• January 21, 2015

    House OKs Bill To Speed Up Natural Gas Pipeline Permits

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation requiring the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and other federal agencies to approve or reject natural gas pipelines within a strict time limit or see the project automatically approved, over the threat of a presidential veto.

  • January 21, 2015

    As Oil Prices Drop, Bankruptcy Attys Say Strike Early

    Smaller energy companies must move quickly and take a proactive approach with creditors as oil prices plummet to avoid ending up in bankruptcy like driller WBH Energy LP and waterless fracking company GASFRAC Energy Services Inc., experts say.

  • January 21, 2015

    Cleantech Co. Hid Termination Of Sales Exec, Investor Says

    An Energy Recovery Inc. investor hit the clean energy technology firm and its top executives with a proposed class action in California federal court on Tuesday, claiming they didn't disclose that its chief sales officer had breached his duties until announcing his termination, tanking the company's stock.

  • January 21, 2015

    Riverstone Injects $180M In Canadian Oil And Gas Co.

    Private equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC said Wednesday it has agreed to provide CA$225 million ($181 million) in financing for CanEra Inc., a newly formed Canadian oil and gas company, marking the firm's third partnership with CanEra’s management team.

  • January 21, 2015

    Energy Group Of The Year: Gibson Dunn

    Gibson Dunn’s energy group was at the center of key developments in 2014, including Chevron Corp.’s win in a suit over its environmental record in Ecuador and the Williams Cos. Inc.’s $50 billion merger with its pipeline unit, landing a spot among Law360’s Energy Groups of the Year.

  • January 21, 2015

    SunEdison Lines Up Another $350M To Back First Wind Deal

    SunEdison Inc. laid the groundwork Tuesday to raise $350 million through a private placement of convertible senior notes, marking the solar energy firm’s latest move to fund its $2.4 billion acquisition of First Wind Holdings LLC alongside its renewable energy power plant operating unit.

  • January 20, 2015

    Exxon, DuPont To Pay $3M For Texas Superfund Cleanup

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Texas urged a federal judge on Tuesday to approve their $3 million settlement with Exxon Mobil Corp., DuPont Co. and others for cleanup costs at the Palmer Barge Line Superfund site, based on claims the companies contributed to contamination.

  • January 20, 2015

    Longview Sets Up Quick Ch. 11 Exit With Deal Approvals

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge on Tuesday blessed settlements between Longview Power LLC, an insurer and two contractors that together resolve a host of multimillion-dollar disputes and put the coal plant operator on track to exit Chapter 11 by the end of March.

  • January 20, 2015

    Italian Oil Co. Eni's Board Approves $2.3B In New Debt

    Italy’s biggest oil company Eni SpA on Tuesday said its board approved the issuance of up to €2 billion ($2.3 billion) in new debt by the end of the year to maintain a balance between its longer- and shorter-term obligations.

  • January 20, 2015

    Oil's Plunge Pushes Swedish Driller Toward Liquidation

    Cratering oil prices claimed another casualty on Tuesday when Swedish energy exploration firm PA Resources AB took a 2.1 billion Swedish crown ($259 million) write-down on its assets and warned it could be forced to liquidate absent a debt refinancing deal.

  • January 20, 2015

    BP Penalty Trial Witness Says Deepwater Caused Social Harm

    An anthropologist testifying for the federal government in a trial to determine how much BP Exploration & Production Inc. will pay for the Deepwater Horizon disaster said Tuesday that despite economic recovery efforts, the event created serious socioeconomic disparities.

  • January 20, 2015

    EPA Fights Back on Cross-State Air Pollution Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fired back in a dispute with energy industry groups and states over its cross-state air pollution rule, rejecting arguments that the agency unlawfully “overcontrols” upwind states.

  • January 20, 2015

    Claims Fidelity Broke Deal To Sell $400M In EFH Notes Tossed

    A Delaware bankruptcy judge Tuesday threw out claims from several investment managers, including Avenue Capital Management II LP and GSO Capital Partners LP, that Fidelity Investment was bound by contract to sell more than $400 million of notes in Energy Future Holdings Corp., siding with Fidelity's reading of the agreement.

  • January 20, 2015

    Senate Begins Keystone Debate Amid WH Veto Threat

    The Republican-controlled U.S. Senate on Tuesday killed two Democratic amendments to legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL pipeline while approving a bipartisan energy efficiency amendment, as the chamber kicked off debate over the bill that still faces the threat of a presidential veto in its current form.

  • January 20, 2015

    Energy Group of the Year: Chadbourne & Parke

    From guiding a novel solar securitization deal to assisting with financing for projects like a massive liquefied natural gas plant and a rare domestic nuclear power plant, Chadbourne & Parke LLP's broad energy work has earned it a spot among Law360's Energy Practice Groups of the Year.

  • January 20, 2015

    Montana Gov. Declares Emergency After Pipeline Spill

    Montana Gov. Steve Bullock declared a state of emergency in two counties after a pipeline spilled as much as 50,000 gallons of crude oil near the Yellowstone River and raised fears of contaminated drinking water for communities in the eastern part of the state.

