EnergyBuzz

Class Action Filed Against BP Retirement Plan

By Miriam Rozen |

One former and one current BP employee filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the British oil giant company's retirement plan. Some 450 BP employees are part of the proposed class.

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 related to the state agency's argument that a remediation order at a Texas Superfund site should be reviewed solely under a substantial evidence standard.

Robert Cohan, a partner with the Dallas office of the firm Jackson Walker LLP

DOJ: Proposed $34 Billion Halliburton-Baker Hughes Merger Hurts Competition

By Angela Neville |

Seeking to block the pending $34.6 billion merger of oil giants Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc., the U.S. Department of Justice recently filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against both companies.

Exxon Reaches $10M Oil Spill Settlement With New York

By Angela Neville |

Texas-based oil giant Exxon Mobil has agreed to foot the hefty $10.75 million bill for the oil spill cleanup and petroleum contamination removal costs at eight locations across the state of New York.

Oil Bust Decreasing Some Law Practices, Increasing Others

By Angela Morris |

A recent survey of Texas firms indicates that some see a decrease in domestic energy legal work and an increase in bankruptcy representations. Oil and gas attorneys say that the hardest hit firms likely focused on title opinion work.

National Firms Stampede Into Houston Despite Drop in Oil Prices

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Out-of-state firms continue to move into Houston, the nation's energy capital, despite the low oil and gas prices.

Corey Frank Wehmeyer, a partner with the San Antonio firm Santoyo Moore Wehmeyer

Enercorp Wins $9.2M Verdict in Dispute Over Oil and Gas Leases

By Angela Neville |

A long contentious lawsuit involving Bakken shale oil and gas leases recently lead to a Texas federal jury awarding a total of $9,291,570 to U.S. Enercorp Ltd., which contended that it allegedly had sustained tortious interference with a prospective contract and an existing contract by defendants SDC Montana Bakken Exploration, Val Verde Investments and Ringo Shapiro.

Liberty Oilfield Services To Buy Assets of Canadian Fracking Equipment Company

By Angela Neville |

Sanjel Corporation, which is based in Alberta, Canada, recently announced that it has signed an agreement for the sale of its U.S. fracturing, coiled tubing and cementing assets to Liberty Oilfield Services for an undisclosed amount.

Core Labs Wins $1 Million Verdict in IP Fight Over Drilling Technology

By Angela Neville |

In an intellectual property dispute in federal court in Oklahoma, a jury recently awarded Houston-based Core Laboratories LP a $1 million verdict after determining that its oil well services competitor, Spectrum Tracer Services, and two former Core employees, were liable for unfair competition by misappropriation.

Duston K. McFaul, a partner in the Houston office of Sidley Austin

New Gulf, Energy & Exploration Partners Reach Truce Over Joint Drilling Agreements

By Angela Neville |

Despite a litigious history between them, New Gulf Resources and Energy & Exploration Partners LLC recently worked out a settlement agreement pertaining to their joint operating agreements related to oil exploration and production operations in East Texas and then filed the agreement in their respective Chapter 11 bankruptcies seeking court approval.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Gives Draft Approval of $10 Billion LNG Project Run by Exxon and Qatar Co.

By Angela Neville |

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently issued a draft environmental impact statement for the $10 billion Golden Pass LNG Export Project located in Sabine Pass, Texas, which is being promoted by Houston-based Golden Pass Products and Golden Pass Pipeline, owned by shareholders ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum International.

Venoco Reaches Deal in Ch.11 Case that Cuts $1B in Debt

By Angela Neville |

Venoco, an exploration and production company, recently reached an agreement with its senior lenders to reduce the company's debt load and restructure the balance sheet with the lenders agreeing to support a restructuring transaction that will eliminate approximately $1 billion of debt from Venoco's balance sheet.

Akin Gump, Latham Handle Shale Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston lawyers in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld represent Houston's EP Energy Corp. in the pending sale of shale assets in Texas and Louisiana to Covey Park Gas, which is represented by a Houston team from Latham & Watkins.

Oil Field Workers Get $1.5M in Back Wages, Damages Due to Department of Labor Probe

By Angela Neville |

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor conducted an investigation in the Texas and New Mexico oil and gas sector that led to 241 oil well service workers being paid a total of $1.5 million – $750,000 in back wages and an additional equal amount in liquidated damages.

Targa Resources Upsizes Total Stock Deal to Around $1 Billion

By Angela Neville |

Targa recently announced that it has received definitive agreements from a number of investors for the purchase of its preferred stock totaling approximately $1 billion.

Lawyer Ordered to Pay $1.7M for Securities Fraud in Fracking Deal

By Angela Neville |

U.S. District Judge John McBryde recently ruled that defendant Gregory G. Jones, a Texas lawyer who pled guilty in a securities fraud case, is ordered to pay a combined total of $1,176,534 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.

TransCanada Lands Columbia Pipeline for Approximately $13 Billion

By Angela Neville |

Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada Corp. recently announced it has agreed to purchase Houston-based Columbia Pipeline Group for approximately $13 billion.

Robert G. Reedy, managing partner, Porter Hedges, Houston

Porter Hedges Revenues Drop With Oil Prices

By John Council |

Energy and litigation practices propelled Porter Hedges to have one of its best earning years ever in 2014. And by the same measure, work slowdown in both practice areas caused the Houston firm's gross revenue to drop by 3.5 percent in 2015.

Landowners Hit Chesapeake Energy with Antitrust Case

By Angela Neville |

Unhappy landowners recently brought an antitrust class action lawsuit against Chesapeake Energy Corp. and other defendants in an Oklahoma federal court, and alleged that the defendants rigged bids and otherwise depressed the amounts they paid to property owners for the acquisition of oil and gas leasehold interests and producing properties in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Targa Resources Sues Equipment Manufacturer Alleging $17.7M Loss

By Angela Neville |

In the lawsuit, Targa Resources states that it had entered a contract with Epcon to build the two systems called regenerative thermal oxidizers for a facility at Mont Belvieu, Texas and that Epscon's defective construction of the RTO systems caused them to fail and led to the facility being fined by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Southwest Royalties Asks Texas Supreme Court to Toss Out Drilling Equipment Tax

By Angela Neville |

Midland-based Southwest Royalties Inc. is currently battling the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Texas Attorney General over the issue of whether oil and gas drilling equipment is included under a statute that includes sales and use tax exemptions for "manufacturing, processing and fabrication."

John Minor Wisdom U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit building, New Orleans, LA.

5th Circuit Resurrects Petrobras' $400 Million Case Over Alleged Defective Marine Tether

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently reversed an earlier ruling of a Houston federal court that threw out the case brought by Petrobras America Inc. and certain underwriters at Lloyd's London against Vicinay over an alleged defective marine chain in which they were seeking $400 million in damages.

Louisiana Citizens Sue Exxon for Alleged Harmful Plant Emissions

By Angela Neville |

A Louisiana environmental group recently slammed Texas-based ExxonMobil with a federal lawsuit alleging that the oil giant has continuously disobeyed Clean Air Act requirements by allowing hazardous pollutants to be released from its Baton Rouge chemical plant.

Mark Sloan Partner, Thompson & Knight, Dallas. Become managing partner in February 2016

Gross Revenue, Net Income Up in 2015 at Thompson & Knight

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Busy trial, transactional and bankruptcy/restructuring practices led to a 12.3 percent increase in net income in 2015 for Dallas-based Thompson & Knight.

Houston Federal Judge Invalidates Patent for Oil Field Equipment

By Angela Neville |

U.S. District Judge Alfred Bennett recently dealt with a patent feud over drilling technology involving a casing centralizer used in wellbores and ruled that the patent was invalid.

Crews work to clean up oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill that washed ashore at Pensacola Beach in Pensacola, Florida.

