Energy

  • October 12, 2017

    Brazilian Watchdog Eyes $385M Petrobras Subsidiary Sale

    Brazil’s state-run oil and gas company Petrobras said Wednesday that the country’s antitrust authorities are looking into its plan to sell a pair of subsidiaries to Alpek for $385 million, after hitting a snag in its $2.2 billion asset sale to energy giant Total earlier this week.

  • October 12, 2017

    Pipeline Co. Urges FERC To Override NY Permit Denial

    Constitution Pipeline Co. LLC on Wednesday urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to overrule New York's denial of a Clean Water Act permit for a $683 million natural gas pipeline, arguing the state had waived its authority by blowing a one-year statutory deadline to act on the permit request.

  • October 12, 2017

    Valero, Calif. AG Settle Row Over Energy Terminal Deal

    Valero won’t buy two Bay Area petroleum storage terminals for at least a decade without first going through the state of California, according to an agreement signed by a California federal judge on Thursday that ends litigation brought against the oil giant by the state.

  • October 12, 2017

    Ariz. Agency Says Gov't Must Face Tribal Water Row

    The Central Arizona Water Conservation District told a federal court on Wednesday that the federal government must face its claims in a dispute over its obligations to deliver excess water supply to the Ak-Chin Indian Community, arguing that the government had waived its sovereign immunity under the law.

  • October 12, 2017

    Eversource Seeks Regulatory OK Of $258M Power Plants Sale

    New Hampshire’s largest electricity utility, Eversource Energy, urged the state utilities regulator on Thursday to approve the company's sale of a host of power plants to a Hull Street Energy LLC affiliate and a newly formed joint venture in two deals totaling $258.3 million.

  • October 12, 2017

    API Says BLM Flaring Rule Twists Definition Of ‘Waste’

    The American Petroleum Institute told a Wyoming federal court Thursday that the Bureau of Land Management’s rule aimed at limiting the venting and flaring of methane from drilling operations on federal and tribal lands relied heavily on a warped and radical definition of “waste.”

  • October 12, 2017

    Deals Rumor Mill: Rio Tinto Group, Abertis, HKE

    Rio Tinto Group is selling about $2 billion worth of assets, Hochtief will decide next week whether to make a counterbid for Abertis, and activist investor Elliott Management has increased its ownership in a video solutions and semiconductor business that is in the process of being bought by KKR.

  • October 12, 2017

    Breitburn Urges NY Judge To Approve New Ch. 11 Plan

    Breitburn Energy Partners LP unveiled its long-awaited Chapter 11 plan before a New York bankruptcy court on Thursday, pacifying some creditors who’d been on the verge of mutiny over the summer and angering others who say the plan shortchanges them for the sake of expediency.

  • October 12, 2017

    Saudi Oil Investor Wants $2M Palantir Shares Unfrozen

    Saudi Arabian energy businessman Tarek Obaid, whose company PetroSaudi is said by prosecutors to be tied up in the 1MDB embezzlement scandal, told a California federal judge Wednesday that his $2 million worth of shares in tech firm Palantir Technologies was not bought with laundered money and should be unfrozen.

  • October 12, 2017

    Perry Gets Rough Reception On Hill Over FERC Grid Proposal

    Skeptical U.S. House Democrats grilled Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Thursday over his controversial proposal to pay coal-fired and nuclear plants for providing base load power and grid reliability services, accusing him of putting his thumb on the scale that balances competition in wholesale electricity markets.

  • October 12, 2017

    Enviros Threaten Suit Over EPA Effluent Rule Delay

    The Center for Biological Diversity on Thursday said it plans to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for delaying parts of the first federal limits on how much toxic metal can be discharged with power plants’ wastewater.

  • October 12, 2017

    Russia Told Of Subpoena Efforts, Ex-Yukos Shareholders Say

    Former Yukos shareholders seeking court permission to subpoena a lawyer believed to know of Russian meddling in their $50 billion arbitral awards told a California federal court Tuesday they notified Russia they attempted to serve the lawyer by alternative means but believed it was unnecessary to tell the court.

  • October 11, 2017

    Fla. Energy Biz Partners Trade Barbs At Bankruptcy Trial

    The tension simmering between former partners of a bankrupt Florida energy company repeatedly neared the boiling point Wednesday as a co-founder cross-examined the company's largest investor, who allegedly put the business into involuntary bankruptcy as part of a scheme to force the co-founder out.

  • October 11, 2017

    Ex-HSBC Exec Tells Jury $3.5B Forex Deal Was Aboveboard

    A former HSBC foreign exchange executive took the witness stand Wednesday at his trial over claims that he used a $3.5 billion forex transaction to enrich the bank at the expense of Scottish oil and gas developer Cairn Energy PLC, telling a New York federal jury that there was nothing improper about the execution of the deal.

  • October 11, 2017

    Jury Awards $8.1M In Retaliation Case At Hanford Nuke Site

    A Washington state jury awarded $8.1 million on Tuesday to a worker fired from a prime contractor on the Hanford site cleanup, finding it was retaliation for complaints of sexism, according to the plaintiff's lawyer.

