• July 6, 2015

    SEC Says Oil Co. Targeted EB-5 Investors In $68M Scheme

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday accused a Bay Area oil and gas company and its CEO of running a $68 million "Ponzi-like" scheme that targeted the Chinese-American community and Chinese nationals hoping to get a green card by making investments in the U.S.

  • July 6, 2015

    Gasoline Refiners Escape Pa. Water Contamination Claims

    A New York federal judge has dismissed three counts against a group of gasoline refiners, distributors and others that Pennsylvania has accused of groundwater contamination, saying they didn’t own the release sites and that the state doesn’t exclusively control the groundwater.

  • July 6, 2015

    Babcock & Wilcox Says Objections Can’t Save Pollution Suits

    Several Babcock & Wilcox Co. units have urged a federal judge to fully adopt a magistrate’s recommendation to grant dispositive motions in more than a dozen suits alleging that contamination at a Pittsburgh-area nuclear facility caused property damage and cancer in nearby residents, saying plaintiffs’ objections fall short.

  • July 6, 2015

    Thompson Knight Adds Energy Attys In Houston

    Thompson & Knight LLP announced Monday that it has expanded its oil and gas practice group in Houston with the addition of a former Carver Darden Koretzky Tessier Finn Blossman & Areaux LLC partner and a former in-house counsel from Semgroup Corporation.

  • July 6, 2015

    Fracking Secrets Safe In New Pa. Database, DEP Head Says

    As Pennsylvania works to develop a new publicly accessible database to serve as a clearinghouse for information about operations at thousands of hydraulically fractured natural gas wells, the head of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection has vowed to ensure that industry trade secrets remain shielded from disclosure.

  • July 6, 2015

    Vietnam’s $1.9B Coal Plant Project Gets Chinese JV Partner

    Malaysian construction firm JAKS Resources Bhd. has tapped a Chinese state-owned company to help build a $1.87 billion coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, according to an announcement posted with Malaysia’s stock exchange operator Monday.

  • July 6, 2015

    'Masterful' Judge Credited For BP Case's Timely End

    U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier's management of the complex litigation surrounding BP Exploration & Production Inc.'s role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster helped bring a prompt end to the proceedings, which experts say could have dragged out much longer.

  • July 6, 2015

    NextEra Unit Unveils Plans For $1.2B Fla. Natural Gas Plant

    NextEra Energy Inc.'s Florida unit has released plans to add a new $1.2 billion high-efficiency natural gas power plant in Okeechobee County, Florida, that the company said will reduce emissions and keep customer rates low.

  • July 6, 2015

    FWS Should Have Upheld ESA On Private Land, Nonprofit Says

    A Michigan nonprofit that claims the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t properly apply environmental laws to protect wildlife potentially affected by a proposed wind farm says the agency should have acted despite the project’s position on private land.

  • July 6, 2015

    5 Firms Top $300B In Deals During 1st Half Of 2015 M&A Boom

    The onslaught of activity in the world of mergers and acquisitions maintained a ravenous pace through the first half of 2015, and a number of law firms capitalized on the robust market by having a hand in more than $300 billion worth of deals apiece.

  • July 6, 2015

    Vinson & Elkins Guides PE Firm's $1B Linn Energy Investment

    Vinson & Elkins LLP advised Texas-based private equity firm Quantum Energy Partners in its initial agreement to plug up to $1 billion into Linn Energy LLC to help fund future oil and natural gas acquisitions and subsequent development on those assets, the firm said Monday.

  • July 6, 2015

    Vitol Reaches $2M Deal With NJ Over MTBE Claims

    Switzerland-based oil trader Vitol SA has reached a $2.15 million settlement with New Jersey to exit federal litigation in which the state has sought to hold dozens of companies responsible for the pollution of its waters with a gasoline additive, according to a notice in the state Register on Monday.

  • July 6, 2015

    Exhaust Patent Too Broad, Rig Builders Tell Fed. Circ.

    A group of shipbuilding and engineering firms asked a Federal Circuit panel Monday to reverse a verdict that they infringed on L.C. Eldridge Sales Co.’s oil-rig exhaust system patent, saying a Texas federal judge over-stretched a key claim in the patent.

  • July 6, 2015

    UK's Afren Seeks Ch. 15 Relief After Oil Price Slump

    London-based oil production and exploration company Afren PLC filed a Chapter 15 bankruptcy petition in Delaware late Thursday tied to its restructuring proceedings in the United Kingdom that seek to address more than $1 billion in debt brought on by the historic drop in crude prices last year.

  • July 6, 2015

    BP Can Write Off Most Of $18.7B Deepwater Deal, Group Says

    Consumer group U.S. PIRG has claimed that BP Exploration & Production Inc. is likely to write off $13.2 billion from a settlement over its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, hitting out at the U.S. Department of Justice for failing to fully disclose the agreement.

  • July 2, 2015

    Hess' $84M Tax Refund Suit Doesn't Belong In NY: Judge

    A New York federal judge tossed an $84 million tax refund suit lodged by Hess Oil Virgin Island Corp. against the U.S. Virgin Islands on Thursday, ruling that the Virgin Islands do not qualify as the United States in light of its “unique” tax structure.

