• December 10, 2014

    DOL Recovers $4.5M In Wages For Pa., W.Va. Gas Workers

    After a two-year investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor recovered about $4.5 million in back wages for more than 5,000 oil and natural gas extraction workers who were denied overtime pay in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, the agency announced on Tuesday.

  • December 9, 2014

    10th Circ. Frees Travelers From KBR's $2M Pollution Defense

    The Tenth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed a lower court's decision that Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. and Martin K. Eby Construction Co. Inc. don’t have to pay Kellogg Brown & Root LLC $1.8 million in defense costs stemming from a suit over a Texas pipeline leak.

  • December 9, 2014

    $24M OCS Tax Challenge Timely Due To Improper Service

    A U.S. Tax Court judge on Tuesday refused to toss claims by Adams Offshore Services Ltd. that the Internal Revenue Service wrongly assessed $24 million in back taxes due to its work on the Outer Continental Shelf, saying the company wasn't subject to the 150-day deadline for filing its petition because the notice of deficiency was sent to the wrong address.

  • December 9, 2014

    Gulfco Loses Bid To Overturn Ch. 11 Dismissal

    A Delaware federal judge on Tuesday rejected an appellate bid by Gulfco Holding Corp. aimed at reviving its bankruptcy case, finding no grounds to overturn a decision that sided with major creditor Prospect Capital Corp. and ended the oil drilling equipment holding company's stay in Chapter 11.

  • December 9, 2014

    Ex-SemGroup CEO Asks 3rd Circ. To Nix Investor Fraud Suit

    An attorney for the former CEO of oil distributor SemGroup LP urged the Third Circuit on Tuesday to block a fraud suit brought by investors, arguing that a Delaware bankruptcy judge properly dismissed the fraud claims as derivative of SemGroup's Chapter 11 reorganization.

  • December 9, 2014

    Texas Limits Discovery In City Utility Rate Fights

    The Texas Railroad Commission on Tuesday approved rule amendments streamlining the way cities dispute natural gas rate hikes, adding discovery limits and requiring multiple cities challenging a ratemaking to be aligned as a single party during discovery.

  • December 9, 2014

    Disney, Koch Cut Secret Luxembourg Tax Deals, Group Says

    The Walt Disney Co., Koch Industries Inc. and private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC join an expanding list of corporate giants that purportedly scored secret tax rulings from Luxembourg authorities to save them billions of dollars in taxes, according to documents leaked Tuesday by a consortium of journalists.

  • December 9, 2014

    EPA Says Ethanol Industry Can't Challenge Gas Rule

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday told the D.C. Circuit to toss a challenge to a new fuel emissions rule, saying the petitioners are ethanol producers and a pro-ethanol public policy group, not vehicle manufacturers, and thus are not directly regulated by the challenged provision.

  • December 9, 2014

    Senate Dems Press EPA To Strengthen Carbon Emission Plan

    A group of U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday urged the Obama administration to beef up its controversial Clean Power Plan to require even steeper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants by strengthening the plan's renewable energy and energy efficiency targets.

  • December 9, 2014

    GOP Lawmaker Unveils Bill To Shred Oil Export Ban

    A high-ranking Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday introduced legislation that would strike down the decades-old ban on exports of U.S. crude oil, a reform that supporters have claimed will allow American producers to capitalize on the recent boom in domestic oil production.

  • December 9, 2014

    SD Limits Discovery In Keystone XL Pipeline Permit Debate

    South Dakota utility regulators on Tuesday largely signed off on TransCanada Corp.’s bid to limit discovery in its recertification proceeding for a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, only slightly broadening the scope beyond what the company had proposed.

  • December 9, 2014

    Dechert Reps Aqua Terra In Permian Basin Expansion

    Dechert LLP helped Bregal Partners-backed Aqua Terra Water Management LP on Tuesday with its latest deal to rapidly ramp up its saltwater disposal capacity with the acquisition of three facilities in Texas, less than seven weeks after inking a deal for two separate facilities in the same region.

  • December 9, 2014

    CGN's $3.16B Haul Is Largest Utility & Energy IPO Of 2014

    CGN Power Co. Ltd., China’s largest nuclear power producer, raised HK$24.5 billion (US$3.16 billion) in its Hong Kong initial public offering, the company announced Tuesday, making it the world’s largest utility and energy debut of the year, according to Dealogic.

  • December 9, 2014

    Haynes And Boone Grabs Reed Smith Energy Pro

    Haynes and Boone LLP has hired a former Reed Smith LLP partner who specializes in project financing and commodities trading work for energy companies, the firm said on Monday.

  • December 9, 2014

    Entergy Pays $948M For Bankrupt Co.'s Ark. Gas Plant

    Entergy Corp. said Tuesday that its utility units in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas will buy a 1,980-megawatt gas-fired power plant in Arkansas from bankrupt Entegra Power Group LLC for $948 million as the company looks to modernize its generation fleet in its southeastern U.S. service territory

  • December 9, 2014

    US Blasts BP's Bid To Cap CWA Penalties For Deepwater Spill

    The U.S. federal government on Monday fired back at BP PLC's bid to cap its potential Clean Water Act penalties for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, telling a Louisiana federal court that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Coast Guard have the authority to set the penalties at $18 billion.