Fisherwoman Alleges False Representation in BP Litigation

By Miriam Rozen |

A Vietnamese-American boat owner, captain and fisher woman filed a lawsuit against Bob Hilliard and his firm, Hilliard Munoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi, and John Cracken and his firm, The Cracken Law Firm in Dallas. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff, Thim Nguyen, alleges that the two high-profile plaintiff lawyers stole her name and identity and those of 45,500 other Vietnamese-Americans who fish for a living in the Gulf of Mexico, as part of their plan to gain more than $2 billion in payments from BP after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Sidley, Steptoe Advise Benefit Street and Rex Energy in $175M O&G Deal

By Angela Neville |

Represented by the firm of Steptoe & Johnson, Rex Energy recently entered into an agreement with Benefit Street Partners, which was advised by the firm of Sidley Austin, to jointly develop oil and gas wells in the Moraine East and Warrior North areas in Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively.

Examining the Scope of OCLSA's Jurisdiction in Energy-Related Disputes

By Rob Velevis and Mason Parham |

Oil and gas companies their attorneys should take note: Some district courts within the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit appear to be watering down the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, a powerful, albeit underutilized tool for the removal to federal court of oil and gas disputes otherwise governed by state law.

Restructuring Options for Still-Liquid Energy Companies

By Dan Prieto, Tom Howley and Basheer Ghorayeb |

With prices projected to remain low into 2017, an energy company with too much leverage—but with significant cash and other liquidity—may mistakenly delay addressing its balance sheet issues, believing that a restructuring can be postponed until its liquidity is nearly depleted.

Mark Kelly, partner, Vinson & Elkins, Houston

Gross, Net Dip in 2015 at Vinson & Elkins

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Chairman Mark Kelly said flat financials in 2015 follow the firm's record year of 2014.

Liberty Insurance, Cameron Settle Case Involving BP Deepwater Litigation

By Angela Neville |

Just a week before their case involving a $50 million insurance dispute was to be heard by the Texas Supreme Court, Cameron International Corp. and Liberty Insurance Underwriters reached an agreement.

Jerry K. Clements

Gross Revenue, Net Income Up at Locke Lord in 2015

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Revenue per lawyer and profits per partner decline slightly for Locke Lord when comparing with revenue per lawyer and profits per partner before the merger with Edwards Wildman Palmer in 2015.

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

Texas Requests 5th Circuit Examination of Environmental Protection Agency's Regional Haze Plan

By Angela Neville |

Texas and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are now tangling over the rule that the EPA recently issued to take the place of the state's proposed revision to its state implementation plan for cutting regional haze.

Andrew Baker, with Baker Botts

Baker Botts Tops $1M in Revenue Per Lawyer

By Miriam Rozen |

Andy Baker, the managing partner of Baker Botts, heralded the milestone that his Houston-based firm reached this year with its financial reporting.

Arkansas Property Owners Fight Texas-based ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. in U.S. Court of Appeal for The 8th Circuit

By Angela Neville |

In their appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Eighth Circuit, Arkansas landowners are pushing to resurrect a class action against Texas-based ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., and other Exxon affiliates, pertaining to the rupture of the Pegasus pipeline in Mayflower, Arkansas, that occurred in 2013.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus Focuses on Energy Issues for Next Legislative Term

By Angela Neville |

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, recently spoke at the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association Convention in San Antonio and discussed how the Texas Legislature intends to look at several critical issues related to the battered energy sector once the legislative session begins in January.

London Partner Peter Roberts Named Head of Andrews Kurth Global Oil & Gas Practice

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Hires London Lateral from Andrews Kurth to Head Global Oil and Gas Practice

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Peter Roberts joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe on Feb. 29 as a partner in London to serve as head of the firm's global oil and gas practice.

Vessels equipped with water cannons try to fight the devastating Deepwater Horizon fire.

BP Well Site Leader Acquitted in 2010 Deepwater Oil Spill Case

By Angela Neville |

A BP well site leader, Robert Kaluza, was acquitted on a charge that he was negligent in interpreting a critical test and that his actions contributed to the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Baker Botts, Andrews Kurth Assist with Chesapeake's Pending Sale of $385M in O&G Assets to FourPoint Energy

By Angela Neville |

Chesapeake Energy Corp. recently entered an agreement to sell its remaining natural gas-heavy property in the Western Anadarko Basin for $385 million to FourPoint Energy, a privately held exploration and production company based in Denver.

Andrews Kurth managing partner Bob Jewell

Gross Revenue, Net Income Drop in 2015 at Andrews Kurth

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Robert Jewell, managing partner of Houston-based Andrews Kurth, said the firm exceeded its forecast and focused on profitability and revenue per lawyer.

Tim Powers, Haynes and Boone partner in Dallas, MP as of Jan. 1, 2015

Despite Energy Decline, Haynes and Boone's Profits Soar

By John Council |

Litigation, bankruptcy and energy— yes, energy—practices all helped Dallas' Haynes and Boone have a robust 2015, increasing the firm's gross revenue by 6.8 percent and its net profitability by 7.2 percent over the previous year.

V&E, Kirkland Help With EIG Global's $375M Investment in Rice Midstream

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based Vinson & Elkins recently advised Rice Energy Inc. in a completed $375 million equity investment by EIG Global Energy Partners, which was advised by attorneys from Kirkland & Ellis, into Rice Midstream Holdings (RMH) in exchange for $375 million of Series B Units in RMH and common units.

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

Valero Energy Sues EPA Over Biofuels Plan

By Angela Neville |

Valero Energy, the San Antonio-based energy company, recently sued the EPA in a legal challenge to the federal agency's efforts to expand the use of ethanol and other biofuels to power the nation's transportation system.

Fracking operation in Texas.

Sierra Club Sues Oil and Gas Companies for Allegedly Causing Earthquakes Through Fracking

By Angela Neville |

According to the complaint filed in federal court in Oklahoma by the Sierra Club, three companies' practice of injecting liquid oil and gas waste into deep ground wells alledgedly contributed to an increase of more than 5,800 earthquakes in Oklahoma in 2015, up from an annual average high of 167 from 1977 to 2009.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

Lawyer Disobeyed SEC Rules in Fracking Deal, Judge Rules

By Angela Neville |

Gregory G. Jones was recently determined to have violated U.S. securities law by U.S. District Judge John McBryde for allegedly bilking his investors in relation to two securities offerings, one involving an oil and gas exploration venture and the other a fracking water filtration business deal.

Katherine Stadler

Total Fees in Energy Future Holdings' Bankruptcy Nearing $300 Million

By Angela Neville |

"The professional fees in the Energy Future Holdings' bankruptcy are probably now in the range of approximately $300 million," according to Katherine Stadler, a shareholder with the Madison-based firm Godfrey & Kahn and a member of the fee committee in Energy Future Holdings' Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Gross Revenue, Net Income Slip in 2015 at Bracewell

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston-based Bracewell also saw a 7.2 percent decline in count of full-time equivalent lawyers and 8.9 percent decline in number of equity partners.

Carlos Treistman

7 More Partners Join Orrick's Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe picks up five partners from Morgan Lewis & Bockius and two from McGuire Woods for new Houston office.

Michael Lennon Jr. of Mayer Brown.

Dealing With Disputes Over Joint Operating Agreements

By Angela Neville |

Michael Lennon Jr., a partner in Mayer Brown's litigation and dispute resolution and international arbitration practices, was one of the speakers at the webinar titled "International Arbitration in the Energy Sector: Joint Operating Agreement Disputes."

Houston Lawyers Handle $48M Pipe Transaction

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Norton Rose Fulbright represents Houston's MRC Global in a pending $48 million sale of its U.S. oil country tubular goods to Sooner Pipe, which is represented by Porter Hedges.

Terra Energy Spends $910M for Acquisition of WPX Energy's Subsidiary

By Angela Neville |

Terra Energy Partners, the Houston-based independent oil and natural gas company, is to acquire WPX Energy Rocky Mountain, WPX Energy's subsidiary, for $910 million in cash.

Attorney Fee Fight Over Hefty Personal Injury Settlement

By Angela Neville |

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Horan recently dealt with a fierce dispute over a fee sharing among attorneys who represented a plaintiff in a personal injury case in Dallas that concluded with a substantial settlement with Fluor Intercontinental.

Steven Miles is a Washington, D.C. partner with Baker Botts who chairs the firm’s energy practice and also heads its LNG practice

Energy Bill's Impact on Liquefied Natural Gas Exports

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Senate's proposed energy bill, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, seeks to expedite the governmental approval process related to exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Proposed Federal Well Control Rule Criticized as Too Costly

By Angela Neville |

In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon tragedy, the U.S. Department of Interior is proposing a new rule to enhance the safety of offshore drilling, but it is running into fierce resistance from a coalition of industry groups -- including the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the American Petroleum Institute and the International Association of Drilling Contractors.

