EnergyBuzz

Oil Exploration Company's Demand for Tax Refund Fails in Texas Supreme Court

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday turned down an oil company's bid for a large tax exemption and held that Southwest Royalties Inc.'s purchases of casing, tubing, other well equipment and associated services were not exempt from sales taxes available to certain manufacturers.

Mexico Agrees to API Worker-Safety Standards

By ANGELA NEVILLE |

Mexico, as part of the country's initiative to attract outside investors, recently agreed to use the American Petroleum Institute's safety standards in its energy programs to promote worker safety at offshore drilling sites.

Ryan Sitton, Railroad Commissioner of Texas

A Texas Energy Regulator Rails on Agency's Arcane Name

By ANGELA NEVILLE |

You know the name if you work in the energy sector. The Texas Railroad Commission, around since 1891, regulates exploration, production and transportation of oil and natural gas in Texas.

Reagan Bradford

In-House Lawyer Who Hired W. Mark Lanier Joins His Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Reagan Bradford, a former deputy general counsel at Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy Corp., has joined Lanier Law Firm of Houston to do commercial litigation.

Haynes and Boone Hires Three Bankruptcy Laterals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three bankruptcy lawyers leave Winstead to join Haynes and Boone as partners in Dallas.

Kinder Morgan's $2B Gas Project Gets FERC Approval

By Angela Neville |

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved the approximately $2 billion Elba Liquefaction Project, which will be constructed and operated by the Kinder Morgan subsidiaries Elba Liquefaction Co. and Southern LNG Co.

Bracewell, Baker Botts Work on $12.2B Energy Acquisition

By Angela Neville |

Great Plains Energy, the parent of regulated power utility Kansas City Power & Light has turned to Bracewell for assistance with its pending acquisition of Westar Energy, the largest electric company in Kansas.

Steve Otillar, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer& Feld, Houston Texas

Akin Gump Partner Named President-Elect for Association of International Petroleum Negotiators

By Angela Neville |

Akin Gump oil and gas partner Steven Otillar, who works in the firm's Houston office, was recently nominated to serve as the president-elect of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators.

Previewing the Upcoming Mexican Deepwater Auction

By Angela Neville |

Relying on his extensive experience in the Latin American energy sector, Luis Gomar, a Dallas partner at Thompson & Knight, provides an in-depth look at what to expect in connection with the approaching auction of deepwater oil blocks to be hosted by the Mexican government in December.

2015 Corporate Scorecard: 6 Texas Firms Nationally Ranked for Corporate Finance, Capital Markets Work

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Six Texas firms are among the top dealmaking firms in several areas of corporate finance on The American Lawyer Corporate Scorecard 2016.

Mexico's Energy Industry 
Wins Big in Power Plant Auction

By Susan Postlewaite |

Mexico kicked off its historic public bidding to open its power sector to private foreign investors this spring, awarding rights to 11 international and Mexican companies in a move that energy lawyers called a huge step toward transforming its aging electric grid.

Texas Supreme Court Rules Water Drillers Must Accommodate Landowners' Rights

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently expanded the accommodation doctrine—an important concept in oil and gas law—to groundwater estates and extends, for the first time, the same surface protections to landowners dealing with a severed groundwater estate.

David Ronn, a partner at the Houston office of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Orrick, Baker Botts Work on BlueJack Securing $100M in Funding from Energy Spectrum

By Angela Neville |

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe recently represented BlueJack Energy in connection with the Dallas-based company's efforts in securing an initial private equity commitment of up to $100 million from Energy Spectrum Capital, which was represented by Baker Botts.

Hogan Lovells, Dechert Work on $600M KBR Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Hogan Lovells represents KBR in the Houston-based company's pending acquisition of Wyle in a deal valued at $600 million. Wyle, of El Segundo, California, is using a team from Dechert.

Bradley Snead, Partner, Wright Close, Houston Texas.

Texas Supreme Court Rules for Schlumberger Subsidiary in Trade Secrets Dispute

By Angela Neville |

The Supreme Court of Texas recently handed down a decision in favor of M-I SWACO, a subsidiary of oil technology giant Schlumberger, which had charged National Oilwell Varco with stealing trade secrets.

