EnergyBuzz

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

Suit Claims Landowners' Injuries From Blast Due to Fracking

By Angela Neville |

Cody Murray and members of his family, who were injured in a severe water well explosion in August 2014, recently filed a lawsuit in Dallas County alleging that two oil and gas companies' drilling and extraction activities near their home in Jack County, Texas, caused the explosion.

Westport to Enter Into $351M Merger With Fuel Systems

By Angela Neville |

Canadian-based Westport Innovations' pending merger with Fuel Systems Solutions, which is headquartered in New York, will create a premier alternative fuel vehicle and engine company.

Gaines West, president of West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry in College Station

Court Denies Lawyer Disqualification Effort

By Angela Morris |

Waco's 10th Court of Appeals recently denied a group of litigants' effort to have College Station lawyer Gaines West, his firm and another lawyer disqualified for allegedly switching sides to represent an opponent.

Chairman Christi Craddick, Railroad Commission of Texas, Austin

Railroad Commissioner Outlines Energy Policy Trends

By Angela Neville |

Texas railroad commissioner Christi Craddick recently spoke at the State Bar of Texas Public Utility Law Section's annual meeting and seminar in Austin about emerging policy initiatives impacting the Texas oil and gas sector.

Joanne Du and Phillip Georgiou, partners, Baker Botts, Hong Kong

Baker Botts Hires Three Lateral Partners in Asia

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three lawyers leave Jones Day's Hong Kong office to join Baker Botts' Hong Kong office.

Three Firms Work on $376M Permian Basin Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

For $376.1 million Permian Basin asset sale, Houston-based W&T Offshore handles transaction in-house.

Judge Affirms $3.7M Overtime Award for Native Oilfield Drivers

By Angela Neville |

U.S. District Judge Jane Boyle upheld a jury's $3.7 million verdict awarded to former company drivers for Native Oilfield Services for disputed overtime wages under the FLSA to its employees.

Could Crude Oil Exports Become a Reality?

By Natalie Regoli and Brian Polley |

Why all the attention? In a word: shale. The shale revolution, driven largely by rapid technological advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques over the past decade, has increased U.S. oil production to record levels.

Judge Seeks to Wind Up Energy Future's Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi recently signed an order setting the confirmation hearing in Energy Future Holdings' marathon Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

10 Tips for Negotiating Pipelines Deals for Landowners

By Mary Barkley |

The following includes a list of factors every landowner and his or her attorney should consider when negotiating with a pipeline company.

Judge Approves $225M Settlement With Exxon in Pollution Case

By Angela Neville |

N.J. Judge Michael J. Hogan recently approved New Jersey's $225 million settlement with Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. that resolves the state's claims for natural resource damage against Exxon.

Breach-of-Contract Suit Against Former In-House Lawyer Will Proceed

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

An opinion from the First Court of Appeals in Houston affirms a trial judge's ruling that denies Charlotte Rutherford's request to dismiss the cause of action with Texas' Anti-SLAPP statute.

Houston Energy Companies in $14.8B Acquisition

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher represent Schlumberger in planned $14.8 billion acquisition of Houston-based Cameron International.

Three Firms Work on Shale Asset Purchase

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Kirkland & Ellis and Thompson & Knight represent GEP Haynesville in joint venture's $850 million purchase of shale assets.

Fifth Circuit Allows $46M Energy Contract Dispute to Continue

By Miriam Rozen |

The Fifth Circuit reversed a Houston trial judge and allowed Houston-based International Energy Ventures Management to continue to pursue a $46.5 million breach-of-contract dispute against Hong Kong-based United Energy Group, which purchased BP's Pakistani oil and gas assets in 2011.

Jury Awards $70M Verdict in O&G Fraud Case

By Angela Neville |

A jury in Fisher County handed down a $70 million verdict in connection with a case involving allegations by two groups of investors, including Lowry Hunt of Mansfield's L.W. Hunt Resources and Richard Raughton of Fort Worth, who claimed that they were conned out of sizable profits from West Texas oil and gas production leases.

