EnergyBuzz

Galvin B. Kennedy, founding partner in Kennedy Hodges in Houston

Busy Time: Unpaid Overtime Claims in Energy Industry Keep Labor Lawyers on the Clock

By Miriam Rozen |

"These claims are worth a lot," said Galvin Kennedy, partner in Houston's Kennedy/Hodges, who represents the workers.

Energy Employers Pin Hopes on Big Trucks to Slow Workers' Unpaid Overtime Lawsuits

By Miriam Rozen |

Defense counsel hope to reverse a recent trend of workers suing energy industry employers for unpaid overtime.

$2.1 Billion Shale Deal: Noble Energy to Buy Rosetta Resources

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based Noble Energy is poised to acquire all of the common stock of Rosetta in an all-stock transaction valued at $2.1 billion, plus the assumption of Rosetta's net debt of $1.8 billion.

V&E, Paul Hastings Handle $614M Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents Eagle Rock Energy Partners in its pending acquisition by Vanguard Natural Resources for about $614 million.

Transocean, Halliburton & BP: Settlement Frenzy

By Miriam Rozen |

BP, Halliburton Co. and Transocean Ltd. each reached settlements this week in the litigation stemming from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Oil Businesses Using Names of Top Athletes File Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

Unfortunately, oil and gas companies filing for bankruptcy protection in today's unstable price environment is nothing out of the ordinary. What set these cases apart are the unusual names of a number of Duer Wagner's subsidiaries, which are named after famous athletes.

The Petrochemical Renaissance: An Immediate Opportunity for Returns

By Natalie Regoli and Brian Polley |

Ask an energy industry expert about the effects of the U.S. shale boom, and the expert will likely speak of job creation, low natural gas and crude oil prices, and the emergence of U.S. LNG export terminals. A less likely answer is the dramatic rise in supply of natural gas liquids and its effect on the petrochemical industry.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott

Abbott Signs Controversial Bill Barring Local Fracking Bans

By Angela Neville |

Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed into law House Bill 40. The new law pre-empts regulation of oil and gas activity at the municipal and local levels and places that duty with the state.

Ex-Clients Sue Three Texas Firms, Seven Lawyers

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of Mexican residents allege that their personal injury suits were dismissed because of the negligence of lawyers.

Macey Reasoner Stokes

Shell Oil Prevails Against Former Employee Pursuing Defamation Claim

By Miriam Rozen |

The energy company wins, arguing that the internal report it gave DOJ during an FCPA violations investigation qualified as absolutely privileged.

Baker Botts, V&E Work on Year's Largest U.S. IPOs

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The three largest initial public offerings to date this year are for energy companies, and Houston firms secured the work.

Mitigating Buyer Risk in Oil and Gas Acquisitions

By Sargon Daniel |

To mitigate the increased risk, buyers should increase their focus on identifying and quantifying risk while increasing protective measures that affect the periods before, during and after the sign and close of a transaction.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht

High Court Cuts $66.5M Award in Gas Deal Case

By Angela Neville |

In this contract breach and business interference tort case over an abandoned Bulgarian gas field venture, the principal issue is whether evidence supporting lost-market value was speculative and based on lost future profits, according to the Texas Supreme Court's opinion.

Bill To Fast-Track Environmental Permits Accused of Limiting Public Input

By Angela Neville |

The Texas House recently approved Senate Bill 709, which contains a number of proposed guidelines, including rules to be considered in determining whether a person or an association has standing in a contested case involving environmental permits.

Mexico

Texas Wants Binational Energy Task Force With Mexico

By Angela Neville |

Now that Mexico's oil and gas sector has finally been opened to outside investors, the state of Texas is anxious to build a strong business relationship with the nearby country that has rich oil reserves.

Ken Paxton

Texas AG Ramps Up Fight Against EPA's Clean Power Plan

By Angela Neville |

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has recently announced that Texas intends to fight the Obama administration over a proposed air quality regulation—the so-called Clean Power Plan Rule (also known as the Carbon Rule). The proposed rule is being considered by the EPA and is set to be finalized in June.

Nossaman Hires Six Environmental/Land Use Laterals

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Alan Glen leads a group of environmental and land use attorneys who joined Nossaman's Austin and Washington, D.C., offices.

Energy Companies Announce $7.5 Billion Merger

By Angela Neville |

Crestwood Equity Partners and Crestwood Midstream Partners recently signed a definitive agreement to merge Crestwood's corporate structure into a single publicly traded partnership with a consolidated enterprise value of approximately $7.5 billion.