T.J. Campbell

Howard Energy's Pipelines to Link Texas Refineries to Northern Mexico

By Angela Neville |

Currently, San Antonio-based Howard Energy Partners is working on two cross-border pipeline projects that will connect Texas refineries with Mexico.

Mary Keeney, left, and Laura Burney

Texas Supreme Court Clears up Royalty Fractions Confusion in Will Case

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently dismissed the Fourth Court of Appeals' ruling and instead held that interpretation of the will concerning conveyence of oil and gas royalties was governed by an analytical approach that required consideration of all of the language in the will and the context in which the will was executed.

Mitchell Zuklie c/o Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe.

15 Lawyers So Far Working at Orrick's New Houston Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A total of 15 Houston lawyers from six firms have started working at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe's new Houston office over the last two weeks.

14th Court of Appeals Reverses $21M Verdict Over Oil Blast Death

By Angela Neville |

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals recently overturned a Harris County jury's $21 million judgment based on wrongful death and personal injury cause of action against Oiltanking Houston, involving an explosion that killed a contract worker.

Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Asks US Supreme Court to Put Obama's Clean Power Plan on Hold

By Angela Neville |

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are currently heading a coalition of 29 states and state agencies that are seeking to have the U.S. Supreme Court put the brakes on President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which is designed to regulate carbon emissions from power plants.

Shell's $52 Billion Takeover of BG Group To Create Largest Global Liquefied Natural gas Trader Approved

By Angela Neville |

Recently, BG Group voted to approve Royal Dutch Shell's proposed $52 billion acquisition of it, setting up the path for the two firms to create the world's largest trader of liquefied natural gas.

Akin Gump Aids Diamondback in $226M Stock Offering

By Angela Neville |

Diamondback Energy recently announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 4 million shares of its common stock and its retention of the law firm of Akin Gump to advise it concerning the transaction.

Vinson & Elkins Work on $247M Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents Trican Well Service in pending sale of U.S. assets to Houston-based Keane Group.

Richard L. Burleson, managing partner in the Houston office of Burleson

Rick Burleson Joins Paul Hastings in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Houston oil and gas lawyer Rick Burleson, founder of Burleson LLP, which closed at the end of 2015, has joined Paul Hastings in Houston.

Katherine Stadler, a shareholder with Godfrey & Kahn

Kirkland & Ellis Tops $146M in Fees in Energy Future Holding's Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

The court-appointed fee committee in the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis is seeking approximately $21.3 million in attorney fees and expenses in connection with the mammoth Energy Future Holdings' Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

T. Boone Pickens, chair of BP Capital Management, Dallas

Prior to Selecting a Jury, T. Boone Pickens and a Son Settle Dispute

By Miriam Rozen |

T. Boone Pickens and his son Michael Pickens reached a settlement on Jan. 25, the day scheduled for jury selection to start in a trial pitting them against each other, according to the elder Pickens’ lawyer Leland de La Garza.

Harold K. Watson, a partner who works at the Houston office of Chaffee McCall.

5th Circuit Rules for Insurers in Oil Rig Coverage Case

By Angela Neville |

The Fifth Circuit recently upheld the verdict of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana that determined a group of 14 insurers, including Lloyds London, were not obligated to provide any coverage toward an almost $17 million claim in damages related to Seahawk's offshore oil rig, which was harmed during two severe weather events in February 2010 and July 2010.

Con Edison Development Buys Texas Solar Project for $227M

By Angela Neville |

ConEdison Development recently acquired Alamo 7, a 106-megawatt solar-electric generation project located in Haskell County from OCI Solar Power, a Texas-based subsidiary of South Korea's OCI Corporation for $$227 million.

Marathon Oil Wants to Arbitrate Tax Dispute with Limited Partners

By Angela Neville |

Marathon Oil Corporation and two of its affiliates are involved in a federal case in Houston where they are trying to convince the judge to mandate arbitration in a disagreement they are having with their limited partners on Marathon's handling of hefty foreign income tax credits, in connection with a business deal in Africa.

XTO Energy Sues U.S. Department of Justice Over Docs in Fracking Fight

By Angela Neville |

XTO Energy recently sued the U.S. Department of Justice in federal court seeking to have the agency turn over documents from its federal case involving environmental charges against it so it can use the documents in a separate environmental criminal case brought against it by the state of Pennsylvania. i

Texas Supreme Court Hears Schlumberger's Suit Over Alleged Trade Secret Theft

By Angela Neville |

The Supreme Court of Texas is now getting an opportunity to interpret how the recently adopted Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) will be applied in Texas in connection with an alleged trade secrets theft case brought by Schlumberger.

Mark Jones

Ex-Burleson Group Moves to BakerHostetler

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

BakerHostetler's Houston office picks up former Burleson partner Mark Jones and two associates.

Fieldwood Energy E&P Signs Drilling Contract with Mexico

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based Fieldwood Energy's Mexican subsidiary, Fieldwood Energy E&P Mexico, recently locked into a production-sharing contract agreement for Area 4, which was awarded in the Round 1 Call 2 bid process with the Mexican government.

Oncor CEO Bob Shapard Has Doubts About Ray Hunt's $18 Billion Bid

By Angela Neville |

The top executive of Texas' biggest electricity delivery company, Bob Shapard, recently testified about his concerns related to Dallas billionaire Ray Hunt's bid to purchase Oncor at a recent hearing before the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

Lisa Africk c/o Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, New Orleans LA.

Wilson Elser Opens New Orleans Office With Burleson Alumni

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Lisa Africk, formerly of Burleson LLP, and an associate joined Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker's new New Orleans office.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

Securities and Exchange Commission Seeks $2.5M Penalties From Lawyer for Alleged Securities Fraud

By Angela Neville |

Last June a Texas lawyer was charged by the SEC for allegedly bilking his investors in relation to two securities offerings, one involving an oil and gas exploration venture and the other a fracking water filtration business deal.

Judge Asked to Curb Almost $8.3M in Requested Fees in Sabine Oil's Chap. 11

By Angela Neville |

The judge in Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case has been asked to review what Wells Fargo, the first lien agent, is characterizing as excessive requested professionals fees totaling approximately $8.3 million incurred as part of what it describes as the "scorched earth litigation tactics" of the five professional firms involved in the lawsuit.

Law Firm Fights Disqualification in Oil Patch Patent Suit

By Angela Neville |

Last year, Midland-based Finalrod IP, an oil field services company, had its law firm, Matthews Lawson McCutcheon & Joseph, disqualified by U.S. District Senior Judge David Alan Ezra in connection with patent litigation over oil field equipment against defendant John Crane Production Solutions Inc. and now Finalrod is seeking to have the firm reinstated as its counsel in the case.

Fracking operation in Texas.

Will Environmental Protection Agency Revise Report About Fracking's Alleged Contamination of Water Supplies?

By Miriam Rozen |

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Science Advisory Board produced this month a draft of proposed revisions to a 2015-issued report, and in it echoed Texas anti-fracking plaintiffs' concerns about alleged water contamination.

Burdened with $1B in Debt, Swift Energy Files Chap. 11

By Angela Neville |

In the final hours of 2015, Houston-based Swift Energy Company turned to Chapter 11 bankruptcy to help it deal with a crushing debt load of more than $1 billion.

American Petroleum Institute Leader Lauds States' Role in Promoting Energy Sector

By Angela Neville |

At the recent American Petroleum Institute (API) Annual State of American Energy event in Washington, D.C., president and CEO Jack Gerard focused in his address on how the United States is currently leading the world in the energy arena with its "trifecta" of success in energy production, economic growth and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Conoco Wins Over $10M in Refinery Dispute with Venezuelan Oil Company

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based ConocoPhillips Company recently was awarded over $10 million by a New York federal court in connection with its dispute related to an oil refining operation involving two former joint partners that are subsidiaries of the Venezuelan national oil company.

