Energy

  • February 22, 2017

    9th Circ. Won't Reconsider Decision To Arctic Protect Seal

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday denied a request from oil and gas interests, Alaskan local governments, and Native American tribes to reconsider a panel’s decision that the National Marine Fisheries Service reasonably relied on climate change projections to determine that an Arctic seal population would be endangered by the end of the century.

  • February 22, 2017

    Tribes Tell 8th Circ. Sanctions Unwarranted In Pipeline Row

    Officials for the Three Affiliated Tribes asked the Eighth Circuit on Tuesday not to sanction them for bringing a second appeal in Paradigm Energy Partners LLC’s lawsuit seeking to block them from interfering with the construction of a pair of pipelines underneath a lake on their land in North Dakota, saying their request for a review is not frivilous.

  • February 22, 2017

    Post Oak Leads $200M Investment Into Midland Oil Biz

    Post Oak Energy Capital LP is leading a $200 million equity commitment to oil and gas company Moriah Henry Partners LLC to fund developments in the core of the Midland Basin, in West Texas, the companies said Tuesday.

  • February 22, 2017

    Mining Co. Delaying Inevitable With Service Row, Court Told

    A British Virgin Islands-based raw materials company urged a Florida federal court Tuesday to reject alleged delay tactics by Venezuela's state-owned mining company, which says it wasn't properly served a petition to enforce an arbitral award in a dispute over iron ore contracts.

  • February 22, 2017

    A Hobbled FERC No Disaster For Energy Cos., For Now

    While the electricity and natural gas industries aren't panicking yet over the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's recent loss of a quorum and lack of commissioner nominees on the horizon, experts say serious problems will arise if FERC's impotence isn't rectified before the end of this summer.

  • February 22, 2017

    Toisa Gets Approval To Resume Operating Seized Tanker

    Bankrupt oil fleet operator Toisa Ltd. announced Tuesday that, through a negotiated court order, it has regained control of a tanker vessel that had been seized by secured lender Citibank NA, allowing operations to continue in full while the debtor puts together a Chapter 11 restructuring plan.

  • February 22, 2017

    Lawyers Seek Up To $41M From Halliburton Asbestos Deal

    Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and Kahn Swick & Foti LLC lawyers who reached a $100 million investor settlement with Halliburton over its asbestos liability disclosures told a Texas federal court Tuesday they would seek up to $40.8 million after a decade's litigation and two trips to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • February 22, 2017

    Rail Giants Seek Koch Docs To Defend Against Antitrust Suit

    Union Pacific and BNSF asked a D.C. federal court Wednesday to force William Koch, CEO of Oxbow Carbon & Minerals LLC, to produce documents that the railway companies claim will undermine key allegations made by Oxbow in its price-fixing suit against them.

  • February 22, 2017

    Baker Botts Snags 9 Partners From Norton Rose Fulbright

    Baker Botts LLP has hired nine partners experienced in tax, private equity, energy and mergers and acquisitions from Norton Rose Fulbright to join its Houston, Texas, office, including the leaders of several of its transactional and tax practices.

  • February 22, 2017

    Automakers Push EPA To Withdraw Obama Emissions Standards

    The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers on Tuesday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw a final rule governing greenhouse gas emissions standards for 2022 through 2025 model year cars and light trucks, arguing the agency improperly rushed to take action before President Donald Trump took office.

  • February 22, 2017

    Feds, Dakota Access Fight Religious Opposition To Pipeline

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Dakota Access LLC both urged a D.C. federal judge on Tuesday to reject a bid by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe to block construction of the company's pipeline based on claims the project violates the tribe's exercise of religion, saying the tribe waited too long to raise the claims.

  • February 22, 2017

    Exxon Rushed Refinery Repairs Before $537M Sale, Suit Says

    ExxonMobil Corp. is facing a proposed class action in California state court accusing the oil giant of hazardously operating a refinery in the run-up to an explosion that released harmful pollutants into the air, and then rushing shoddy repairs in the aftermath of the blast to push through a half-billion-dollar sale.

  • February 22, 2017

    Chaparral Goes After Pipeline Stake To Aid Its Ch. 11 Case

    Bankrupt Chaparral Energy Inc. filed suit in Delaware bankruptcy court Tuesday to force Merit Energy Co. LLC into selling its interests in a jointly owned stretch of pipe used to recover oil from depleted wells, saying the pipeline’s sale could bolster its Chapter 11 restructuring but that potential purchasers only offered to buy the pipeline in its entirety.

  • February 22, 2017

    Deals Rumor Mill: Arris, Dick Clark Productions, Aramco

    Arris will buy a networking equipment business from Brocade Communications for around $1 billion, Dalian Wanda's $1 billion acquisition of Dick Clark Productions has hit a snag due to the Chinese government's desire to limit outgoing capital and Aramco is nearing the acquisition of a Turkish fuel stations business.

  • February 22, 2017

    Gov't Trims Land O'Lakes' Defenses In $23M Cleanup Spat

    An Oklahoma federal judge dealt a blow to Land O’Lakes Inc. in the federal government’s suit seeking $23.4 million for the cleanup of an oil refinery previously owned by the dairy company, agreeing Wednesday that a number of its affirmative defenses and a pair of counterclaims don’t hold up.