Man-Induced Earthquake Research Reverberates in Texas Legislature

By Barclay R. Nicholson and Emery Gullickson Richards |

Legislators appear poised to seek appropriation of $2.5 million for seismic mobile array monitoring equipment after committee members engaged in a technical back-and-forth with experts about the hazards posed by pressure build up, susceptible faults, and human activity.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

Fracking Ban Bill Heads to Governor's Desk

By Angela Morris |

Supporters and opponents of House Bill 40 disagreed about whether the bill would increase or decrease litigation; how the proposal would balance property rights against the public's health and safety; and more.

Another Oil and Gas Company Files for Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

ERG Intermediate and its affiliates recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division. The parent company and its affiliates' cases have been assigned to Bankruptcy Judge Harlan D. Hale.

Mexican States Can't Recover in BP Oil Spill

By John Council |

The Fifth Circuit rules that three Mexican states do not have sufficient proprietary interest in property damaged by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, barring them from recovering in a civil lawsuit they filed in a U.S. district court.

SEC Settles Fraud Case With Houston Oil and Gas Company, CEO Resigns

By Angela Neville |

In August 2014, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission instituted cease-and-desist proceedings against Houston American Energy Corp., an exploration and production company, and its CEO, John Terwilliger, for making fraudulent claims about the company's oil reserves.

Ex-Wife Gets $975 Million Check in Divorce From Oil CEO, Loses Appeal for More

By Angela Neville |

The high court dismissed her appeal on the grounds that Arnall had already "received the benefits flowing" from the judgment rendered by the trial court, which included—among other assets—a $975 million personal check.

Earthquake Concerns May Lead to Shutdown of O&G Disposal Wells

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Railroad Commission's recent investigation into the possible connection between wastewater injection wells and earthquakes is almost certainly shaking up some operators in the Texas oil and gas industry.

How Oil Oversupply and Depressed Prices Shape the Litigation Market

By Scott D. Marrs and Joseph W. Hance III |

Current production levels have put price stabilization on the backburner—a delay that, in addition to the traditional litigation lag cycle, has litigators anticipating an influx of claims later this year and well into 2017.

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

Energy Deal: Vanguard Natural Resources to Acquire LRR Energy

By Angela Neville |

Vanguard and LRR Energy recently announced that they have entered into a purchase agreement and plan of merger.

Fracking operation in Texas.

High Court Allows Defamation Suit Related to Fracking to Continue

By Angela Neville |

Recently, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the Ft. Worth-based oil and gas operating company, Range Resources Corporation, and its subsidiary Range Production Company can move forward with their defamation suit against Steven Lipsky, who asserted that the companies' drilling activity in 2009 contaminated his family's drinking water on their property in Weatherford, Texas.

Rusty Hardin of Rusty Hardin & Associates

Jury Awards $3.7M in Damages, Fees Against Energy Transfer

By Angela Neville |

Last week Houston-based Enterprise Products Partners won a jury verdict in a Houston district court in its breach of contract claim against Energy Transfer Partners. The jury found that Dallas-based Energy Transfer breached its contract with Enterprise by failing to properly maintain the Old Ocean natural gas pipeline so Enterprise could service its broad customer base in the Gulf Coast area. The jury awarded Enterprise $2.2 million in lease payment reimbursements and $1.5 million in legal fees after the four-week trial.

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

Power Play: Bill Pushes Choices for Austin Energy Users

By Angela Neville |

State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, recently introduced a new piece of legislation—Senate Bill 1945—that is aimed at opening up municipal electric power providers such as Austin Energy to deregulation.

oil platform

Russian Oil Giant, Seadrill Delay Proposed $4.1 Billion Deal

By Angela Neville |

Recently, the Russian oil company Rosneft, Seadrill and its subsidiary North Atlantic Drilling all agreed to extend the termination date of the framework agreement until May 31, 2017.

JP Energy Cuts Two Midstream Deals

By Angela Neville |

JP Energy Partners recently negotiated two new midstream transactions that promise to bolster the company's current financial position.

Brent Coon is an attorney working on BP litigation -- photographed in Houston, Tx, on 1-14-14.  Photos  by John Everett

BP Oil Spill MDL: Brent Coon Wants His Clients to Opt Out

By Miriam Rozen |

Plaintiffs lawyer says damages paid so far show class settlment not a good deal for the majority of his 10,000 clients.