Texas Lawyers' Testimony Slated in IRS v. Wylys Trial

By Miriam Rozen |

At a trial beginning this week that pits onetimeTexas billionaire Sam Wyly and his wife against the Internal Revenue System,Texas lawyers will likely play pivotal roles on the witness stand.

Richard L. Burleson

Burleson's Demise Caused by More than Drop in Price of Oil

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Current and former Burleson lawyers said other factors contributed to the firm's closing on Dec. 31, 2015.

Dallas Wind Co. Scores $65M Award in Dispute with Chinese Partner

By Angela Neville |

The Dallas-based wind energy developer Tang Energy Group recently announced that it has been awarded $65 million by an arbitration panel in connection with its breach of contract dispute with the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).

Akin Gump Represents Northern Tier in Merger With Western Refining

By Angela Neville |

The firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is representing Northern Tier Energy in its pending merger with Western Refining, an independent oil refiner and marketer headquartered in El Paso.

Citgo Hit with $81M Fine for 2006 Oil Spill

By Angela Neville |

Louisiana Federal Judge Richard Haik recently hiked Houston-based Citgo Petroleum Corporation's civil penalty for a massive 2006 oil spill in Louisiana from $6 million to $81 million after the case was remanded back to his court by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Christina Ponig Maccio

Judge Awards $1.47 Million in Attorney Fees

By Miriam Rozen |

When a judge knows how hard you've worked, let the bench decide attorney fees.

Exxon Mobil headquarters in downton Houston, Texas.

Exxon Fights 1937 Decree in Order to Use 'ESSO' Trademark

By Angela Neville |

Currently, ExxonMobil is involved in a federal trademark case in which the oil services company is seeking to have the court set aside a 78-year-old permanent injunction that enjoined the company from using the trademark ESSO in the marketing of petroleum products in fifteen states.

Donald T. Hueske , Of Counsel , Steptoe & Johnson, Office: The Woodlands, Houston .

New Law Lets O&G Leases Survive Mortgage Foreclosures

By Angela Neville |

Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the recently passed Texas House Bill 2207 amends the current law relating to the foreclosure sale of property subject to an oil or gas lease and provides that, if a mortgage is foreclosed, and if an oil and gas lease covering the property was entered into after the mortgage, the oil and gas lease remains in effect and is not cut off by the foreclosure.

William R. Keffer, the visiting associate professor of practice and director of the energy law lecture series at Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock

New $1.24 Billion Partnership to Acquire Oil and Gas Assets

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based Hilcorp recently announced it had formed a a new $1.24 billion partnership with private equity firm Carlyle Group to acquire and develop North American oil and gas properties.

Insurers Found Liable for Exxon's $4 Million Plant Blast Settlement

By Angela Neville |

The recent ruling by the Fourteenth Court of Appeals in the case involving injured workers suing oil giant ExxonMobil is instructive for insurance companies doing business in Texas that provide insurance coverage for high-risk operations in the petrochemical business.

Magnum Hopeful in Bankruptcy Despite $1 Billion in Debt

By Angela Neville |

Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation recently announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy relief in Delaware and that to fund its operations during its bankruptcy, the company's lenders have agreed to provide up to $200 million in financing.

J. Kirby Barry

Burleson Team in Houston Sticking Together

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of Burleson lawyers from Houston, and one from New Orleans, will form Barry Conge Harris on Jan. 1, 2016.

Roger Higgins, Partner, Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons, Dallas.

Thompson Coe Will Open New Orleans Office

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Dallas-based Thompson, Coe, Cousins & Irons will open an office in New Orleans on Jan. 1, 2016 with laterals from Burleson LLP, which is closing on Dec. 31.

Stephen Pezanosky is an attorney at HaynesBoone in Dallas.

Bankruptcy Lawyers Report Workflow Increase, Embrace Novel Out-of-Court Deals

By Miriam Rozen |

"We are at the point after a number of years of contraction within our practice of actually looking in the other direction," Stephen Pezanosky, a Haynes and Boone bankruptcy partner said.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission building

Federal Trade Commission to Review Proposed $37.7B Pipeline Merger

By Angela Neville |

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Equity's (ETE) proposed $37.7 billion merger with The Williams Companies, which is based in Oklahoma, is to be reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission.

Oil Patch Dispute: $250K in Attorney Fees Fail to Stick

By Miriam Rozen |

In a recent ruling in oil patch litigation, 281st District Judge Sylvia Matthews rejected a jury's findings of breach of contract and violation of Texas securities law--and thereby stripped a plaintiff of the panel's award of $250,000 of attorney fees.

Ilana Saltzbart is an environmental litigation partner in King & Spalding’s Washington, D.C. office, and is a member of the firm’s tort and environmental practice.

Smog-Busting Rules Could Drive Costly Upgrades at Texas Power Plants

By Angela Neville |

The EPA recently finalized a plan for Texas to address serious air pollution that is negatively impacting visibility at the Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks in Texas, which will probably require pollution reductions from a number of Texas power plants.

Year in Review: Energy Law

By Christopher S. Kulander |

In 2015 Texas oil and gas law continued to evolve. The 84th Legislature passed HB 40, curtailing the power of local authorities to regulate oil and gas development, so state law and agency regulations now typically preempt local control.

Tony Buzbee, founder, The Buzbee Law Firm, Houston

Buzbee Only Wins Modest Verdict Against BP Following Contentious Trial

By Miriam Rozen |

"Mr. Buzbee—how many times has he used the word 'liar'?" BP defense lawyer Kenneth Tekell asked jurors rhetorically during his closing. "If you don't have a case, if you have fallen flat on your face in a lawsuit, your best method of winning, as I have seen from other lawyers through the years, is to start calling everybody on the other side liars," Tekell then told the jurors.

Family Feud: Texas High Court Hears Oil and Gas Royalty Fight

By Angela Neville |

The case Hysaw v. Dawkins is up on appeal before the Texas Supreme Court and involves a legal dispute that has a number of Ethel Hysaw's descendants battling one another over the correct interpretation of Hysaw's 1947 will, which conveys lucrative mineral interests to her children.

Devon To Pay $1.9B for New Oil Plays

By Angela Neville |

Devon Energy recently announced it has agreed to acquire 80,000 net surface acres, with up to 10 prospective zones, in the Anadarko Basin STACK play in Oklahoma from privately held Felix Energy, a portfolio company of EnCap Investments, for $1.9 billion.

John Da Grosa Smith

Lawyer Withdraws, Fights Sanctions in Al Hill III Case

By John Council |

"We believe that this litigation should come to an end, Al should be able to move on with his life and that the final judgment does not require the court to supervise Al in perpetuity," said John Da Grosa Smith, now one of the more than 30 former lawyers of Albert Hill III.

Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling

No More Public Company CEO Jobs for Jeff Skilling

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A federal judge, in granting a summary judgment in a civil suit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed against former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling, signed a judgment prohibiting him from acting as officer or director in any public company.

Graig Alvarez

Texas High Court Limits Insurance Coverage for Bad Refinery Equipment

By Angela Neville |

Currently, Houston-based U.S. Metals, which provides refineries with piping components, is in a lawsuit that centers on whether its commercial general liability insurance policy covers the company's installation of defective flanges at an ExxonMobil refinery processing unit.

Judge Cuts Andarko Slack with $159.5M Fine for Deepwater Spill

When does a $159.5 million fine not look so bad? When the judge could have legally slapped the defendant with a $3.5 billion fine.

Riverstone Holdings Commits $250M to Dallas O&G Co.

By Angela Neville |

In a successful move, Rover Petroleum, a newly formed Dallas-based oil and gas company, recently obtained $250 million in equity funding from the private equity firm Riverstone Holdings.

The Texas Power Market: An Industry in Flux

By Natalie Regoli and Brian Polley |

The number of Texas providers has more than doubled since 2004, leading to a competitive power market where companies jockey for market share, race to provide cheap service, and offer perks to try and boost customer loyalty.

Dallas Solar Panel Company Agrees to $8.5M Judgment in AG Suit

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Attorney General's Office recently filed an agreed final judgment and permanent injunction that resolves the state's legal action against 1SolTech Inc. and its three principals that alleged the company mislead consumers about its solar products.

