Louisiana Third Circuit Confirms Settled Application of Subsequent Purchaser Doctrine Where Expired Mineral Leases at Issue

As it “is impossible to transfer rights to an assignee under an expired mineral lease,” in a case where oil, gas and mineral leases had expired prior to plaintiff’s acquisition of the property, the Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal in Litel Explorations, L.L.C. v. Aegis Development Company, L.L.C., et al. affirmed dismissal of claims pursuant to the subsequent purchaser doctrine, which provides that the right to sue for property damage is a personal right that belongs to the landowner who owned the property at the time the damage occurred, unless the right has been explicitly assigned or subrogated to the subsequent purchaser of the land. Continue Reading

Governor Edwards Indicates that Offshore Wind is on the Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico

Governor John Bel Edwards has identified offshore wind energy as a feature component of his recently announced renewable energy initiative for the Gulf of Mexico. The Governor announced the initiative at the inaugural meeting of his Climate Initiative Task Force. Continue Reading

Solar Leasing in Louisiana: Who to Lease?

This blog post is the first in a series of blog posts that will discuss some of the nuances of Louisiana property law relating to solar leasing. With solar companies entering the Louisiana market, many of which having no prior experience in Louisiana, it is important to identify and avoid some pitfalls that may not be immediately obvious to the common-law practitioner.

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Fifth Circuit Identifies Potential Conflict with Supreme Court on Jones Act Seaman Test

In Sanchez v. Smart Fabricators of Texas, LLC, 970 F.3d 550,  a three-judge panel of the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal held on August 14, 2020, that seaman status under the Jones Act may apply to an injured welder on a jack-up oil rig adjacent to an inland pier. Maintaining that the plaintiff qualified as a seaman under controlling Fifth Circuit precedent but questioning that precedent in light of Supreme Court case law, the panel urged the Fifth Circuit to review the case en banc. Continue Reading

Drilling for our Future: Technological Advances Leading the Industry

Several major oil and gas producers around the world are working with the Rocky Mountain Institute to develop a digital platform to assist in tracking and reducing emissions. Shell, ExxonMobil and Chevron are among the industry leaders piloting this new digital platform, which will enable emissions data to be obtained from a number of different sources, as well as industry reports. The digital platform being utilized is called the Climate Action Engine (CAE). Continue Reading

Louisiana Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Royalty and Other Claims Based Upon Prescription

In a straightforward application of Louisiana’s prescriptive principles, the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit affirmed the trial court’s grant of exceptions of prescription, finding plaintiff’s claims for fraud, under the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA), and for unpaid royalties all prescribed in Karen May v. The Succession of Mayo Romero Continue Reading

Recent Changes to Louisiana Tax Penalty Regime

Recent jurisprudential and legislative developments have significantly altered the Louisiana state tax penalty regime.  First, the Louisiana Supreme Court on November 4, 2020 denied the Louisiana Department of Revenue’s writ application in Smith International, Inc. v. Kimberly Robinson, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Revenue [1], rendering the earlier decision by the Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeal final.  Now, the penalties imposed by Acts 2015, No. 128, eff. July 1, 2015 cannot be applied to tax periods prior to July 1, 2015.  In addition, the late payment penalty in La. R.S. 47:1602(A) is no longer applicable to amounts later assessed on taxpayers who timely filed their returns and remitted the amount of tax shown as due on their tax returns.  Taxpayers under audit should object to the Department of Revenue asserting these penalties in audit workpapers. Continue Reading

Floating Foundations: The Future of Offshore Wind

With recent increased investments in wind power, the development of floating offshore wind farms presents the potential to access areas previously unavailable. On floating offshore wind farms,  a wind turbine is attached to a floating structure which is tethered to the sea floor, as opposed to the turbine being a fixed foundation in the sea. This allows the wind turbines to operate in deeper waters.[1] Continue Reading

Advancement of CCS in Louisiana

Earlier this month, Gulf Coast Sequestration (“GCS”), a limited liability company based in Lake Charles, announced its plans to build and operate a carbon capture and sequestration (“CCS”) project that will create a repository 10,000 feet underground for the permanent storage of more than 80 million tons of carbon. Once completed, the GCS facility is expected to be the largest CCS project in the United States and one of the largest in the world, according to its press release. Continue Reading

Louisiana Supreme Court Addresses the Role of Louisiana Tax Commission

The Louisiana Supreme Court addressed the role of the Louisiana Tax Commission in its decision in the case of D90 Energy, LLC v. Jefferson Davis Parish Board of Review, No. 2020-C000200.   While the case addressed the property tax assessments of a specific taxpayer, its larger importance is the holding regarding the role of the Louisiana Tax Commission in its review of local property tax assessments, including the assessments of oil and gas property.  Louisiana property is assessed by the assessor for the parish where the property is located.  The Louisiana Constitution provides a process for the taxpayer to seek review of an assessment that the taxpayer believes is incorrect.  La. Const. art. VII, section 18(E) provides that “[t]he correctness of assessments by the assessor shall be subject to review first by the parish governing authority, then by the Louisiana Tax Commission or its successor, and finally by the courts, all in accordance with procedures established by law.” Continue Reading

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