Archives: Offshore

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Regulating the Regulators: Supreme Court Allows Judicial Review of Clean Water Act Determinations

The United States Supreme Court recently addressed whether the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ determination that wetlands are “waters of the United States” constitutes a final agency action that is subject to judicial review under the Administrative Procedure Act in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc., 15-290, 2016 WL 3041052 (U.S. … Continue Reading

Sea Change: New BOEM Proposed Rule Signals Major Shift in How Air Emissions Would Be Regulated in the OCS

In the next few days, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will publish in the Federal Register a Proposed Rule that would result in a significant change on how the agency regulates air emissions from oil and gas operations on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico (GOM).  … Continue Reading

U.S. Fifth Circuit Limits Vessels’ Obligations Under Louisiana One-Call Reporting

A panel of the United States Fifth Circuit consisting of Chief Judge Stewart and Judges Jolly and Graves recently issued a per curiam opinion regarding the effect of the Louisiana Underground Utilities and Facilities Protection Law (the “Louisiana One-Call Statute”). Plains Pipeline, L.P. et al. v. Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., et al., No. … Continue Reading

White House Wants to End Royalty-in-Kind Program

by Elisabeth Lorio Baer Interior Secretary Ken Salazar informed Congress on September 17, 2009 that he would kill a controversial program, currently in effect, that allows energy companies to pay the government royalties for drilling on public lands in actual oil and gas in lieu of cash. The announcement was made during testimony to the … Continue Reading

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