Mikal Watts' Criminal Trial Slated for Feb. 1, 2016

By Miriam Rozen |

A federal court has scheduled Mikal Watts' criminal trial to start Feb. 1, 2016. By that date, only three months will have passed since federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment against Watts, a well-known San Antonio plaintiff lawyer, who faces allegations that he knowingly stole the identities of people by claiming he represented them in civil litigation against BP Exploration & Production.

Directors Win Fiduciary Duty Fight Over O&G Leases

By Angela Neville |

In the case The Huff Energy Fund v. Longview Energy Company recently reviewed by the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals, the Longview Energy Company lost its fight against two of its directors and others for alledgedly breaching their fiduciary obligations by taking a corporate opportunity that belonged to Longview.

Kirkland's Fee Request in Ch. 11 Case Challenged by U.S. Trustee

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Trustee Andrew N. Vara recently requested that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi deny the fee request of the law firm Kirkland & Ellis, one of the law firms representing Samson Resources Corp., in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy and cited a recent U.S. Supreme Court case to support of his position.

ATP Consents to $41M Settlement Over Gulf Contamination Claims

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based ATP Oil & Gas Corporation (ATP O&G) and its subsidiary, ATP Infrastructure Partners, (ATP-IP) recently seized a chance to settle a civil environmental enforcement action brought against them by the federal government on the grounds of polluting the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Kinder Morgan Seeks Approval of $5B Pipeline Project in New England

By Angela Neville |

The Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, which is a subsidiary of the Houston-based Kinder Morgan, recently filed a certificate application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for its proposed $5 billion Northeast Energy Direct Project.

Burleson: Firm Ran Better When I Owned 100 Percent of It

By John Council and katelyn polantz |

Houston-based Burleson grew from two lawyers to 140, but this week it announced it would close at the end of the year.

John Grand, Partner, Vinson & Elkins, Dallas

2015 Managing Partners Survey

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In 2015 Texas Lawyer Managing Partners Survey, some Texas firm leaders expect energy work to grow in 2016, and some expect a decline.

Schlumberger's Suit over Alleged Trade Secret Theft Goes to Texas Supreme Court

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently consented to review a a petition for a writ of mandamus filed in December 2014 by a Schlumberger subsidiary, M-I LLC, d/b/a M-I SWACO, related to ruling in a trade secrets dispute against National Oilwell Varco in a Harris County District Court.

Richard L. Burleson

Burleson: Firm Ran Better When I Owned 100 Percent of It

By John Council |

Houston-based Burleson grew from two lawyers to 140, but this week it announced it would close at the end of the year.

Vessels equipped with water cannons try to fight the devastating Deepwater Horizon fire.

Deepwater Horizon Defendant Wins Big Insurance Ruling

By John Council |

In a big insurance decision, the Fifth Circuit ruled recently that an insurer breached a $50 million contract by denying coverage to the manufacturer of the blowout preventer used in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

John Minor Wisdom, U. S. Court of Appeals Building, Fifth Circuit, New Orleans, LA.

Lawyer Beats Hair Care Billionaire at Fifth Circuit

By John Council |

After winning a September ruling against John Paul DeJoria, who built his fortune on the famous John Paul Mitchell hair care line and Patron tequila, Geoffrey Harrison beat the billionaire two more times this month.

Claim Against Insurer Dropped in Well Blowout Case

By Angela Neville |

In the insurance dispute involving damages caused by the rupture of an oil well in Jackson County, the coverage battle originally pitted the oil and gas company Miramar Petroleum Inc. against two insurance companies.

$1.1B Texas Pipeline Projects to Ship Gas to Mexico

By Angela Neville |

The law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has advised an international bank syndicate in the more than $1.1 billion limited recourse project financing for a pair of natural gas pipelines that will run from a hub in southwest Texas to locations on the U.S./Mexico border.

Claim Against Insurer Dropped in Well Blowout Case

By Angela Neville |

In a new twist in the insurance coverage dispute in which Miramar Petroleum Inc. sued both First Liberty Insurance Corp. and Commerce and Industry Insurance Company, the presiding judge in the case, U.S. District Judge Nancy F. Atlas, recently granted the motion for summary judgment filed by Commerce and determined that Miramar agreed with Commerce's assertion that it does not have a claim under the umbrella policy.

Investor Class Action Filed Over Fracking Software

By Angela Neville |

Following allegations of myriad problems with its fracking analysis software FracMax, Flotek Industries is now facing a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of the Houston-based energy company's investors.

Culhane Meadows Moves Into Houston, Hires Nine Lateral Partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Culhane Meadows, a nontraditional firm, hires nine partners in Texas, including eight who came from Phillips & Reiter.

10th Circuit Holds Master Limited Partnership Citizenship Based on Individual Unitholders

By Angela Neville |

Recently, in a case of first impression at the appellate level, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled in "Grynberg v. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners" that the citizenship of a master limited partnership is to be determined by looking to the citizenship of each unitholder.

How Companies Can Staff Projects In Iraq

By Robert F. Loughran |
Emanuel Grillo, Baker Botts, New York.

Hercules Emerges Quickly From Oil-Bust Bankruptcy

By Angela Neville |

In contrast to most of the other energy companies that recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcies in response to the ongoing economic slump in oil and gas sector, Hercules was among the first to successfully emerge from the bankruptcy process.

Discovery Fight in Alleged Insurance Kickback Case

By Angela Neville |

Filing a motion to compel document production against opposing parties and nonparties can be a real balancing act when the same parties are involved in multiple lawsuits that essentially revolve around the same core issues.

Schlumberger Asks Court to Affirm Attorney Disqualification in Patent Dispute

By Angela Neville |

'"Dynamic 3D Geosolutions v. Schlumberger" is up on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit from the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Texas, and the appeal centers on the issue of lawyer disqualification related to a patent infringement case.

Lion Oil Scores $71M Jury Verdict in Exxon Pipeline Rupture Case

By Angela Neville |

Lion Oil Co. recently won an extended lawsuit in federal court in Arkansas against its insurers related to claims stemming from a ruptured pipeline owned and operated by an ExxonMobil subsidiary.

Diego Perez

Mayer Brown Hosts Foreign Associates, Trainees in Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

In-house lawyers from international clients have opportunity to learn about U.S. law and transactions while spending time at Houston office.

Trends and Issues with 'DrillCo' Transactions

By Anthony Speier, David Castro and Chris Heasley |

"DrillCo" deals have historically been bespoke, limited only by the collective imagination of the parties. However, within the last six months, common themes have developed with respect to key structural elements.

How Disruptive Technology Can Provide Money-Making Emissions Reductions

By Scott D. Deatherage |

While environmental protection frequently is called a "job killer," new technologies and financial and business models are turning this view on its head.

V&E Represents Targa Resources in $6.7 Billion Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Vinson & Elkins represents Targa Resources Corp. (TRC) in the Houston pipeline company's pending acquisition, for about $6.7 billion, of all outstanding units of Targa Resources Partners (TRP) that it doesn't already own.

How Parties with Interest May Be Affected By O&G Bankruptcies

By Mitchell Seider, Jeffrey Muñoz, James Robertson and Annemarie Reilly |

With the increasing financial instability in the oil and gas industry, it has become essential for parties in interest to understand how their rights may be affected by a counter-party's bankruptcy.

Locke Lord, Wachtell Work on $335M Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Locke Lord represents a Sugar Land industrial services company in its pending acquisition of Houston-based Furmanite Corp.

Sabine O&G Hit With Large Professional Fees in Chapter 11 Case

By Angela Neville |

In its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, Houston-based Sabine Oil and Gas Corporation was recently presented with large professional bills from Kirkland & Ellis and Porter and Hedges attorneys and the financial advisory firm of Zolfo Cooper Management.

RAAM Global Energy Seeks Shelter in Chapter 11 Filing

By Angela Neville |

RAAM Global Energy Company, which like many energy companies has been struggling financially since the decline in oil and natural gas prices in 2014, recently filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division.

Survey Shows Executives Less Optimistic About M&A Growth

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Executives who participated in a law firm survey are a little less optimistic this year about mergers and acquisitions and the U.S. economy than a year ago.