Akin Gump, Baker & McKenzie on Shale Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker & McKenzie represents Houston's Paloma Resources and its operation Paloma Partners III in sale of Paloma Partners III to Oklahoma company.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

Texas House Passes Bill Clamping Down on Local Fracking Bans

By Angela Neville |

The Texas House of Representatives recently approved a bill that gives the state the exclusive power to regulate oil and gas production activities such as fracking.

U.S. Supreme Court.

SCOTUS Rejects Natural Gas Suppliers' Challenge to State Antitrust Laws

By Angela Neville |

In a 7-2 ruling in 'ONEOK v. Learjet', the U.S. Supreme Court held that state antitrust claims against natural gas suppliers, including Dynegy, American Electric Power Company and Oneok, are not pre-empted by the Natural Gas Act.

Tips for Avoiding Overseas Corruption Missteps Amid Oil Downturn

By Thomas Fox |

Oil dipped below the $50-per-barrel threshold. What does this mean for energy companies trying to avoid prosecution for corruption while doing business with countries and companies overseas?

Noble Energy to Pay $73M Settlement, Cut Air Pollution

By Angela Neville |

As part of the recent settlement with several governmental agencies over air pollution problems related to its 3,400 condensate storage tank systems located in the DJ Basin north of Denver, Houston-based Noble Energy agreed to pay a $73 million settlement and also upgrade its pollution control equipment for the storage tanks.

U.S. Supreme Court.

SCOTUS Rejects Natural Gas Suppliers' Challenge to State Antitrust Laws

By Angela Neville |

In a 7-2 ruling in 'ONEOK v. Learjet', the U.S. Supreme Court held that state antitrust claims against natural gas suppliers, including Dynegy, American Electric Power Company and Oneok, are not pre-empted by the Natural Gas Act.

Tips for Avoiding Overseas Corruption Missteps Amid Oil Downturn

By Thomas Fox |

Oil dipped below the $50-per-barrel threshold. What does this mean for energy companies trying to avoid prosecution for corruption while doing business with countries and companies overseas?

oil platform

Russian Oil Giant, Seadrill Delay Proposed $4.1 Billion Deal

By Angela Neville |

Recently, the Russian oil company Rosneft, Seadrill and its subsidiary North Atlantic Drilling all agreed to extend the termination date of the framework agreement until May 31, 2017.

Akin Gump, Baker & McKenzie on Shale Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker & McKenzie represents Houston's Paloma Resources and its operation Paloma Partners III in sale of Paloma Partners III to Oklahoma company.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

Texas House Passes Bill Clamping Down on Local Fracking Bans

By Angela Neville |

The Texas House of Representatives recently approved a bill that gives the state the exclusive power to regulate oil and gas production activities such as fracking.

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

Power Play: Bill Pushes Choices for Austin Energy Users

By Angela Neville |

State Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, recently introduced a new piece of legislation—Senate Bill 1945—that is aimed at opening up municipal electric power providers such as Austin Energy to deregulation.

Brent Coon is an attorney working on BP litigation -- photographed in Houston, Tx, on 1-14-14.  Photos  by John Everett

BP Oil Spill MDL: Brent Coon Wants His Clients to Opt Out

By Miriam Rozen |

Plaintiffs lawyer says damages paid so far show class settlment not a good deal for the majority of his 10,000 clients.

SEC Prosecutes Texas O&G Company for Alleged $4.4M Investment Scam

By Angela Neville |

According to the complaint filed by the SEC on April 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, Mieka Energy Corporation of Flower Mound, Texas, and its founder and president, Daro Ray Blankenship, were recently charged with running an investment scheme that bilked at least 60 investors in multiple states out of a total of approximately $4.4 million.

Drilling Operations (North Dakota, July 2012)

Subsurface Trespass and Actual Harm

By Mark C. Rodriguez and Brock Skelley |

Does an unauthorized, yet imperceptible, entry into the core space beneath another's land give rise to an actionable trespass, even if the complaining landowner does not suffer actual harm?

Firm Finance: Gardere Has a Solid 2014

By John Council |

"It was solid performance across the board," said Holland N. O'Neil, chair of the firm's board of directors.

An oil refinery

EPA Strikes Deal Over Renewable Fuel Standard

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tried to avoid adding fuel to the fire in connection with a lawsuit filed against it in March by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute.