  • December 9, 2014

    5th Circ. Affirms Oil Exec's Investor Fraud Conviction

    The Fifth Circuit on Tuesday affirmed the 30-year sentence of an oil well marketer who was convicted of tricking investors out of $3.51 million, saying inference was an acceptable basis for the counts connected to more than a dozen investors who didn't testify at trial.

  • December 9, 2014

    Mitsui Acquires Stake In Vale's $3.2B Moatize Mining Project

    Mitsui & Co. Ltd. has agreed to buy stakes in Vale SA’s Moatize coal mine in Mozambique and a related infrastructure project for a total of $763 million, the companies said Tuesday, in a deal that values the mining project at up to $3.2 billion.

  • December 9, 2014

    Wachtell Says Icahn Malpractice Suit Is 'Duplicative'

    Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz has again urged a New York federal judge to toss Carl Icahn-backed CVR Energy Inc.’s malpractice suit over the firm’s work in a $2.6 billion takeover, saying the matter must be played out in state court where an “identical” lawsuit is pending.

  • December 9, 2014

    Chevron Snaps Up New Zealand Offshore Blocks

    Chevron Corp. said Tuesday that its New Zealand upstream arm has secured exploration rights to three offshore blocks, the energy giant's first foray into oil and gas development in the South Pacific nation.

Expert Analysis

  • A Win For Large Stockholders — And Their 'Side Benefits'

    Peter J. Rooney

    In a post-closing challenge to Contango Oil & Gas' acquisition of Crimson Exploration, the Delaware Chancery Court found that stockholder Oaktree Capital Management's "side deals" did not warrant entire fairness review — confirming that large stockholders have a powerful argument against allegations of self-interested conduct in the merger context, say attorneys with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Injury And Irony In BLM's Public Land Bidding Process

    Paul B. Smyth

    The irony in the Bureau of Land Management's proposed competitive bidding process for public land is that renewable energy firms most likely to assume greater risk in structuring a bid are placing themselves at a greater financial risk of being unable to complete the project successfully, says Paul Smyth of Perkins Coie LLP.

  • Energy Support Schemes Buoyed By EU State Aid Decision

    James H. Searles

    The European Commission's assent to the implementation of an energy capacity market scheme in the U.K. confirms that such schemes may fall under the scrutiny of EU state aid law, providing practical guidance on the requirements for their implementation, say James Searles and Eike Helbig of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • Stockholders Need More Than A Number To Be 'Controlling'

    Daniel E. Wolf

    Two recent decisions, Crimson Exploration and KKR Financial, confirm that Delaware takes a flexible and fact-specific approach to determining whether a stockholder is deemed to be “controlling” for purposes of judicial review of a transaction — and that courts will not presume control, or absence thereof, at any specific ownership level, say Daniel Wolf and David Feirstein of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

  • Comity Is King: Chapter 15 Lessons From Rede And Vitro

    Abbey Walsh

    The combination of a Fifth Circuit ruling in Matter of Vitro SAB and a Southern District of New York ruling in the case of Rede Energia SA teaches that United States courts reviewing foreign insolvency processes and plans will generally give substantial latitude to the home country’s restructuring of a debtor, say Abbey Walsh and David Livshiz of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

  • Important O&G Regulatory Developments Come To Pa.

    Tad MacFarlan

    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's recent insight into enforcement protocols for the oil and gas industry reaffirms procedures for issuing and resolving notices of violation, establishes a new process for resolving water supply contamination incidents and updates well-inspection policies, say Timothy Weston and Tad MacFarlan of K&L Gates LLP.

  • How Russian Sanctions Impact Energy And Financial Cos.

    The U.S. Treasury and European Union have continued to expand the scope of economic sanctions in response to Russian activities and the political unrest in Ukraine. In this brief video, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan partner Mark Herlach discusses recent key developments and what the latest round of sanctions mean for energy and financial services companies.

  • DOL Crackdown On Texas Employers May Come In 2015

    J. David Giddens

    Texas employers, particularly those in energy and hospitality, may be under increased scrutiny in 2015 from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division after it received an 18 percent budget increase and 2,000 additional staffers to crack down on worker retaliation in the Southwest, says David Giddens of Fisher & Phillips LLP.

  • Cyberattack Insurance Challenges Confront Energy Sector

    Glenn R. Legge

    Under pressure from regulators to obtain adequate cyber-risk coverage and lacking underwriters that offer comprehensive catastrophic coverage for losses or liabilities arising out of cyberattacks, global energy companies face multiple challenges when considering cyberattack insurance policies, say attorneys at Legge Farrow Kimmitt McGrath & Brown LLP.

  • A Reasonable Measure Of Unreasonably Small Capital

    Brad Eric Scheler

    A Delaware district court ruling in the case of SemCrude LP is an important reminder that in determining whether a debtor had unreasonably small capital to support a fraudulent transfer claim, a court’s analysis must be based on reasonable foreseeability regarding whether the debtor would be able to continue to generate sufficient cash flow after the transaction, say attorneys with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.