Hillary H. Holmes and James Chenoweth of Baker Botts in Houston

Dealing With Energy MLPs in Today's Volatile Market

By Angela Neville |

Hillary Holmes and James Chenoweth, partners in the Houston office of Baker Botts, discuss how master limited partnerships are being affected by today's low oil prices.

Ernest E. Smith

Lifetime Achiever: Ernest Smith

Ernest Smith is the Rex G. Baker Centennial Chair in Natural Resources Law at the University of Texas School of Law and one of the leading scholars on Texas oil and gas law.

The Woodlands Company Selling Nuclear Business

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz represents CB&I in $299 million deal.

Barge Owner Sues Colliding Vessel's Insurer for Oil Spill Expenses

By Angela Neville |

After a collision that occurred in March 22, 2014, that caused a release of about 168,000 gallons of fuel oil in the Houston Ship Channel, Kirby Inland Marine, the owner and operator of the towing vessel M/V MISS SUSAN and its two barges that were involved in the collision, has filed a suit against the Shipowners Insurance and Guaranty Company (SIGCo), which is the insurer for the M/V SUMMER WIND, the bulk carrier owned by Sea Galaxy Marine S.A.

Exxon Sues Roxx Vodka Maker Over Trademark

By Angela Neville |

Exxon recently filed a trademark infringement suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Nielsen Spirits, an Arizona corporation that specializes in liquor sales, and its business operator Angela Nielsen for alledgedly violating Exxon's trademark rights by using a three-stroke interlocking X design in the logo for its new 'Roxx Vodka' beverage.

Indictment Against Plaintiffs Lawyer Mikal Watts Unsealed

By Miriam Rozen |

"This indictment against Mikal and others contains a litany of examples of people whose names were included on the client list of his firm but who may have never signed up with him. Obviously, fraud was committed somewhere down the line by others. But as the evidence at trial will show, there was no fraud on the part of Mikal Watts or the people who work in his office," wrote Robert McDuff, who is defending Watts.

Kirkland Advised Pearl Energy Investments on Fund

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Kirkland & Ellis lawyers from San Francisco and Chicago worked on the closing for Dallas private equity fund.

Will Less Money From Banks Lead O&G Players to Hire More Lawyers?

By Miriam Rozen |

A survey of oil and gas industry participants that has drawn press attention may signal more prospective work for transactional and bankruptcy lawyers. Dallas' Haynes and Boone conducted the survey and asked 182 oil and gas professionals about the future borrowing prospects for their industry.

Fees in Energy Future Holdings' Bankruptcy to Exceed $200M

By Angela Neville |

In the recent hearing in Texas-based Energy Future Holdings' ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi approved approximately $90 million in professional fees and expenses accrued during the second and third interim periods.

Texas Supreme Court building

SCOTX to Hear ERG Resources' Case Over Failed $45M Acquisition

By Angela Neville |

ERG Resources' failed acquisition of Ramshorn, an oil and gas company formed with exploration assets in Colombia, has led to a lawsuit on the grounds of tortious interference that is poised to be heard by the Texas Supreme Court.

Austin Lawyer Convicted in PEC Scandal Resigns Law License

By Angela Morris |

Walter Demond, an Austin lawyer who was convicted years ago for money laundering and misapplication of fiduciary property, has resigned his law license rather than face disbarment.

O&G Ponzi Scheme Defendants Hit With $35M Payback to SEC

By Angela Neville |

A group of predatory money managers in Austin who promoted scam investments in oil and gas royalty interests and successfully bilked over $31 million from a large number of would-be investors recently were ordered by a federal judge to pay more than $35 million to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Hillary H. Holmes and James Chenoweth of Baker Botts in Houston

Dealing With Energy MLPs in Today's Volatile Market

By Angela Neville |

Hillary Holmes and James Chenoweth, partners in the Houston office of Baker Botts, discuss how master limited partnerships are being affected by today's low oil prices.

Feds Indict Plaintiffs Lawyer Mikal Watts

By Miriam Rozen |

Mikal Watts' criminal defense lawyer said that federal prosecutors filed a sealed indictment against the San Antonio plaintiffs attorney lawyer. The indictment will be unsealed later this month, said Robert McDuff of McDuff & Bryd in Jackson, Mississippi.

T. Boone Pickens, chair of BP Capital Management, Dallas

Dallas Judge Bars T. Boone Pickens' Son From Communicating With Dad

By Miriam Rozen |

The father also filed a motion for sanctions against the son and the son's lawyer, Thomas Bowers III. In the pending motion, the father seeks sanctions against the son for alleged perjury and against Bowers for alleged discovery abuse.

BP, Kinder Morgan Partner in $350M Oil Terminal Deal

By Angela Neville |

Kinder Morgan has finalized agreements with BP to acquire 15 refined products terminals and associated infrastructure in the United States in a transaction valued at approximately $350 million.

Texas AG Offers $7.7M Settlement to Solar Firm Over False Claims of Products "Made in USA"

By Angela Neville |

The Texas attorney general and 1SolTech, a Texas-based company that sells solar panels and was accused of misrepresentations about its products, have entered into a proposed $7.7 million settlement and are waiting for the bankruptcy judge to make a ruling regarding the agreement.

U.S. Navy Mechanized Landing Craft (LCMs) anchored along the shoreline as Navy and civilian personnel position hoses during oil clean-up efforts on Smith island after the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Prosecutors to Wind Up Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Case After 26 Years

By Angela Neville |

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Alaska Department of Law recently announced that they have decided to withdraw their 2006 request to Texas-based ExxonMobil Corporation to fund biorestoration of subsurface lingering oil patches, and, instead, bring to a close the federal and state judicial actions against Exxon and its corporate predecessors regarding the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Halliburton Proposes Deals with Landowners in Alleged Pollution Cases

By Angela Neville |

Recently Houston-based Halliburton has begun offering settlements to a number of the property owners in and near Duncan, Oklahoma, who have sued the company claiming that they had the hazardous waste perchlorate show up in their private wells because of operations conducted by a former Halliburton facility.

$225M Sale of Crude-to-Rail Facility

By Angela Neville |

Several Texas attorneys were involved in USD Partners' recent acquisition of 100 percent of the equity interests in Casper Crude to Rail loading facility from Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, Cogent Energy Solutions and The Granite Peak Group for a total consideration of $225 million.

High Court Declines Review of Dispute Over Oil Deed Interpretation

By Angela Neville |

The Texas Supreme Court recently denied the motion for rehearing in Graham v. Prochaska, which involved a warranty deed drafted in 1950 that used ambiguous terms to convey lucrative oil and gas interests.

SEC Slaps Energy Exec With Insider Trading Lawsuit

By ANGELA NEVILLE |

Recently, the vice president of trading at a subsidiary of Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc. was accused by the SEC of participating with his college friend in insider trading in Cheniere options.

From left: Joshua Agrons, a partner at the Houston office of Norton Rose Fulbright; Steven Otillar, a partner at the Houston office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; and Jennifer Price, a Houston solo

Legal Strategies for Tough Times in the Energy Sector

By Angela Neville |

Joshua Agrons, a partner in the Houston office of Norton Rose Fulbright; Steven Otillar, a partner in the Houston office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld; and Jennifer Price, a solo and former partner in the Houston office of King & Spalding, share their insights about advising energy-related clients in today's volatile economic environment.

Seated in chairs, from left: Monica Karuturi, Dana O’Brien and Mickey Moon. Seated on chair arms, from left: Jason Ryan, Rachael Compofelice, Judy Liu, Vincent Mercaldi, Stephany Lin-Abney and Pooja Amin. Standing, from left: Alice Adam, Karen Jones, George Hepburn, Shane Kimzey, Stephanie Bundage and Doug Darrow.

CenterPoint Energy Leads By Example

By Bill Jeffreys |

CenterPoint Energy has long had a heritage of community involvement and pro bono activity among its lawyers, assistant corporate general counsel Monica Karuturi said. But it was slipping in 2013.

John Zavitsanos, a partner in Houston’s Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing

Oil Field Equipment Supplier Wins Defense Verdict in Race Bias Suit

By Miriam Rozen |

At trial, the defense team showed similarities between the allegations against NOV and those in another earlier discrimination lawsuit against another Houston employer brought by different plaintiffs, but the same plaintiffs counsel.

