting Inc.

  • Potential Pitfalls To Avoid In Drilling Provisions

    David B. Hatch

    Oftentimes with oil and gas leases, a continuous drilling provision, which allows for a temporary cessation of production without automatically resulting in the termination of a lease beyond its primary term, goes overlooked. Based on case law, only one thing appears to be consistent — whether a cessation of production is temporary is a question of fact that depends on the individual circumstances, says David Hatch of Holland & Hart LLP.

  • The Future Of Law Firm PR: The Good, Bad And Ugly

    Paul Webb

    There has been a dramatic change in how public relations professionals interact with the news media to promote or protect a law firm’s brand and reputation. But content is queen and has a bright future in law firm PR — it all begins with a plan that should include goals, performance indicators and a system of assessment, say Paul Webb, director of marketing at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP, and Kathy O'Brien, senior vice president at Jaffe PR.

  • 'Venting And Flaring' Rule May Spur EPA Regs On Methane

    Luke D. Johnson

    While the Bureau of Land Management's venting and flaring rule may be focused on the government's possible loss of resources from the energy industry's use of public land, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can be expected to focus more directly on methane itself. Potential regulations should be on the industry's radar, whether suppliers are operating on federal land or not, says Luke Johnson, a policy director with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP and former BLM deputy director for policy and programs.

  • CFTC Data Will Be A Powerful Tool For FERC Enforcement

    Terry S. Arbit

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently signed two long-awaited memoranda of understanding, the lower-profile information-sharing one, which provides FERC with “large trader data” in the CFTC’s possession, being the more significant. Regulators achieved a significant victory by including surveillance purposes in the memo — it was a long time coming and provides FERC with a potent tool for surveilling the natural gas and power markets, say attorneys at Norton Rose Fulbright.

  • Sweet Or Sour Development? EPA Tightens Tier 3 Gas Program

    Brenna K. Finn

    Gasoline sulfur levels have dropped up to 90 percent from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tier 2 Gasoline Sulfur Program, and the EPA's recently issued notice for the Tier 3 Program will further reduce gasoline sulfur content. However, it does not take much for a refinery to exceed the 10 ppm sulfur standard, and a stronger incentive may exist for refiners to generate and bank credits for their own future use, say Laura Riese and Brenna Finn of Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP.

  • Reading Between The Whistleblower Headlines

    Shanti Atkins

    The meteoric media rise of the “celebrity” whistleblower has shone a spotlight on the practice, with personalities such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden dividing public opinion on the ethics of spilling secrets. But organizations should pay close attention to the surge in this trend beyond the headlines. Remember, whistleblowers don’t need to be popular to be effective, and opinions on their motives and morality are entirely secondary to the critical issues they potentially uncover, says Shanti Atkins of Navex Global.