George Parker Young

Chesapeake, Total E&P Reach $52.5M Settlement With Royalty Owners

By Angela Neville |

Chesapeake Energy and Total E&P USA recently reached a global settlement under which they will pay out a combined total of $52.5 million to more than 13,000 clients of two Texas-based law firms who claimed they were shortchanged related to their natural gas royalties.

Robert C. Hilliard, a partner in Hilliard Muñoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi.

Discovery to Proceed in Fisherwoman's Case Against Hilliard, Cracken

By Miriam Rozen |

A Houston state court has allowed discovery to proceed in a civil lawsuit against John Cracken from Dallas and Bob Hilliard from Corpus Christi, despite the two plaintiffs lawyers' motion to seek a stay in the litigation.

Latham Represents Company in $13B Pending Merger

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Latham & Watkins represents FMC Technologies in the Houston company's pending merger with French company Technip, creating a $13 billion company.

Texas Appeals Court Rules Alaska Pipeline Partners Are Bound by Unocal Duties

By Angela Neville |

The First District of Appeals in Texas recently dealt with a tangled business partnership between BP Pipelines (Alaska) Inc., ConocoPhillips Transportation Alaska Inc., Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. and former partner Unocal Pipeline Co. involving Trans-Alaska Pipeline business operations.

Energy Future Creditors Protest Accelerated Bankruptcy Plan

By Angela Neville |

Energy Future Holdings Corp. is running into strong headwinds from creditors as it tries speed up its schedule in its $42 billion Chapter 11 restructuring by seeking the court's approval of its new plan.

After Slow Start, M&A Lawyers Are Optimistic About Second Half of 2016

By Miriam Rozen |

Texas deal lawyers are working fast and furiously on oil and gas industry mergers and acquisitions. But the total value of such deals in that industry nationwide dropped in the first quarter of this year, compared with the same time in the prior year.

V&E, Sidley Work on $4.4B Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Sidley Austin represents Range Resources of Fort Worth in its pending acquisition of Houston's Memorial Resource Development Corp. for $4.4 billion including $1.1 billion in assumed debt.

Ropes & Gray Seeks $10.9M in Fees in Sabine Oil Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

Ropes & Gray is requesting approximately $10.9 million in attorney fees for five months of work representing the official committee of unsecured creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation.

Ryan Sitton, Railroad Commissioner of Texas

Railroad Commissioner Talks About International O&G Business Prospects at Dallas Symposium

By Angela Neville |

In remarks emphasizing the importance of international business opportunities for the Texas oil and gas sector, Railroad Commissioner of Texas Ryan Sitton recently discussed attractive prospects related to Mexico's new energy policy changes and overseas energy markets at the 28th Annual Texas Energy Council Symposium that was held at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas.

Baker Botts, Orrick Handle $407M Shale Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts represents EQT Corp. of Pittsburgh in its pending purchase for $407 million, of assets from Houston's Statoil USA Onshore Properties, which turned to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Krysta De Lima, General Counsel, NextDecade.

NextDecade Seeks FERC Approval for $20B Texas Gas Pipeline and Export Facility

By Angela Neville |

NextDecade, The Woodlands, Texas-based energy company, recently applied for federal authorization to site, construct and operate the Rio Grande LNG, a proposed LNG export facility near Brownsville, Texas, and the Rio Bravo Pipeline, a 137-mile pipeline system that will provide the facility with its feed gas.

LaDawn Conway, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP, Dallas TX.

Texas Supreme Court Reaffirms that Apache Doesn't Have to Pay on Expired O&G Leases

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently turned down a request to rehear a motion filed by McDaniel Partners pertaining to its royalty battle with Apache Deepwater and reaffirmed that Apache was not obligated under the lapsed oil and gas leases to continue paying royalties.

Vinson & Elkins, Latham Handle $775M Pipeline Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represented a conflicts committee that advised Phillips 66 Partners on its pending $775 million purchase of a pipeline and assets from Phillips 66, which used Latham & Watkins.