  • January 20, 2015

    BP Deepwater Penalty Should Near $13.7B Max, Feds Say

    Federal attorneys on Tuesday told a Louisiana federal judge that BP Exploration and Production Inc. deserves a penalty closer to the $13.7 billion maximum for its role in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, while the company said the scope and quality of its spill response warrants a lower amount.

  • January 20, 2015

    Shell Units Cough Up $900K For Fudging Fuel Emissions Info

    Three Royal Dutch Shell PLC affiliates have agreed to pay $900,000 for allegedly selling gasoline and diesel fuel that didn’t comply with federal emissions standards in violation of the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday.

  • January 20, 2015

    Schlumberger Pays $1.7B For Russian Drilling Co. Stake

    The world's largest oilfield services company Schlumberger Ltd. said Tuesday that it plans to acquire a big minority stake in Russia's Eurasia Drilling Company Ltd. for about $1.7 billion, in a deal that will see EDC delist from the London Stock Exchange.

  • January 20, 2015

    GE To Convert Memphis Plant From Coal to Gas

    A plant that supplies power to more than 300,000 homes in and around Memphis will pay an undisclosed amount to replace three coal-burning units with cleaner natural gas turbines provided by a unit of General Electric Co., the company said in a statement.

Expert Analysis

  • 4 Antitrust Tips For Bidding On Land For O&G Production

    Joshua Stokes

    When prospective participants in a new oil and gas play are not already involved in well-designed and structured joint ventures, new opportunities can create potential antitrust liability for developers who may be tempted to share, or requested to share, commercially sensitive information with their competitors, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • What Lawyer-Novelists Learned From Being Lawyers

    Michael H. Rubin

    The consensus that emerged from my discussions with several lawyers who have become best-selling novelists is that the traits it takes to be a great lawyer are invaluable in crafting first-rate mysteries and thrillers. Both thriller authors and lawyers possess a concentrated attention to detail that allows them to create a logical framework for their story, brief or courtroom presentation, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Ralls May Give Foreign Investors More Leverage With CFIUS

    Stewart Baker

    The D.C. Circuit's opinion in Ralls Corp. v. Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. triggered a lot of commentary, much of which has focused on the constitutional due process headline regarding the presidential order. But another holding may be of more import — that Ralls can attack the validity of two orders issued by CFIUS prior to the presidential order, say Stewart Baker and Stephen Heifetz of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • 2014 Fracking Year In Review: California Edition

    Jeffrey Dintzer

    2014 was another active year concerning hydraulic fracturing in California, with local lawmakers seeking to ban fracking and other well-stimulation techniques conducted by oil and gas operators and environmental groups challenging state regulatory agencies over such practices, say attorneys at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Do Fracking Bans Trigger Civil Authority Coverage?

    Micah Skidmore

    Civil authority coverage may be available in the context of municipal hydraulic fracturing bans, such as those recently passed in Texas and California, as the issue is judicially untested — depending on the specific terms of the policy and given the stated purpose of the ballot measure a fracking ban may trigger coverage in the commercial property policies of affected lessees, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Board Decision-Making Lessons From Chancery

    Jason M. Halper

    A Delaware Chancery Court decision in connection to a merger where C&J Energy Services Inc. shareholders were exchanging 100 percent ownership for 47 percent control in the post-merger entity due to tax reasons cautions that directors have obligations when selling stockholder control regardless of control of the combined entity, say attorneys with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Risks And Opportunities Amid Falling Oil Prices

    Thomas Howley

    Oil producers and oilfield services companies will be most directly affected by the current slump in oil prices — as the viability of new drilling programs decreases and oil producers are forced to trim capital expenditure budgets, both oil producers and oilfield service providers will become ripe targets for consolidation, say attorneys at Jones Day.

  • A Tale Of 2 Circ. Court Whistleblower Cases

    Alexis H. Ronickher

    While Halliburton Co. v. Administrative Review Board continues the clear trend of compensatory damages being available in Sarbanes-Oxley Act and False Claims Act cases, Vander Boegh v. EnergySolutions Inc. stands in sharp contrast and limits the legal protections to whistleblowers who suffer retaliation when applying for jobs, say Alexis Ronickher and Debra Katz of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.

  • Los Angeles Should Block Its Own Ban On Fracking

    Jeffrey D. Dintzer

    Whether the Los Angeles City Council acknowledges its action or not, its motion back in February on well-stimulation activity amounts to a de facto ban on any well-stimulation or injection operations, which among other things will rob businesses and royalty owners of revenue and adversely impact property tax assessments, say Jeffrey Dintzer and Nathaniel Johnson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

  • Looking At Supplementary Compensation For Nuclear Damage

    Stephen L. Markus

    The impending entry into force of the Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage will mark a significant milestone in international efforts to promote a global nuclear liability and compensation regime, say James Glasgow and Stephen Markus of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.