Archives: Offshore

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D.C. Circuit Vacates Interior’s Five-Year Leasing Program

By Jessica Gladney In Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Department of the Interior, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ruling on April 17, 2009 vacating the Department of the Interior’s statutorily-mandated five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program for the period 2007-2012. The five-year leasing program … Continue Reading

Interior Considers Appeal of Kerr-McGee Decision

By Jason Johanson On Friday, March 6, 2009, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar stated that the agency is considering an appeal to the United States Supreme Court of the decision in Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corp. v. U.S. Department of the Interior, __ F.3d __, 2009 WL57883 (5th Cir. Jan. 12, 2009), in which the Fifth Circuit … Continue Reading

Secretary Salazar Details Strategy for Comprehensive Energy Plan on OCS

On February 10, 2009, United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar detailed a four-part strategy to establish a comprehensive offshore energy plan. First, Salazar extended the public comment period on President Bush’s OCS plan by an additional 180 days. He explained the extension was necessary to “restore order to a broken process.” Second, Salazar … Continue Reading

Violations of Environmental Terms in Federal Oil and Gas Lease Insufficient to Support a Claim under the False Claims Act

By Clare Bienvenu In Marcy v. Rowan Cos., Inc., No. 06-31238, 2008 WL 588745 (5th Cir. 2008), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision to dismiss a qui tam action brought under the Federal Claims Act (FCA). The action alleged that the defendants violated the FCA by concealing the discharge of pollutants … Continue Reading

Federal Court Upholds Mandatory Deep Water Royalty Relief

By Jonathan Hunter: On October 30, 2007, the Federal District Court for the Western District of Louisiana granted summary judgment in favor of Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas Corporation in a dispute between Kerr-McGee and the Department of the Interior over the enforceability of "price threshold" clauses that Interior inserted into deep water leases granted during … Continue Reading

MMS’ Offshore Texas Lease Sale Successful

MMS’s August 22, 2007 Western Gulf of Mexico lease sale offered 3,338 tracts, or approximately 18 million acres, offshore Texas.  Forty-seven companies participated, submitting 358 bids on 282 tracts.  The total of all bids received was $369,496,840.  MMS Director Randall Luthi observed that “the success of this lease sale once again demonstrates industry’s commitment and interest in … Continue Reading