Fourth Court OKs Drilling Through Rival's Mineral Estate

By Angela Neville |

The Fourth Court of Appeals recently ruled in favor of Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC in a subsurface trespass case brought by Lightning Oil Co.

Fifth Circuit Resurrects Nuisance Case for O&G Drilling

By Angela Neville |

The Fifth Circuit recently dealt with an appeal from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas involving a nuisance suit brought by several homeowners in Parker County, Texas, claiming that Devon Energy Corp. carried out oil and gas drilling activities in their neighborhood that were noisy and disruptive and inhibited their use of their land.

Texas Attorneys Discuss Newly Adopted SEC Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules and Address O&G Clients' Concerns

By Miriam Rozen |

The Securities and Exchange Commission finally adopted this month long-debated pay ratio disclosure rules. Texas Lawyer asked three Texas lawyers, David Kirkland of Baker Botts, Amy Curtis of Thompson & Knight and Stephen Jacobson of Vinson & Elkins, all of whom advise the O&G industry, to respond to questions about the SEC's new rules.

Paul R. Bessette

Third Circuit Rules on Behalf of Former O&G CEO in Investor Fraud Case

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit entered a permanent injunction forbidding the group of former limited partners of SemCrude from proceeding in state court in their shareholder derivative lawsuit against SemCrude.

Plains Hit With Shareholders' Class Action Over Pipeline Spill

By Angela Neville |

Plaintiff Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund and other members of the class brought the shareholders' lawsuit against Plains in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in the wake of the May 19, 2015, oil spill that occurred after an onshore pipeline operated by Plains ruptured.

Timothy Lee

$400M Fraud Case Against JPMorgan Remanded

By Angela Neville |

Orca Assets is suing JPMorgan Chase Bank, alleging fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract in relation to six oil and gas leases and seeking approximately $400 million in lost profits.

Glenn Ballard

Houston Litigator Glenn Ballard Set to Join Dentons

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Glenn Ballard, a former head of the trial section at Bracewell & Giuliani, will join Dentons on Aug. 17 as managing partner of the Houston office.

Bank of America Claims Akin Gump's Legal Fees Excessive

By Angela Neville |

In the application, the law firm is seeking total compensation of $973,628 for its work on the case during this period. In addition, the firm is seeking $20,000 for expense reimbursement.

Baker Hughes Accuses Small Family Business of Trademark Infringement

By Angela Neville |

Alleging trademark infringement, Baker Hughes Inc. is suing Thor's Oil Products Inc.—a company with one employee—contending that the North Dakota family business is using the Texas oil services giant's trademark-protected brand names for its products used in hydraulic fracturing.

Francisco Mendez, partner, Mayer Brown, Mexico City and Houston

Mayer Brown Opens Mexico City Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Mayer Brown, which has an office in Houston, just got approval from the Mexican government to open a Mexico City office.

Anthony 'Tony' Buzbee of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston

Litigator of the Week: Tony Buzbee Nets $159M Jury Verdict

By Miriam Rozen |

"This jury made it pretty clear what the value of life is," said Tony Buzbee, of The Buzbee Law Firm in Houston.

Geoffrey Newton

Updated: Energy Future Sells Oncor to Hunt for Over $12 Billion

By Angela Neville |

Energy Future Holdings' trump card to help it move beyond its current Chapter 11 bankruptcy woes appears to be its prized asset, Oncor Electric Delivery.

Houston Lawyers in Fight Over Contingency Fees

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Hamilton G. Rucker seeks more than $3.1 million as his share of contingency fees, alleging that co-counsel in Deepwater Horizon litigation have "made it clear" they won't honor fee agreements.

Mexican Offshore Worker Nonsuits Houston Lawyer

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Mexican offshore worker nonsuited Hosuton lawyer Jason Webster from a suit alleging that he was "illegally and unethically solicited" in connection with a personal injury suit stemming from a deadly 2007 mobile offshore oil platform accident.

Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett to Buy Precision Castparts in $37.2B Deal

By Angela Neville |

The "Oracle of Omaha" is grabbing headlines again by spending big on a manufacturer of parts for the energy and aerospace industries.

Chesapeake Seeks Second Chance With SCOTX

By Angela Neville |

The dispute between Chesapeake and the mineral estate owners in the Hyder family centered on whether the oil and gas lease negotiated among the parties allowed for Chesapeake to deduct postproduction costs from the mineral estate owners' overriding natural gas royalties.

George P. Bush

First Online O&G Lease Sale Scores Nearly $20M

By Angela Neville |

"We broke tradition and then broke records," said Jim Suydam, General Land Office spokesman, concerning the Texas agency's recent launch of its innovative and lucrative online sale of oil and gas leases.

Ken Paxton

Texas AG Gears Up to Fight EPA's New Clean Power Plan

By Angela Neville |

Power plan or power play? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency takes the position that the goal of the agency's new Clean Power Plan, which was recently announced by President Obama and the EPA, is to improve the environment and human health by cutting significant amounts of carbon pollution from electric power plants.

Sean Gorman (left) and Peter Scaff

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: No-Go for $6.4 Billion Togo Oil Suit

By John Council |

Houston lawyers Sean Gorman and Peter Scaff had very different reasons for why their energy company clients couldn't be sued in Texas over a failed $6.4 billion oil production agreement with the tiny African republic of Togo.

Locke Lord Team Works on $2.1B Pipeline Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Locke Lord represents NextEra Energy Partners in its pending $2.1 billion acquisition of Houston pipeline company NET Midstream.

Irate Investors Bring Class Action Suit Against Helix Energy

By Angela Neville |

A group of riled-up shareholders of Helix Energy Solutions Group recently filed a class action against the Houston-based energy company that provides specialty services to the international offshore energy industry.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Primer for Energy Executives

By Scott D. Marrs and Nicholas D. Stepp |

Energy companies operating internationally face more than down-hole problems. Every energy executive and board member should be aware of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act's reach.

Fifth Circuit Resurrects Former Tesoro Exec's Whistleblower Case

By Angela Neville |

Wallace, a former vice president of Tesoro Corporation, alleges that he was axed by his employer for reporting suspected fraudulent accounting practices used by the company's management and board of directors.

ArcLight Launches $5.5B Fund for Energy Infrastructure Investments

By Angela Neville |

Despite the oil and gas sector's current funk due to low commodity prices, ArcLight Capital Partners is unambiguously open for energy infrastructure business.

oil platform

Overcoming Legal Challenges Related to Energy Exploration in Gulf

By Angela Neville |

International boundaries in oceanic areas are often ambiguous and disputed, particularly in locations that are loaded with oil and gas reserves.

$820M Mexican Pipeline to Carry Gas From Texas to Mexican Power Plants

By Angela Neville |

As part of the country's initiative to provide natural gas supplies to fuel its electric power plants in Northern Mexico, it is launching the La Laguna Pipeline project. The proposed pipeline will stretch for 465 kilometers (289 miles) between El Encino in the state of Chihuahua and La Laguna in Durango, and connect a pair of CFE power plants.

Fracking operation in Texas.

House Bill 40: The Texas Legislature's Response to Denton's Fracking Ban

By Mark C. Rodriguez and Brock Skelley |

The most notable impact of H.B. 40 is its express prohibition of local fracking bans.

Oil Heir Al Hill III Asks CCA to Dismiss Fraud Case

By John Council |

Albert G. Hill III is again arguing that he was selectively prosecuted for mortgage fraud by then-Dallas County DA Craig Watkins as a favor to Hill's former lawyer Lisa Baron Blue.

Class Certification Granted in Halliburton Securities Fraud Case

By Angela Neville |

The plaintiffs in this case have traveled a long and winding road–including two treks to the U.S. Supreme Court—in their quest to be compensated for what they allege are fraudulent actions by Houston-based Halliburton Company.