  • July 2, 2015

    Molycorp Gets Nod For $22M Interim Loan From Oaktree

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge gave Molycorp Inc. the green light for $22 million in much-needed financing on Thursday, allowing the rare-earth company go with a interim debtor-in-possession loan from secured creditor Oaktree Capital Management LP rather than a competing financing package offered by bondholders.

  • July 2, 2015

    BP Out Of Deepwater: The 5-Year Path To A Record Settlement

    BP Exploration & Production Inc.'s $18.7 billion global settlement Thursday caps a five-year court battle over the deadly 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. Here's a timeline of the case that fell just short of the U.S. Supreme Court and ended in the largest environmental settlement in U.S. history.

  • July 2, 2015

    Without A Deal, BP Would Have Faced Harsher Penalties

    Despite the magnitude of Thursday’s $18.7 billion settlement that ends most of the litigation over BP Exploration & Production Inc.’s liability in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, experts say the company could have been hit even harder had the overseeing judge been able to hand down a penalty of his own.

  • July 2, 2015

    Fed. Circ. Chops $100M Off Schlumberger Patent Verdict

    The Federal Circuit on Thursday threw out about $100 million of a $124 million damages award that oil field services provider Schlumberger Ltd. won in a patent suit against rival Ion Geophysical Corp., ruling that lost profits cannot be awarded for damages resulting from contracts performed abroad.

Expert Analysis

  • What To Know About The 'Waters Of The United States' Rule

    Andrea M. Hogan

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' final rule fleshing out the jurisdictional definition and limits of "waters of the United States" will likely face several legislative and legal challenges, including arguments that it exceeds the bounds of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause, exceeds the limits of the Clean Water Act and that it is inconsistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of... (continued)

  • This Week In Congress: Post July 4 Tumult

    Richard A. Hertling

    The House and Senate return from the Independence Day recess this week facing a crowded July agenda. Richard Hertling and Kaitlyn McClure of Covington & Burling LLP map the issues, ranging from national transportation and infrastructure funding to the Export-Import Bank's lapsed charter to the slew of fiscal year 2016 spending bills.

  • Haze Of Uncertainty Surrounds EPA Vapor Intrusion Rules

    Donald D. Anderson

    Thirteen years after releasing an initial draft and two years after issuing a draft for public comment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at last released its final vapor intrusion guidance document, though how the guidance will be used — or misused — in environmental and tort litigation is uncertain, say attorneys at McGuireWoods LLP.

  • A Possible Pattern In EPA Cases Before The High Court

    Thomas R. Wood

    What's so striking about the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Michigan v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is its similarity to the court's ruling last year in Utility Air Regulatory Group, which struck down, in part, the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the prevention of significant deterioration program, says Thomas Wood of Stoel Rives LLP.

  • The Recast Brussels Regulation And EU Gazprom Decision

    Serena Cooke

    By making it clear that the Gazprom case fell to be determined by the Brussels I Regulation and without reference to the Recast Regulation, and by failing to take the opportunity to revisit West Tankers in light of the Recast Regulation, the EU Court of Justice avoided addressing the most controversial aspect of Advocate General Melchior Wathelet's opinion — and has undoubtedly created future problems for itself, say Serena Cooke a... (continued)

  • Midpoint 2015: What To Expect From State AGs

    Joseph W. Jacquot

    Whether on competition in the solar energy market, oversight of professional occupations or the safety of electronic payment systems, businesses should proactively engage with state attorneys general as they fulfill their consumer protection role, says Foley & Lardner LLP's Joseph Jacquot, a former Florida deputy attorney general and chief of staff of the attorney general’s office.

  • Flawed Federal Oversight Hinders Tribal Energy Development

    Ryan A. Smith

    Indian tribes and their members are together the third-largest owner of domestic mineral resources, including oil, gas and coal. Until the federal review process is significantly streamlined and made more predictable, tribes will continue to have difficulty developing their resources, and potential private partners will be less inclined to make the necessary investments, say Ryan Smith and Teddy Tanzer of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.

  • The Top 3 New Do’s And Don’ts For Law Firm Websites

    Stephan Roussan

    In legal marketing circles, there are few topics peddled about more than “hot tips” for improving your law firm’s website. Google it. You’ll find more advice than you could ever digest. However, there are larger trends in technology, culture and user behavior that are impacting firms in very significant ways and are not being talked about nearly as much as they should be, says Stephan Roussan, founder of consulting and web developm... (continued)

  • A Battle In The Making: Second-Lien Vs. High-Yield Debt

    Raniero D’Aversa

    As oil and gas companies become increasingly leveraged in an effort to alleviate liquidity constraints, parties such as holders of second-lien debt and high-yield bonds will be front and center in negotiating a company’s restructuring plan — a process that will likely be contentious as they attempt to allocate unencumbered assets between them, say Raniero D’Aversa and Peter Amend of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • A Look At Who's Investing In Latin America

    Latin America is open for business and the world is taking notice. Foley & Lardner LLP partner Jeffery Atkin discusses which countries are actively taking on development projects in Latin America and how the culture is affecting their work there.