Only one CCS bill remains active and it moves closer to becoming law. Six of the nine House CCS bills were effectively killed in the House Natural Resources Committee. The two other CCS bills were voted down on the House floor. Those eight House bills could have effectively stopped most CCS projects around the state
Wind Energy Development in the Gulf of Mexico
Over the past year, the U.S. Department of Interior has taken several important steps toward making wind energy development a reality in the Gulf of Mexico. This is the first in a series of articles in which Liskow’s offshore team will discuss the regulatory framework for wind energy projects in federal waters and highlight legal…
The Western District of Louisiana Holds that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Shipper Must Have Title Policy Creates No Private Right of Action
In a unique twist on a common challenge to the deductibility of post-production expenses, plaintiffs in Grayson L.L.C. (Of Louisiana), et al. v. BPX Operating Co., et al. sued the unit operator for breach of contract to recover transportation costs incurred as a result of alleged regulatory violations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC”)…
BOEM Overview of Proposed Gulf of Mexico Offshore Wind Areas and Draft Environmental Assessment
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held its third Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting on July 27, 2022 (3rd Meeting). The first two meetings were held on June 15, 2021, and February 2, 2022, respectively. The primary purpose of this meeting was to present the preliminary…
New Developments in Shocking Case Before the Texas Supreme Court Regarding Construction of Novel Oil & Gas Royalty Term
Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. v. Sheppard is a royalty dispute between several lessees, Devon Energy Production Co., L.P., et. al., and several lessors, Michael A. Sheppard, et. al., concerning a novel royalty term that may have a huge impact on the way oil and gas royalties are paid in the future. See 13-19-00036-CV, 2020 WL 6164467, at *12 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi Oct. 22, 2020, pet. filed). The novel term, referred to as an “add-back” or “add-to-proceeds” provision, requires any deductions to the sale of production to be added back to the proceeds in order to determine the appropriate royalty base. The lessors argue that under this term, the deductions in the lessees’ sales contracts attributable to the buyers’ post-transfer costs must be added to the gross proceeds in order to establish a royalty base above the gross proceeds. The lessees disagree, countering that the clear intent of the provision is merely to prohibit the deduction of their own post-production costs, not the post-transfer costs of the buyers. The lessors won in the trial court; the court of appeals affirmed. Now the case is before the Texas Supreme Court, with a recently submitted amicus brief containing the argument that could turn the tides back in the lessees’ favor. …
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Fifth Circuit Throws Out DOL Fiduciary Rule
The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal vacated the entire DOL Fiduciary rule in a split decision on March 15, 2018, U.S. Chamber of Commerce v. DOL, No. 17-10238 (5th Cir. 3/15/2018). Two other circuits have upheld the DOL rule (the Tenth and the District of Columbia Circuits). This ruling will not become immediately applicable as it is subject to rehearing and appeal to the Supreme Court. Accordingly, advisers should continue to follow applicable DOL fiduciary rule policies and procedures. It may be several months before whether we know the impact of this decision.
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Texas Supreme Court Agrees to Review Three Oil and Gas Cases in 2016
On September 2, 2016, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to review three oil and gas cases involving issues pertinent to the industry and land and mineral owners.
- BP America Production Company v. Red Deer Resources, LLC
In BP America Production Company v. Red Deer Resources, LLC, the lessee of a top lease, Red Deer, sued the lessee of the base lease, BP, contending that the prior lease had terminated due to a cessation of production in paying quantities. …
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Attorney General Finds Governor’s Contract for Legal Services Not Approvable, Unacceptable, Illegal, and Unconstitutional
The dispute between Governor John Bel Edwards and Attorney General Jeff Landry over the retention of several private attorneys to represent the State of Louisiana, through the Department of Natural Resources (“LDNR”) in coastal loss litigation has taken a new twist. These lawsuits were filed by several parish governments alleging dozens of oil and gas companies caused marsh loss by operations that violated state-issued coastal use permits and related permitting requirements. …
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Offshore Companies Face Surge in BSEE Enforcement Actions and Penalties
In recent years, offshore companies have witnessed a marked uptick in the number of enforcement actions undertaken by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Operators face more BSEE inspections, Incidents of Non-Compliance (INCs), and civil penalties than ever before. Meanwhile, the average penalty amount has grown. For example, in 2014 the agency imposed a civil penalty of $1,230,000—an unprecedented figure in the history of the BSEE civil penalty program. BSEE has also begun to target offshore contractors, who, until recently, have not faced exposure to agency enforcement actions. See Island Operating Co., Inc., 186 IBLA 199 (2015). Together, these developments will undoubtedly lead to more litigation and a higher cost of doing business on the Outer Continental Shelf.
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First Parish Coastal Zone Lawsuit to Proceed to Decision Falls for Failure to Exhaust Administrative Remedies
The first of 40 coastal permitting lawsuits to proceed to disposition has been dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
In a ruling released today, Judge Enright of the 24th JDC for Jefferson Parish dismissed The Parish of Jefferson v. Atlantic Richfield Company, finding that the statutory scheme at issue provided administrative channels to investigate and resolve alleged permit violations, and thus those remedies must be exhausted before the plaintiffs could pursue civil damages through the courts.
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