  • October 11, 2017

    FERC Won't Slow Down Review Of Perry's Grid Proposal

    FERC on Wednesday rejected pleas to extend the comment period for Secretary of Energy Rick Perry's controversial proposal to pay coal-fired and nuclear plants for providing base load power and grid reliability services, a plan opponents claim could upend competitive wholesale power markets.

  • October 11, 2017

    6th Circ. Affirms Land Scout's Conviction In Coal Mining Scam

    A Sixth Circuit panel Tuesday upheld a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud conviction of a man who scouts rural property for coal mining potential and who performed work for a Tennessee company that, according to the panel, scammed millions from investors.

  • October 11, 2017

    CIT Backs Commerce's Price Math On S. Korean Transformers

    The U.S. Court of International Trade on Tuesday validated the U.S. Department of Commerce’s new three-pronged method for determining how sales commissions should be factored into anti-dumping calculations on South Korean transformers, rejecting an argument by exporters that the test is legally improper.

  • October 11, 2017

    Petrobras Hits Snag In $2.2B Asset Sale To Total

    Brazil’s state-run oil and gas company Petrobras on Wednesday responded to news of a setback in its $2.2 billion asset sale to France’s Total SA, saying it has not yet received a summons concerning the apparent blocking of certain rights transfers by a Brazilian federal judge.

  • October 11, 2017

    Eversource, Avangrid Squeezed NE Pipelines, Report Says

    New England utilities Eversource Energy and Avangrid have artificially constrained the region's natural gas pipeline capacity, leading to $3.6 billion in inflated gas and electricity costs between 2013 and 2016, according to a report published Wednesday by the Environmental Defense Fund and several university researchers.

Expert Analysis

  • An IRS Lifeline To Public Utilities On Normalization

    Jeffrey Davis

    Last week, the Internal Revenue Service provided a safe harbor for public utilities that inadvertently break the so-called normalization rules, which are used to reconcile tax treatment of investment tax credits, or accelerated depreciation of assets, with their regulatory treatment. This is undoubtedly good news for public utilities, say attorneys with Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Understanding Force Majeure In The Aftermath Of Harvey

    Jessica Crutcher

    Hurricane Harvey has undoubtedly affected the ability of some members of the energy industry to fully perform contracts. Force majeure may be a viable defense where failure to perform is caused by a natural disaster. But every contract's force majeure clause is different, so the precise language of the clause should be the first consideration, say lawyers from Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Sanctions Compliance Lessons From Recent OFAC Actions

    Mike Casey

    Three recent enforcement actions by the Office of Foreign Assets Control illustrate that OFAC is increasingly bringing cases against nonfinancial institutions, taking aggressive jurisdictional and interpretative positions, and focusing its efforts on Iranian sanctions. Financial and nonfinancial institutions should therefore assess their sanctions risk, say attorneys with Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

  • How The Utility Of The Future Will Evolve: Part 3

    Bill Zarakas

    A new utility business model may be coming in the near future, as distributed energy resources play a larger role. But the evolution of DERs will be strongly path-dependent — that is, the way DERs are valued and incentivized today will affect how they are viewed and adopted in the future, say Bill Zarakas and Frank Graves of The Brattle Group.

  • How The Utility Of The Future Will Evolve: Part 2

    Bill Zarakas

    The growth and widespread use of distributed energy resources may ultimately contribute to the evolution of the electric grid into a more sophisticated “platform.” In this scenario, utilities will facilitate numerous transactions concerning energy and associated services among DERs, consumers and the utilities themselves, say Bill Zarakis and Frank Graves of The Brattle Group.

  • How The Utility Of The Future Will Evolve: Part 1

    Bill Zarakas

    Rapid deployment of distributed energy resources has led some to argue that the utility business model of the last 100 years will soon no longer suffice. Even moderate amounts of DERs change the landscape for utility planning, and require new methods of analysis and changes to status quo policies, say Bill Zarakas and Frank Graves of The Brattle Group.

  • 9th Circ. Provides Clarity On CERCLA Contribution Claims

    Toni Finger

    In its recent decision in Asarco v. Atlantic Richfield Co., the Ninth Circuit decided three issues providing greater clarity in analyzing contribution claims under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Toni Finger of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP looks at how this decision impacts a potentially responsible party's contribution right.

  • The Environmental Impact Of Hurricanes: From Sandy To Irma

    Robert Horkovich

    Five years ago, John Nevius of Anderson Kill PC wrote a Law360 article addressing the risks that followed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Today, those tasked with assessing and mitigating the enormous destruction wrought by Harvey and Irma will benefit from the late Nevius' analysis, which his colleague Robert Horkovich discusses in this update.

  • DOE Report On Electricity Markets: Missed Opportunities

    Linda Walsh

    Last month, the U.S. Department of Energy released a report on trends in the electric industry with regard to reliability, resilience and affordability. But with its emphasis on coal and nuclear "baseload" generation, the report misses many opportunities to champion important new approaches and technologies, say Linda Walsh and Sylvia Bartell of Husch Blackwell LLP.

  • Navigating Texas Regulations After Harvey

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    The Texas governor's office and the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have agreed to temporarily suspend certain state environmental rules relating to a broad range of areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey. But companies may still be bound by similar federal regulations, say Kevin Collins and Whit Swift of Bracewell LLP.