Matthew R. Pearson

Litigator of the Week: $20.2M Judgment in Oil-Patch Dispute

By Miriam Rozen |

In "Shale Exploration v. Eagle Oil & Gas," filed in Harris County's 152nd District Court, the dispute concerned lease information about an oil and gas prospect in North Dakota.

Merger Forms $113B Energy Alternative Asset Manager

By Angela Neville |

Under the terms of the agreement, Ares will provide $2.55 billion in consideration, the majority of which will be in the form of Ares Operating Group Units.

Unhappy Crestwood Midstream Unitholders Sue Board for Lowballing Company in Merger

By Angela Neville |

A number of Crestwood Midstream unitholders are not pleased with what they allege are breaches of fiduciary duty by the members of the company's board of directors in connection with a proposed merger with Crestwood Equity.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C.

5th Circuit Upholds Texas Air Quality Flex Permit Program

By Angela Neville |

Created for the purpose of protecting human health and the environment, the EPA was put in the posture in this case, Environmental Integrity Project et al v. EPA, of defending the state implementation plan (SIP) that it had formerly fought against in 2012 in the earlier case, Texas v. EPA.

Ridgewood Energy Develops $1.9B Fund for Deepwater Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico

By Angela Neville |

Ridgewood Energy Corporation is ready to take plunge once again by putting together its third private equity fund to bankroll finding and developing new oil reserves in the deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

Insurance Coverage for Nuisance Claims in the Oil Patch

By Vincent E. Morgan and Tamara D. Bruno |

Frustrated property owners are increasingly bringing nuisance claims based on bright lights, loud noises, traffic, dust, odors, wastewater and other effects of these activities.

Suit Sparks Brawl Over $589K in Attorney Fees

By Angela Neville |

In something of a hollow victory, two Texas oil companies recently won a jury trial in a landman case fought in Dallas County, yet the jury failed to award the winning parties their respective attorney fees that together total approximately $600,000.

Appellate Lawyer of the Week: Attorney Wins 'Old Fart' Discrimination Ruling

By John Council |

"What the court honed in [on] was that the [supervisor] was going to get rid of the old farts. And sure enough he did,'' Alfonso Kennard said of his plaintiff client's age discrimination victory before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

More Firms, Lawyers Sued Over Lawsuits in Deadly Offshore Accident

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A Mexican offshore worker alleges that he was solicited by a "runner" working for lawyers whom he hired to represent him in personal injury suit stemming from the accident.

Mexico's Energy Reform: A Look From Inside the Learning Curve

By Gabriel Ruiz |

While the interest of the companies in Mexico's oil and gas potential is real, the opening process coincides with difficult world economic challenges, particularly depressed oil and gas prices and the concomitant impact on the oil and gas industry.

Fierce Lender Feud in Dune Energy Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

Infighting among creditor groups recently erupted in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by Houston-based Dune Energy and its related affiliates.

Kachina Seeks Rehearing in Gas Compression Fees Case

By Angela Neville |

Seeking another bite at the apple with the Texas Supreme Court after its recent loss, Kachina Pipeline recently filed a motion for rehearing in the case.

Andrews Kurth, Akin Gump Handle $1.5B Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Andrews Kurth represents Enterprise Products Partners in its pending sale of offshore pipeline assets to Genesis Energy, which is using Akin Gump.

Class Action Suit Against Exxon Subsidiary Alleges Gas Royalty Rip-Offs

By Angela Neville |

A group of natural gas royalty owners in Western Pennsylvania are fighting mad and accusing Texas-based XTO Energy, Exxon Mobil Corporation's subsidiary, of messing around with their royalty payments.

WPX Energy to Buy RKI Exploration for $2.75 Billion

By Angela Neville |

WPX Energy, a publicly traded domestic energy producer based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with operations in the western United States, recently entered into an agreement to acquire privately held RKI Exploration & Production for $2.35 billion plus the assumption of $400 million of debt.