Gas Drilling Company Hit with $5M Class Action for Alleged Underpayment of Royalties

By Angela Neville |

Plaintiff Charles Hicks recently filed a putative class action in an Arkansas federal court claiming that Southwestern Energy Company and its subsidiaries are defrauding him and the putative class members through underpayment of royalties and seeking in excess of $5 million in damages.

Jury Finds for Exxon in Indemnity Suit Against Fort Worth Energy Company

By Angela Neville |

A jury in a Harris County case recently found in favor of Exxon Mobil in a long-running dispute it has had with Fort Worth-based Trade Exploration Corp., and its principals, related to two earlier Louisiana lawsuits in which landowners sought damages from Exxon Mobil to remediate alleged environmental contamination.

Deborah Williamson, managing director, Cox Smith Matthews, San Antonio

Resurgence in Energy Bankruptcies Prompts New Edition of Book

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Deborah Williamson, a member in Dykema Cox Smith in San Antonio, updated an American Bankruptcy Institute book on oil patch bankruptcies.

istockphoto.com

Nominations Open for Texas Lawyer's Women in Energy Awards

Our 2016 Women in Energy awards will profile outstanding female attorneys in the Lone Star State who practice in the ever-changing area of energy law.

U.S. Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C.

ValueActs' Purchase of $2.5B of Halliburton and Baker Hughes Stock Triggers Antitrust Suit

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a lawsuit against ValueAct Capital and its affiliates for allegedly violating U.S. antitrust laws in their recent purchase of approximately $2.5 billion of stock owned by Houston-based Halliburton and Baker Hughes.

Thomas Moore of Mayer Brown.

A Perspective on Impact of Failure to Freeze Oil Production

By Angela Neville |

Thomas Moore, Houston-based energy partner at Mayer Brown LLP, discusses the impact of the global oil exporters' failure to agree on an oil production freeze at the recent meeting in Doha, Qatar.

White Star To Acquire $200M in Shale Assets From Devon Energy

By Angela Neville |

White Star Petroleum is using the firm of Porter Hedges for its pending acquisition of Mississippi Lime and Woodford Shale assets for $200 million from Devon Energy Corp., which is being represented in the deal by two Houston Vinson & Elkins partners.

European Union May Object to $34.6B Halliburton-Baker Hughes Merger as Anticompetitive

By Angela Neville |

Halliburton Co.'s proposal to purchase oil-services rival Baker Hughes Inc. may soon be hit with new opposition from European Union (EU) regulators who are expressing concerns about how the merger of the two Houston-based oil services giants could hurt competition throughout the EU.

Federal Judge Consolidates 11 Antitrust Cases against Chesapeake Energy

By Angela Neville |

Chesapeake Energy Corp. and several other defendants are in the middle of a fierce fight in an Oklahoma federal court with a large number of plaintiffs who are alleging the defendants engaged in business actions that stifled competition in negotiating oil and gas leases and violated U.S. antitrust laws.

Judge Recuses Himself in Case to Block $34.6B Halliburton-Baker Hughes Merger

By Angela Neville |

U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews, who was presiding over the case in which the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to block Halliburton Co.'s proposed $34.6 billion merger with Baker Hughes Inc., recently recused himself on the grounds that he has a "financial interest in Schlumberger."

Exxon Seeks to Block Subpoena Over Climate-Change Documents

Exxon Mobil Corp. is squaring off against government investigators who believe the energy giant covered up knowledge of how fossil fuels contribute to climate change.

EIV Uses Sidley, Porter Hedges for Sale of Energy Facilities

By Angela Neville |

EIV Capital, an energy industry-focused firm, and EIV MAS Georgia LFG, recently turned to the firms of Sidley Austin in Houston and Porter Hedges in Houston for assistance with their sale of four long-term contracted landfill gas-to-energy facilities located near Atlanta.

Exxon, Shell Win Superfund Case in Texas Third Court of Appeals

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality recently lost its appeal before the Texas Third Court of Appeals against Exxon Mobil Corporation, Exxon Mobil Oil Corporation, Shell Oil Company and Pennzoil-Quaker State Company.