Daniel L. Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price in Dallas

Firm Finance: Head Count, Gross Revenue Drop at Strasburger

By John Council |

"It's an interesting way to look at it—2013 was an extremely good year for us," said Dan Butcher, Strasburger's managing partner. "And 2014 was a more normal year for us."

JP Energy Cuts Two Midstream Deals

By Angela Neville |

JP Energy Partners recently negotiated two new midstream transactions that promise to bolster the company's current financial position.

Daniel L. Butcher, managing partner of Strasburger & Price in Dallas

Firm Finance: Head Count, Gross Revenue Drop at Strasburger

By John Council |

"It's an interesting way to look at it—2013 was an extremely good year for us," said Dan Butcher, Strasburger's managing partner. "And 2014 was a more normal year for us."

Drilling Operations (North Dakota, July 2012)

Subsurface Trespass and Actual Harm

By Mark C. Rodriguez and Brock Skelley |

Does an unauthorized, yet imperceptible, entry into the core space beneath another's land give rise to an actionable trespass, even if the complaining landowner does not suffer actual harm?

SEC Prosecutes Texas O&G Company for Alleged $4.4M Investment Scam

By Angela Neville |

According to the complaint filed by the SEC on April 10 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, Mieka Energy Corporation of Flower Mound, Texas, and its founder and president, Daro Ray Blankenship, were recently charged with running an investment scheme that bilked at least 60 investors in multiple states out of a total of approximately $4.4 million.

An oil refinery

EPA Strikes Deal With Oil Industry Groups Over Renewable Fuel Standard

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tried to avoid adding fuel to the fire in connection with a lawsuit filed against it in March by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Petroleum Institute.

Firm Finance: Gardere Has a Solid 2014

By John Council |

"It was solid performance across the board," said Holland N. O'Neil, chair of the firm's board of directors.

Donald E. Godwin, chairman and CEO, Godwin Lewis, Dallas

Godwin Lewis' PPP Dip Reflects Successful Conclusion of Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

This year was very, very good, but work necessarily slowed down after the firm's largest client Halliburton succeeded in federal court in Gulf Coast oil spill MDL, and then settled with majority of the plaintiffs class, said Don Godwin.

Deepwater O&G Projects Attract New High Stakes Bidders

By Angela Neville |

Oil giants Exxon Mobil and BP were outgunned at a recent lease sale for the Block 107 deepwater tract in Walker Ridge area.

(From left) Attorneys Corey F. Wehmeyer, Katy Pier Moore and Paul Santoyo of Santoyo Moore Wehmeyer in San Antonio

Cox Smith Shareholders to Form Energy Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Pending Cox Smith Matthews merger with Dykema was a factor in timing of departure of oil, gas and energy trio who formed Santoyo Moore Wehmeyer.

Thomas C. Wright, a founding partner in Houston's Wright & Close

Oil Heir Ordered to Pay $28M to His Lawyers

By John Council |

The Fifth Circuit has ordered Albert G. Hill III to pay more than $28 million he owes two Texas law firms in a disputed hybrid contingency fee agreement.

$34.6 Billion Megamerger: Halliburton, Baker Hughes to Form O&G Giant

By Angela Neville |

With both Houston-based companies facing financial challenges caused by the current adverse business climate, Halliburton and Baker Hughes are gearing up to integrate "late in the second half" of 2015.

Deal of the Week: V&E, Latham Work on Houston Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Quantum Energy Partners will initially invest up to $1 billion in oil and gas entity that will be managed by Linn Energy of Houston.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

EPA Targets Fracking Wastewater

By Angela Neville |

The EPA issued a proposed rule that would prevent untreated fracking wastewater from being treated by publicly owned treatment works.

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

RRC Commissioner Touts O&G Exports at Texas A&M Law Event

By Angela Neville |

Railroad Commissioner David Porter spoke at Texas A&M University School of Law's recent energy symposium about a number of issues related to the Texas oil and gas industry.

Wind Energy Faces Strong Head Winds in Austin

By Angela Neville |

In 2005, Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, promoted wind energy and other renewable energy sources by sponsoring Senate Bill 20, which increased Renewable Portfolio Standard goals and helped to jump-start the Texas wind power industry. Now, 10 years later, Sen. Fraser has done an about-face and has filed S.B. 931, which would eliminate Texas' RPS by the end of 2015.

paperwork

Ticking Time Bombs in Indemnity and Insurance Obligations

By Bruce Wilkin |

A recent case highlights some dangerous pitfalls to avoid in knowing how indemnity and insurance provisions work together.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

EPA Targets Fracking Wastewater

By Angela Neville |

The EPA issued a proposed rule that would prevent untreated fracking wastewater from being treated by publicly owned treatment works.