Bracewell, V&E Work on Renewable Energy Deal

By —Brenda sapino jeffreys |

Bracewell & Giuliani represents Bluescape Resources in investment in Clean Line Energy Partners, which turned to Vinson & Elkins.

Marathon Petroleum to Acquire MarkWest in $21B Merger

By Angela Neville |

The companies said the combination would create the fourth-largest master limited energy partnership, with a $21 billion market capitalization.

Halliburton, Baker Hughes Agree to DOJ Delayed Review

By Miriam Rozen |

If antitrust regulators' objections foil a proposed merger between the oil field service industry giants, Halliburton might owe Baker Hughes a $3.5 billion breakup fee.

Background with money american hundred dollar bills

BPZ Resources Sells Off $8.5M in Assets

By Angela Neville |

The heavy price decline in the oil and gas industry since last summer has caused and will continue to cause significant financial pain for many companies in this volatile sector.

Energy Future Dodges $431M Bullet in Bankruptcy Case

By Angela Neville |

For Dallas-based Energy Future Holdings, waiting for the bankruptcy judge's recent ruling related to a $431 million fight with the company's first lien note holders was a real nail-biter.

Texas Billionaire's Company to Buy Alaskan O&G Assets

By Angela Neville |

Hilcorp Energy, which was started in 1989 by Houston-based billionaire Jeffrey Hildebrand, is setting its sights on expanding its presence in Alaska.

Complying with Evolving Offshore Energy Regs While Cutting Costs

By Glenn R. Legge and Jeanie T. Goodwin |

Although BSEE and the USCG have agreements concerning their joint jurisdiction over operations in the Gulf of Mexico, their regulatory approaches are not entirely consistent.

Financing Alternatives for Energy Projects in Mexico: Options and Challenges under the New Legal Framework

By Nicolas Borda and José Raz-Guzmán |

Some of these new methods may surprise those who were accustomed to the traditional system in which Pemex and CFE would sign long-term agreements and local and international lenders extended financing based on their high credit ratings.

LINN Energy Lands $1.5B in Funding, Sells Assets

By Angela Neville |

LINN Energy recently announced that it has signed definitive agreements with private capital investor Quantum Energy Partners to fund selected future oil and natural gas acquisitions and the development of acquired assets.

Talen Energy to Sell Renewables Business to Energy Power Partners

By Angela Neville |

The sale will include 25 renewable energy projects in four states with a total of 65 megawatts of nameplate generating capacity, according to Talen Energy's corporate communications director, George Lewis.

Updated: Fifth Circuit Sanctions Federal Government in FLSA Case

By Miriam Rozen |

With its ruling, the Fifth Circuit sanctioned the government for bad faith and ruled that it owes attorney fees and travel expenses to Corpus Christi-based Gate Guard Services.

 John Da Grosa Smith

Oil Heir Refuses to Pay $40.9M Fee Judgment

By John Council |

"The court's registry is not a slush fund for lawyers," said John Da Grosa Smith, an attorney for Albert G. Hill III, who argues that his former lawyers can't collect in a massive attorney fee dispute case.

Texas Attacks EPA's New Water Rule for Federal Overreach

By Angela Neville |

The Texas AG recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state of Texas and a number of other parties against the EPA seeking to vacate the new water rule that was recently enacted under the Clean Water Act.

BP to Settle Oil Spill Claims for $18.7B, Payout Over 18 Years

By Angela Neville and Amanda Bronstad |

After five long litigious years in the wake of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil giant BP recently reached an agreement in principle to settle for up to $18.7 billion all federal, state and local claims arising from the 2010 event.

Jennifer Smith, Cristina Rodriguez and Maria Wyckoff Boyce

Trio of Women Partners Leave Baker Botts for Hogan Lovells

By Miriam Rozen |

Maria Boyce, Jennifer Smith, and Cristina Rodriguez started this month as partners in Hogan Lovells' litigation, arbitration and employment practice group in the firm's Houston office.