  • February 22, 2017

    Saudi Aramco Picks Lead Underwriters For Massive IPO

    Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco has hired three investment banks to underwrite its monster initial public offering that is estimated to raise around $100 billion, expected to be the largest ever, according to reports on Wednesday.

  • February 22, 2017

    Pa. DEP Urges State Justices To Deny Drilling Rule Challenge

    State environmental regulators urged Pennsylvania's highest court Tuesday to affirm a decision recognizing their authority to demand drillers outline the potential environmental impacts of proposed oil and gas wells despite a landmark ruling three years ago suggesting the requirement, part of a controversial law known as Act 13, was void.

  • February 22, 2017

    Oil Storage Co. Accuses Magellan Of Stifling Competition

    Fairway Energy Partners LLC alleged in an antitrust lawsuit filed Tuesday in Texas state court that Magellan Midstream Partners is stifling competition by blocking Fairway from access to its Houston crude oil distribution system, or demanding “exorbitant fees” for access, essentially eliminating competition.

  • February 22, 2017

    Pruitt Emails Show Ties With Fossil Fuel Players

    As Oklahoma’s attorney general, recently confirmed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt worked closely with fossil fuel industry groups and similarly minded academics and political organizations to fight federal government environmental and energy regulations and policies, according to thousands of pages of emails released Wednesday.

  • February 22, 2017

    Site Managers Get Conditional Cert. In Chevron OT Dispute

    A California federal judge on Tuesday granted conditional certification of a collective action by a group of drill site managers who are suing Chevron Corp. alleging that it misclassified them as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime, finding that the group met the lenient standard for such a certification. 

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Calif. Court Gets Automatic Funding Disclosure Right

    Matthew D. Harrison

    Detractors of litigation funding have strained to characterize a recent decision from a California federal court as significant headway in their crusade against the litigation funding industry. However, in truth, this is a victory for both the industry and those in need of capital to bring meritorious claims against wrongdoers in an often prohibitively expensive legal system, say Matthew Harrison and Priya G. Pai of Bentham IMF.

  • Big Settlement Shows FERC's Pursuit Of Market 'Gaming'

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    In a recent settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, energy supplier GDF Suez paid the largest penalty levied by the agency in almost four years. This reflects FERC’s pursuit of “gaming” of wholesale electric markets through strategies that technically comply with rules, but are allegedly inconsistent with their purpose, say David Applebaum and Todd Brecher of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

  • Who Would Face Liability For Oroville Dam Management?

    Brett Moore

    The Butte County, California, sheriff recently ordered the evacuation of more than 180,000 people in the communities surrounding the Oroville Dam after officials spotted severe erosion in its emergency spillway. Although other avenues may exist to pursue liability against the agencies involved in management of the facilities, those agencies might avoid state tort liability on preemption grounds, says Brett Moore of Haight Brown & Bonesteel LLP.

  • The Quadrennial Energy Review And Grid Security

    William Demarest, Jr.

    The most recent installment of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review includes a number of recommendations for physical and cybersecurity protection of the nation's power infrastructure. Although the report recommends developing and implementing "necessary" security measures, it provides limited details in some areas, and does not identify revenue sources for some initiatives, say attorneys from Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • 2-For-1 Executive Order Leaves OMB To Work Out Details

    Laurence Platt

    While President Donald Trump’s recent executive order reducing regulations may seem appealing in its simplicity, the White House has provided agencies with little guidance on its implementation, instructing them to call the Office of Management and Budget with questions. Yet the OMB's ability to provide answers will be impaired by a lack of clear legal standards, say Laurence Platt and Joy Tsai of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Waive Goodbye: How Trump Might Attack The Iran Deal

    Anthony Rapa

    On the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump attacked the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program. But he suggested that rather than tearing the deal up, he would seek to improve it. One possible approach would be to engage in brinksmanship related to the statutory sanctions waivers President Obama issued in implementing the deal, says Anthony Rapa of Steptoe & Johnson LLP.

  • In Retrospect

    Relearning The Lessons Of Korematsu's Case

    Randy Maniloff

    Fred Korematsu’s U.S. Supreme Court case challenging President Franklin Roosevelt’s executive order that led to the incarceration of approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry may sound like ancient history. However, Feb. 19 marks the 75th anniversary of the order's signing, and that it’s celebrating its diamond anniversary now is breathtaking timing, says Randy Maniloff of White and Williams LLP.

  • Non-GAAP Reporting Lessons For Energy Companies

    Bill Nelson

    In 2016, numerous energy companies received comments from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission addressing their compliance with the SEC’s guidance on non-GAAP financial measures — metrics that adjust amounts calculated in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. The comments make clear that companies must make more nuanced interpretations of the guidance, say attorneys with Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 2

    Bruce J. Heiman

    General counsels face the challenging task of understanding how companies can navigate the rules surrounding uses of artificial intelligence. To get smart on AI, general counsels must ask the right questions about areas such as human resources, intellectual property, liability and insurance, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.

  • How A General Counsel Should Think About AI: Part 1

    Bruce J. Heiman

    Though the Trump administration has yet to make an official statement regarding artificial intelligence, support for AI is consistent with its expressed desire to promote American business. As such, general counsel will inevitably have to navigate what big data and AI mean for compliance with current and future laws and regulations, say Bruce Heiman and Elana Reman of K&L Gates LLP.