Monica Blacker, Partner, Jackson Walker, Dallas, Texas.

Q&A: A Guide to Bankruptcy Law for O&G Attorneys

By Angela Neville |

Monica Blacker, an experienced bankruptcy attorney and partner with the Dallas firm of Jackson Walker, discusses how oil and gas practitioners can assist their clients who are seeking information about bankruptcy law.

Texas State Flag

Toxic Tort Firm Opens Offices in Dallas, Houston

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson hires 32 laterals from a Jackson, Mississippi, litigation firm, and opens offices in Houston and Dallas with the new hires.

New Hampshire High Court Affirms $236M Verdict Against Exxon

By Angela Neville |

In its recent appellate decision, the New Hampshire Supreme Court upheld the trial court's rulings on the merits, affirmed the $236 million jury verdict for the state of New Hampshire and against Exxon Mobil.

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

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Wealthy Oil Heir's Case

By John Council |

Tom Wright said it's time for Albert Hill III to pay his law firm clients. "We hope that the word from the highest court in the land makes Mr. Hill realize that he owes the judgment,''he said.

Investor Sues Lawyer For Legal Malpractice

By Angela Morris |

A New Orleans company has sued an Austin solo, alleging that he committed malpractice and cost the company a $925,000 investment in one matter and caused it to get sued in another.

Texas Energy Firm Scores One Mexican Oil Block in Recent Auction

By Angela Neville |

Houston-based Fieldwood Energy and its partner Petrobal were one of three successful bidders in the recent auction for oil blocks put on by the Mexican government.

Dee Kelly, founder of Kelly Hart & Hallman, Fort Worth

Remembering Fort Worth Lawyer Dee Kelly

By John Council |

Dee Kelly, who founded Kelly Hart & Hallman in 1979 and became Fort Worth's most recognizable and politically-influential lawyer, died on Oct. 2. He was 86.

Conoco Fights Medical Center, Alleges Insurance Kickbacks

By Angela Neville |

In July, ConocoPhillips responded to a lawsuit filed against it by North Cypress Medical Center Operating Co. by filing its original counterclaim against the medical center in which it stated that "this is a fraudulent medical billing and illegal 'kickback' case."

Sanchez Energy to Sell Eagle Ford Assets to Sanchez Production Partners

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld represents Houston-based Sanchez Energy Corp. in sale of assets for about $345 million.

Energy Express Hit With Class Action Claiming It Failed to Pay Proper Wages

By Angela Neville |

Energy Express Services, a Houston-based oil field services company, recently got hammered with a federal class action suit in Pennsylvania brought by former employees who allege that the company carried out illegal pay practices.

clocking system

Turbulent Time in the Oil Patch: What to Know When Facing RIFs

By Derek J. Anchondo and Shira R. Yoshor |

As companies deal with the many implications of low oil prices on their revenues, they will invariably consider employee cuts as a way to deal with decreasing budgets.

4 Firms Work on $37.7B Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Energy Transfer Equity of Dallas turned to Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Latham & Watkins for $37.7 billion pending acquisition of The Williams Companies of Tulsa.

Akin Gump Advises Valero in $465M Purchase of Oil Terminals

By Angela Neville |

With the legal assistance of the Houston firm of Akin Gump, Valero Energy Partners is in the process of buying the Corpus Christi Terminal Services Business from a subsidiary of Valero Energy Corp. for $465 million.

Unitholders Settle With Crestwood in Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

By Angela Neville |

The Crestwood Midstream unitholders who filed a suit in May against the company's board of directors alleging breaches of fiduciary duty by the company's board of directors in connection with a proposed merger with Crestwood Equity now have announced that they have reached a settlement with the company.

Halliburton Settles With Workers by Paying $18.2 M in Overtime Pay

By Angela Neville |

In one of the largest Department of Labor recoveries of overtime wages in recent years, Halliburton has agreed to pay $18,293,557 to 1,016 employees nationwide.

Enterprise Fights Energy Transfer Partners $535M Jury Award in Pipeline Case

By Angela Neville |

After losing at the trial court level over a business disagreement and being hit with a $535 million jury verdict, Enterprise Products Partners, along with its affiliate Enterprise Products Operating, went on the offensive with its appeal to the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas, seeking to overthrow the judgment awarded to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) and its affiliate Energy Transfer Fuel.

Judge Refuses to Throw out $8M Suit Against Lawyers

By Angela Neville |

Defendant Michael Pohl, individually and d/b/a the Law Office of Michael Pohl and defendant Jimmy Williamson and Jimmy Williamson P.C. recently failed to convince a Mississippi federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought against them by a group of public relations professionals whom the attorneys had enlisted to round up possible clients in Mississippi after the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion.

Recent Texas Energy Law in 5 Minutes or Less

By Scott D. Marrs and Brian T. Bagley |

There have been a number of recent developments in Texas energy law. Those developments are synthesized for readers to come up to speed in 5 minutes or less.

Seismic Data Producer Targets Three O&G Companies With Copyright Claims

By Miriam Rozen |

Geophysical Service Inc., a Calgary, Canada-based producer of seismic data, filed lawsuits in Texas federal courts against Hunt Oil Co., ConocoPhillips, and Anadarko Petroleum. In three complaints, GSI alleges the three oil & gas exploration companies infringed on its copyrights by obtaining its valuable seismic data from a Canadian regulatory agency.

Thomas Wilson

International Law Section Launches Human Rights Committee

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Committee may recommended amendments to Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct in regards to giving advice to clients doing business in countries with civil rights issues.

Benjamin Torres-Barron

Mexico's Upcoming Oil Auction Offers Opportunities for Lawyers, U.S. Companies

By Angela Neville |

Due to take place Sept. 30, the second auction for offshore oil blocks will offer five groups of shallow water fields in Mexico, according to the Mexico's energy department, the National Hydrocarbons Commission.

Government to Pay $1.5M in Attorney Fees in FLSA Suit

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

The U.S. Department of Labor has agreed to pay $1.5 million to a Corpus Christi company and its owner after the Fifth Circuit sanctioned the federal government for bad faith in suit alleging the company violated overtime laws.

From left: Sara Burgin, Kevin Collins, Matt Paulson and Whit Swift, all partners in the Austin office of Bracewell & Giuliani

Bracewell Adds Four Environmental Partners in Austin

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

A group of four left Katten Muchin Rosenman's office to join Bracewell & Giuliani in Austin.

Lawyer Sued Over Ponzi Scheme Resigns

By John Council |

The high court order concluded that Gregory G. Jones decision to resign in lieu of discipline by the State Bar of Texas was in the best interest of the public and the legal profession. The Sept. 8 order cancels Jones' law license, orders him to surrender his bar card, and requires him to pay $30,000 in restitution to two former clients before he can seek reinstatement as an attorney.

U.S. Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, D.C.

Baker Hughes Sues IRS for $17.6M in Restitution

By Angela Neville |

Baker Hughes recently sued the IRS in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston Division) seeking a $17.65 million refund in taxes.

Energy Tech Company Loses $71M Patent Case

By Angela Neville |

TDE Petroleum Data Solutions,recently a patent infringement lawsuit that it brought against AKM Enterprise d/b/a Moblize involving its patent on its technology for monitoring oil wells.

Bankruptcy Battle Brews Between Energy Companies

By Angela Neville |

EnerVest Energy, the creditor, and Chevron USA, the interested party, are fighting the efforts of debtor Dune Energy and its affiliates to obtain a release from the bankruptcy judge of all claims against them and their estate property, including their remaining assets.

EPA Proposed Rule Could Resurrect Confusing Test for Air Permitting

By George C. Hopkins, Eric Groten and Jay Rothrock |

The principal question is whether "adjacent" should have its ordinary meaning of "nearby" or proximate, or if it should include consideration of "functional interrelatedness." This definition would be used in EPA's Prevention of Significant Deterioration, Nonattainment New Source Review, and Title V permit program regulations.

Kinder Morgan Pipeline, Cheniere Energy Agree to New Gas Transportation Project

By Angela Neville |

In light of the increase in natural gas production, it's not surprising that a Kinder Morgan pipeline division, Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, recently agreed to partner up with a Cheniere Energy affiliate, Corpus Christi Liquefaction, to move natural gas to the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project in South Texas.