Energy Future Holdings Poised to Hand Over Oncor to Bankruptcy Creditors

By Angela Neville |

Since April 2014, Energy Future Holdings has been embroiled in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy suit in Delaware. In a recent surprise move, Energy Future Holdings attorneys announced in the bankruptcy court that they now have an agreement with multiple creditors to hand over Oncor.

Supreme Court Won't Hear Appeals From BP, Anadarko Over Oil Spill Fines

By Angela Neville |

On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeals of BP and Anadarko Petroleum over potential federal fines for their role in the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

High-tension power transmission towers at twilight in North texas. September 26, 2009. Photo: David R. Tribble via Wikimedia Commons.

SCOTUS Rules for Power Industry in EPA Case

By Angela Neville |

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court justices held that the EPA should have examined the costs to the electric power sector before electing to restrict the levels of the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.

A solitary worker in the oil and gas field stands next to an oil derrick.

O&G Promoter Slapped With Cease and Desist Order for Alleged Fraud

By Angela Neville |

Securities commissioner John Morgan, acting on behalf of the Texas State Securities Board (TSSB), recently entered an emergency cease and desist order against San Antonio-based Petro-San Resources and its president and managing member, Sean Patrick Riley.

Energy XXI in $245 Million Pipeline Asset Sale

By Angela Neville |

In a new development, Energy XXI recently announced that it has executed a purchase and sale agreement to sell the Grand Isle Gathering System (GIGS) to CorEnergy Infrastructure Trust Inc. for $245 million in cash plus the assumption of abandonment liabilities related to the assets. The GIGS is a subsea, midstream pipeline system with related onshore facilities serving oil-producing fields in the shallow portion of the Gulf of Mexico.

Pipeline to Profits: Mexico to Spend $10 Billion on Energy Projects, Should Provide Boost to Texas O&G Sector

By Angela Neville |

Faced with an exploding population, Mexico's state-owned electricty utility, Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), recently announced plans to spend close to $10 billion to bolster the amount of electricity provided to its citizens. The largest gas pipeline project consists of a $3.1 billion underwater line from Brownsville, Texas, to the Mexican Gulf port of Tuxpan.

Punch List: What To Do When You Are Threatened or Sued

By Scott D. Marrs and Andrew B. McGill |

Be flexible (as these guidelines are also flexible) and be ready to adapt, as every case is going to be different and present its own challenges, pitfalls, and brand new twists.

Energy Transfer's $53B Merger Bid Rejected

By Angela Neville |

Recently The Williams Group publicly rejected the $53.1 billion acquisition offer made by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity.

Greenberg Traurig attorneys Christina Tate, Derek Anchondo and Hiba Kazim

Greenberg Traurig Hires Three Texas Laterals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Greenberg Traurig, which has three offices in Texas, hires two lateral shareholders and one associate.

SEC Charges O&G Company With Alleged Investment Fraud

By Angela Neville |

A longtime geologist turned investment adviser who operated Norstra Energy Inc., an oil and gas company in Southlake, Texas, recently was charged with allegedly making false and misleading statements about Norstra's oil reserves, drilling plans and business prospects.

Hercules Offshore Headed Toward Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

Hercules intends to file in Delaware a prepackaged plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to facilitate the financial restructuring.

SCOTX Rules Against Kachina Regarding Gas Compression Fees

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently dealt with a complicated contractual dispute when it reviewed the appellate ruling in 'Kachina Pipeline v. Lillis'.

SCOTX Rules for Gas Royalty Owners in Chesapeake Case

By Angela Neville |

The high court ruled that Chesapeake had improperly deducted postproduction costs from the mineral estate owners' natural gas royalties.

Arbitration: The Underused Alternative for Oil and Gas Disputes

By Glen M. Ashworth, John Burritt McArthur and Dick Watt |

Myths about delay, cost, and risk because of a limited ability to appeal are overblown and have led to an inefficient avoidance of this flexible consensual procedure.

