At the beginning stages of a solar project, developers must be aware of oil and gas operations on or near the project area. However, operations that occur near but not directly on a site plan are often overlooked. If overlooked, these oil and gas operations can cause significant delays and costs when developing and financing a new project. However, some initial research and due diligence at the beginning of a greenfield development project can usually protect the project from the types of issues and costs associated with oil and gas operations located near but not directly on the site plan, which will allow the project to stay on schedule and budget.
Continue Reading The Implications of Drilling Units Created by Pooling on Solar Development

In the weeks that followed a ransomware attack on a domestic pipeline company, the federal government’s efforts to shore up the cybersecurity posture of America’s critical infrastructure and supply chains, including the oil and gas industry, have garnered increased attention.  Historically, the oil and gas sector has not been subject to mandatory cybersecurity regulations, but rather was encouraged to follow voluntary security guidelines that were initially published by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2011 and revised in 2018. Yet, the industry sector’s geographic size, number of operators/stakeholders within the sector, and its importance to the national economy make the oil and gas industry an attractive target for cyberattacks.

Each of these factors begs the question whether voluntary cybersecurity measures are sufficient to protect this critical infrastructure component? Based on the TSA’s decision to publish the very first Pipeline Security Directive (“Directive”) three weeks after Colonial Pipeline was victimized by a ransomware attack, the answer to this rhetorical question appears to be an emphatic “No.”
Continue Reading Is the TSA Security Directive A Harbinger of Oil and Gas Cybersecurity Regulations?

As more renewable energy projects are being developed across the United States, the number of projects in areas that contain active oil and gas and mining operations continues to rise. In the beginning stages of greenfield development projects, the oil and gas and mining operations affecting parcels within the site plan is sometimes overlooked, and if not addressed, these types of interests and operations can cause significant delays and costs when developing and financing a new project. However, some initial research and due diligence at the beginning of a greenfield development project can usually protect the project from these types of issues and costs and assure the project can stay on schedule and budget.
Continue Reading A Time and Cost Saving Measure: Researching Oil and Gas and Mining Operations During the Beginning Stages of Greenfield Renewable Energy Development Projects

A new legislation signed into law in August, the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA), will expand vastly the types of foreign investment transactions that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”) may review. Under the new law, a wide range of foreign investments affecting the U.S. energy sector

On October 24, 2017, the Department of the Interior (“Interior”) filed its final report summarizing its review of Interior actions that potentially burden the development or use of energy produced in the United States. The review and resulting report were required by President Trump’s Executive Order 13783, which instructs the agencies to pay “particular attention” to any actions that delay or impose additional costs on oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy resources.
Continue Reading Substantial Changes Underway at Interior to Reduce Burdens on Oil, Natural Gas, and Coal

On August 2, President Trump signed new legislation which will impose new sanctions on Arctic offshore, deepwater or shale oil drilling projects which are partially owned by certain sanctioned Russian energy companies.  Previously, these sanctions only applied if the sanctioned Russian companies owned greater than a 50% ownership interest in the project and if the

Drilling_Roughnecks_(8744524276)There has been a tremendous amount of commentary and analysis recently about the dramatic increase in oil and gas activity and production in the Permian Basin, the SCOOP/STACK plays in Oklahoma and even the Eagle Ford Basin.  There has been much less written about how the “recovery” has impacted oil and gas activity in the Williston Basin in North Dakota.

Last Friday, the North Dakota Industrial Commission Department of Mineral Resources released its “Director’s Cut” which contains
Continue Reading Oil Production Recovery Slow to Hit North Dakota

oil wellsRecently, there has been significant media attention given to the idea of the forced pooling of oil and gas interests.  In addition, there is legislation pending in the Colorado legislature that could alter the concept of forced pooling in the state. Despite this attention, many people do not understand the concept of pooling or why it is important to oil and gas development.

At its most basic, pooling is
Continue Reading What is “Forced” Pooling and Why is it Important?

OK KS Sierra ClubYesterday, the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma issued an order granting the motions to dismiss of three oil and gas operator defendants, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, and New Dominion, in an action brought by the Sierra Club alleging that the operators’ activities “contributed, and continues to contribute, to an increase in earthquakes throughout the State of Oklahoma and in southern Kansas.”

Continue Reading Earthquake Lawsuit Rocked By Burford Abstention

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Fulfilling repeated campaign pledges to roll back the Obama administration’s climate change initiatives, President Trump signed a sweeping executive order yesterday targeting key Obama-era regulations, including the Clean Power Plan and emission standards for the oil and gas industry. The executive order states that it is in the interest of the nation to promote development of energy resources “while at the same time avoiding regulatory burdens that unnecessarily encumber energy production, constrain economic growth, and prevent job creation.” The multi-faceted approach taken by the order makes it clear that this Administration views any regulation of climate change or carbon pollution as “unnecessary.” 
Continue Reading Trump’s Executive Order Takes a Multi-Faceted Approach to Eliminating Climate Change Regulation