Congressman Joe Barton

House Energy Panel Approves Barton's Bill to Lift Crude Oil Export Ban

By Angela Neville |

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, recently delivered the attached opening statement at the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power's markup of HR 702, a bill to adapt to changing crude oil markets.

Lisa Blue of Baron and Blue

Lisa Blue Wants Former Client's Indictments to Stand

By John Council |

"Repeatedly, Hill has conjured a conspiracy from absolutely nothing at all," Lisa Blue said in an amicus brief she filed against former client, wealthy Dallas oil heir Albert Hill III.

Group Leaves Burleson to Form Firm in Midland

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Four lawyers left the Midland office of energy firm Burleson to form Long-Weaver, Manning, Antus & Antus.

Chesapeake Settles Oil Royalty Clash With Bass Brother, Other Plaintiffs

By Angela Neville |

A drawn-out squabble over millions of dollars in oil royalties fought out in a Dallas federal court recently concluded with Chesapeake Exploration and a large group of mineral rights owners, including oil billionaire Edward Bass.

Heir Seeks Judge Recusal for 'Shocking' Comment

By John Council |

"You know, I am from limited means. All this was new to me. Even in families like mine where people don't have much, they get into disputes," U.S. Magistrate Renee Toliver said during a hearing involving wealthy Dallas oil heir Albert G. Hill III.

Baker Botts, Norton Rose Fulbright on $1.75B Angola Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Baker Botts represents Houston's Cobalt International Energy in its pending $1.75 billion sale of blocks offshore Angola to Sonangol, Angola's national oil company.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Abbott To Establish Energy Task Force Between Texas and Mexico

By Angela Neville |

During his recent visit to Mexico, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Texas and Mexico's intent to establish an energy task force, which will foster discussions on energy reform as developments in the energy industry proliferate at home and across the border.

Vessels equipped with water cannons try to fight the devastating Deepwater Horizon fire.

Fifth Circuit Certifies BP Class, Rejects Another

By John Council |

"In this case, our court returns—not for the first time, and likely not for the last—to the events related to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill," wrote Fifth Circuit Senior Judge Patrick Higginbotham.

Texas Supreme Court Declines to Hear Drilling Rights Case

By Angela Neville |

In the wake of a recent decision handed down by the Fourth Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of Texas recently rejected hearing a petition for injunctive relief related to a lawsuit concerning a subsurface trespass case between Lightning Oil Company and Anadarko E&P Onshore.

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.

Report Gives Overview of Mexico's New Energy Market

By Angela Neville |

A recently published report titled "Economic Impact and Legal Analysis of the Shale Oil and Gas Activities in Mexico" is a helpful guide for U.S. energy entrepreneurs who want to learn more about how to effectively maneuver in the Mexican oil and gas sector. The report was prepared by the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA); the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos; the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Faculty of Law and Criminology; and the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

 John Da Grosa Smith

Oil Heir Hit With $40.9M Judgment

By John Council |

"The amounts are shocking by any standard," said John Da Grosa Smith, who represents Albert G. Hill III in the attorney fee battle.

sale

After Filing Bankruptcy, O&G Co. Gears Up to Sell Assets

By Angela Neville |

In the wake of filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy lawsuit last October, Texas-based Endeavour International is getting ready to sell substantially all of its assets both in the North Sea and in the United States.

Four Texas Firms Make Mark For Deal Work

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Texas firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Andrews Kurth, Baker Botts and Vinson & Elkins among leading dealmaking firms on The American Lawyer's Corporate Scorecard 2015.

Shale Wastewater and Public Treatment Plants

By Larry Nettles, Sue Snyder, Jay Rothrock and Jordan Rodriguez |

Storage, treatment, and disposal of wastewater have been one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's areas of attention when it comes to hydraulic fracturing operations.

Ferrellgas to Buy Texas Midstream O&G Co. for $837.5 Million

By Angela Neville |

Ferrellgas Partners recently announced that it has entered into a definitive purchase and sale agreement to acquire Bridger Logistics for a purchase price of approximately $837.5 million, subject to certain closing adjustments.

Judge Slashes Fees in $4M Oil Patch Dispute

By Miriam Rozen |

Senior U.S. District Judge Sam R. Cummings called the proposed fees excessive. But the plaintiffs lawyer said: "In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big problem."

Deal of the Week: $2.15 Billion Energy Deal

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Four firms work on pending deal for Enterprise Products Partners' affiliate to buy EFS Midstream from two owners.

New O&G Fund to Be Backed by Natural Gas Partners

By Angela Neville |

With a goal of $100 million and a cap of $120 million, Dallas-based Springbok Energy's new fund is centered on purchasing oil and gas minerals and royalties.

Three Energy Lawyers Move to Norton Rose Fulbright

By Brenda Sapino Jeffreys |

Two partners and a senior counsel formerly practiced together at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman in Houston.

Houston-Based PennTex Midstream Kicks Off Its IPO

By Angela Neville |

Ignoring the oil and gas sector's current price contraction, Houston-based PennTex Midstream Partners recently decided to go all in and began its initial public offering. Its purpose is to own, operate, acquire and develop midstream energy infrastructure assets in North America.

Carrier Energy to Get Up to $100M Backing for Oil and Gas Deals

By Angela Neville |

Riverstone Holdings recently decided to invest up to $100 million in Texas-based Carrier Energy Partners II.

From left: Beck Redden partners Russell Post, David Beck, David Gunn and Eric Nichols

Beck Redden Reins in 'Gotcha' Theory

By Mary Alice Robbins |

In 2014, Beck Redden defeated a citizens' suit seeking $642 million in civil penalties from ExxonMobil for admitted unauthorized emissions and deviations from its clean air operating permits. Beck Redden attorneys convinced the Texas Supreme Court to find enforceable choice of law provisions allowing forfeiture in the corporation's executive bonus-compensation incentive programs.

From left: Vinson & Elkins partners Phillip Dye, Michael Holmes, Marie Yeates, Jim Thompson and Jim Loftis

Breadth of Vinson & Elkins' Energy Practice Displayed in Diversity of Claims

By Mary Alice Robbins |

Some of the claims V&E has defended include a range of cases across the United States, including in Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Adrian L. Talamantes

Bids on Mexican Shallow-Water Blocks Approved

By Angela Neville |

ExxonMobil Corporation and Hunt Oil Company, a subsidiary of Hunt Consolidated Inc., are among the 19 U.S. companies and seven groups approved by Mexico to bid on 14 shallow-water exploration blocks off the mainland in the Gulf of Mexico. Thirty-four companies applied to prequalify for the July 15 auction.

New O&G Monopoly Game Fuels Strong Interest Among Students

By Angela Neville |

The Asa Low Intermediate School in Mansfield, Texas, will hold its first- ever oil and gas Monopoly game tournament on May 30. The school anticipates that around 60 students will participate in the event. The tournament will feature students playing the customized oil and gas version of Monopoly created by the industry publication Offshore Engineer in celebration of its 40th anniversary. The limited-edition release of the game takes the traditional destinations and game pieces and replaces them with items specific to the oil and gas industry.

 John Da Grosa Smith

Updated: Oil Heir Al Hill III Keeps Fighting, Hires Another Lawyer

By John Council |

In a pleading that Tom Wright, a partner in Houston's Wright & Close, filed on behalf of the law firms on May 29, he notes that the Hills' sole ground for opposing the judgment is their insistence that the Fifth Circuit erred by rejecting their claims on the merits.

Designing an Effective Internal Compliance Program for In-House Counsel

By Chris Reeder and Lacey E. Watson |

Establishing a solid internal compliance program can help create an effective system of checks and balances while relieving some of the stress created by compliance requirements.

Texas Man Pleads Guilty to Oil and Gas Ponzi Scheme

By Angela Neville |

The SEC filed suit against GC Resources and Brian J. Polito for allegedly defrauding investors through the sale of interests in oil and gas wells that the company never owned.

LNG Permitting, Crude Oil Export Resolutions Submitted for Abbott's Approval

By Angela Neville |

The 84th Texas Legislature is working hard to promote export possibilities for Texas crude oil and natural gas products.

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.