SCOTX Upholds Plains' $83M Refund of Oil Lease Bonuses

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the relevant excluded-assets provisions in the 1996 purchase and sale agreement between Plains Exploration & Production and Torch Energy are unambiguous.

A solitary worker in the oil and gas field stands next to an oil derrick.

O&G Leaseholders Win Appeal in Lease Dispute Involving Tribal Land

By Angela Neville |

Successful bidders, including Houston-based Schlumberger, in a 2007 auction of Bakken Shale oil and gas rights conducted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and related to tribal land, recently won in an appeal before the Eighth Circuit. The law firm of Baker Botts represented the leaseholders in the appeal.

Texas Man Arrested for Alleged $4.5 Million O&G Ponzi Scheme

By Angela Neville |

Round Rock businessman William Allen Risinger was recently indicted and arrested in Austin on allegations that he collected approximately $4.5 million from an oil and gas Ponzi scheme that he operated.

Deal Limits Insurance Coverage Duty Related to Oil Field Deaths

By Angela Neville |

The Fifth Circuit's recent ruling concerns a tragic event in 2010 in which a fire at a Texas oil well owned by Endeavor Energy Resources killed two men employed by Basic Energy Services.

ETP to Spend $1.5 Billion on Natural Gas Treatment Project in Pennsylvania

By Angela Neville |

Energy Transfer Partners plans to spend approximately $1.5 billion on its new Revolution Project in Pennsylvania. It has entered into long-term gas gathering, processing and fractionation agreements with EdgeMarc Energy, an oil and gas company that is actively engaged in drilling Marcellus and Burkett shale wells in Butler County, Pennsylvania

Fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon April 21, 2010. A Coast Guard MH-65C dolphin rescue helicopter and crew document the fire aboard the mobile offshore drilling unit Deepwater Horizon, while searching for survivors April 21, 2010. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon's 126 person crew. April 21, 2010. Photo: US Coast Guard via Wikimedia Commons.

Former BP Exec's Acquittal Raises Questions About Prosecutors' Tactics

By Miriam Rozen |

Did the Department of Justice's Deepwater Horizon Task Force fail to foresee that the unwillingness of the witnesses from Congress to be flexible about their testimony?

Financing for Energy Projects in Mexico: Changes and Risks Under the New Legal Framework

By Nicolas Borda and José Raz-Guzmán |

The overhaul of the Mexican legal framework has established a completely different regulatory environment. Some of these changes have already impacted non-recourse project finance in Mexico.

$62 Million Settlement in 2010 Pipeline Oil Spill

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based Enbridge Energy's pipeline ruptured in 2010, resulting in the accidental release of 800,000 gallons of oil into the Talmadge Creek and Kalamazoo River in Michigan. The incident was one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history. Fast-forward almost five years later, and the company has finally entered into a $62 million settlement with the parties affected by the huge spill.

Primera Files Bankruptcy in Wake of Receivership

By Angela Neville |

"I do believe that the plaintiffs in this case will get their compensation now that Alfaro has been removed from assessing fraudulent expenses on the distribution checks and now that the bankruptcy court will hopefully be able to liquidate Alfaro's Jay Leno-esque car collection," said Barchus.

Gauchos, Cowboys and Oil: RRC and UT Participate in Energy Law Meeting With Argentine Group

By Angela Neville |

The Railroad Commission of Texas recently provided a briefing to a delegation of government officials and energy industry executives from Argentina that focused on the regulation of oil and gas exploration and production in Texas.

Barrett Schitka (left), Andrea James and Julia Gill are now eligible to take the bar exam in the U.S. and Canada and practice law in both countries.

Law Students From Canada Earn Texas Law Degrees in Joint Program

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Three students from Canada are the first to graduate with dual degrees in the International Energy Lawyers Program between the University of Houston Law Center and the University of Calgary law school.