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

RRC Commissioner Touts O&G Exports at Texas A&M Law Event

By Angela Neville |

Railroad Commissioner David Porter spoke at Texas A&M University School of Law's recent energy symposium about a number of issues related to the Texas oil and gas industry.

paperwork

Ticking Time Bombs in Indemnity and Insurance Obligations

By Bruce Wilkin |

A recent case highlights some dangerous pitfalls to avoid in knowing how indemnity and insurance provisions work together.

Deepwater O&G Projects Attract New High Stakes Bidders

By Angela Neville |

Oil giants Exxon Mobil and BP were outgunned at a recent lease sale for the Block 107 deepwater tract in Walker Ridge area.

(From left) Attorneys Corey F. Wehmeyer, Katy Pier Moore and Paul Santoyo of Santoyo Moore Wehmeyer in San Antonio

Cox Smith Shareholders to Form Energy Firm

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Pending Cox Smith Matthews merger with Dykema was a factor in timing of departure of oil, gas and energy trio who formed Santoyo Moore Wehmeyer.

Donald E. Godwin, chairman and CEO, Godwin Lewis, Dallas

Godwin Lewis' PPP Dip Reflects Successful Conclusion of Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

This year was very, very good, but work necessarily slowed down after the firm's largest client Halliburton succeeded in federal court in Gulf Coast oil spill MDL, and then settled with majority of the plaintiffs class, said Don Godwin.

Thomas C. Wright, a founding partner in Houston's Wright & Close

Oil Heir Is Ordered to Pay $28 Million to His Lawyers

By John Council |

The Fifth Circuit has ordered Albert G. Hill III to pay more than $28 million he owes two Texas law firms in a disputed hybrid contingency fee agreement.

Schlumberger Agrees to Pay $232M Penalty

By Angela Neville |

Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schlumberger Limited, recently agreed to enter a guilty plea and to pay a $232,708,356 penalty to the United States for conspiring to violate the IEEPA by willfully facilitating illegal transactions and engaging in trade with the sanctioned nations of Iran and Sudan.

Conoco Wins Reimbursement for $63M Settlement

By Angela Neville |

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston recently ruled that Noble Energy owes a duty of defense and indemnity to ConocoPhillips with respect to a $63 million settlement related to an environmental claim for damage to an oil field in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

Priming Up Two New Pipeline Projects

By Angela Neville |

Not put off by today's challenging oil prices, Delek Logistics Partners recently entered into joint ventures with two other companies to develop two new pipeline projects.

oil

Lessors Development Expectations During Downturn

By David Ammons and Nick Petree |

Lessors who have expectations regarding drilling on their leases will likely become increasingly frustrated with the slow-down in operations.

Cost Reductions: Don't Compromise Safety

By Benjamin Escobar |

Complex and interconnected systems used in exploration, development and production can obscure risk presented by changes in staffing, procedures or equipment.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

New Fracking Rules Passed Without Bigger Setbacks

By Angela Neville |

Despite the push from some local advocacy groups to greatly enlarge setbacks between fracking operations and residences in the city of Mansfield, Texas, the city council recently voted unanimously to keep the current 600-foot setbacks.

Darin Brooks, shareholder, Gray, Reed & McGraw, Houston

Gray Reed Hires Five Lateral Litigators

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gray, Reed & McGraw hired a five-lawyer group, led by Darin Brooks.

Michael Gruber (left) and David Elrod, partners in Dallas' Gruber Hurst Elrod Johansen Hail Shank

David Elrod's Firm, Gruber Hurst Join Forces

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas trial firms Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank and Elrod PLLC merged on April 1 to form 30-lawyer trial boutique.

Barry Smitherman, a partner in Vinson & Elkins in Austin

Smitherman Joining Firm With Powerful Energy Practice

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Barry Smitherman, former chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission and the Public Utiliities Commission of Texas, will join Vinson & Elkins' Austin office on April 1.

Wind Energy Faces Strong Head Winds in Austin

By Angela Neville |

In 2005, Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, promoted wind energy and other renewable energy sources by sponsoring Senate Bill 20, which increased Renewable Portfolio Standard goals and helped to jump-start the Texas wind power industry. Now, 10 years later, Sen. Fraser has done an about-face and has filed S.B. 931, which would eliminate Texas' RPS by the end of 2015.

$34.6 Billion Megamerger: Halliburton, Baker Hughes to Form O&G Giant

By Angela Neville |

With both Houston-based companies facing financial challenges caused by the current adverse business climate, Halliburton and Baker Hughes are gearing up to integrate "late in the second half" of 2015.

Andrews Kurth Represents Energy Start-up in Equity Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Andrews Kurth represents Independence Resources Management, which secured a $500 million equity investment by a private equity company represented by Vinson & Elkins.

Cost Reductions: Don't Compromise Safety

By Ben Escobar |

Complex and interconnected systems used in exploration, development and production can obscure risk presented by changes in staffing, procedures or equipment.

Priming Two New Pipeline Projects

By Angela Neville |

Not put off by today's challenging oil prices, Delek Logistics Partners recently entered into joint ventures with two other companies to develop two new pipeline projects.

Conoco Wins Appeal Seeking Reimbursement for $63 Million Settlement

By Angela Neville |

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston recently ruled that Noble Energy owes a duty of defense and indemnity to ConocoPhillips with respect to a $63 million settlement related to an environmental claim for damage to an oil field in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

Michael Gruber (left) and David Elrod, partners in Dallas' Gruber Hurst Elrod Johansen Hail Shank

David Elrod's Firm and Gruber Hurst Join Forces

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas trial firms Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank and Elrod PLLC merged on April 1 to form 30-lawyer trial boutique.

Barry Smitherman, a partner in Vinson & Elkins in Austin

Smitherman Joining Firm With Powerful Energy Practice

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Barry Smitherman, former chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission and the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, will join Vinson & Elkins' Austin office on April 1.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

Mansfield Passes New Fracking Rules Without Expanding Setbacks

By Angela Neville |

Despite the push from some local advocacy groups to greatly enlarge setbacks between fracking operations and residences in the city of Mansfield, Texas, the city council recently voted unanimously to keep the current 600-foot setbacks.

Darin Brooks, shareholder, Gray, Reed & McGraw, Houston

Gray Reed Hires Five Lateral Litigators From Beirne, Maynard

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Gray, Reed & McGraw hired a five-lawyer group, led by Darin Brooks.

Schlumberger to Pay $232 Million Fine for Dealing With Sanctioned Nations

By Angela Neville |

Schlumberger Oilfield Holdings Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Schlumberger Limited, recently agreed to enter a guilty plea and to pay a $232,708,356 penalty to the United States for conspiring to violate the IEEPA by willfully facilitating illegal transactions and engaging in trade with the sanctioned nations of Iran and Sudan.

Bills: Promoting Green Fracking Through Tax Credits

By Angela Neville |

Two Texas House bills were recently introduced that offer tax credits on a per-well basis for oil and gas drillers that use alternative fracking fluids instead of freshwater during fracking operations.

Oil Prices Down, Trade Secret Disputes Up

By Scott D. Marrs and Scott R. Davis |

Texas has a number of statutes that companies can deploy to protect their trade secrets. Put an action plan in gear now. A trade secret once lost is lost forever.

Fort Worth O&G Company Opts for Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

Quicksilver Resources, an oil and gas producer that is headquartered in Fort Worth, is one of the most recent examples of Texas energy businesses being hit hard by depressed oil and gas prices.

PDC Energy Settles for $37.5 Million in Class Action

By Angela Neville |

After years of hard-fought litigation, a case pitting PDC Energy against a group of investors who claimed they were "duped" into approving a cash-out merger of their interests in 12 O&G limited partnerships for a fraction of their true value was finally resolved.

Houston Lawyer Too Busy for Arbitration Sued

By John Council |

Fred Hagans said his energy company client sued Daniel Woods and his law firm after they dropped it as a client a week before an arbitration hearing, which led to a $3.8 million being levied against it.

A fracking operation in southwestern Pennsylvania

New Federal Fracking Rules Spark Litigation

By Angela Neville |

Two oil and gas industry groups wasted no time digging in and suing the federal government over its new effort to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public and American Indian lands.

State Bills Would Stop Cities' Regulation of O&G Operations

By Angela Neville |

The recent passage of these bills has opponents complaining that if they do become law, Texas cities could end up with drilling operations right next to homes, day care centers or hospitals.