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 projects were also located within the Russian federation. Now, the sanctions will apply to “new” offshore, deepwater or shale projects in which the sanctioned companies own as little as a 33% interest and will also apply to projects located both inside and outside of the Russian federation. The United States Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) is required to issue new rules implementing these changes within 90 days. A detailed review of the new legislation, which also includes sanctions against North Korea and Iran, can be found on our TMT Industry Insider blog.
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
Recently, 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?
Yesterday, 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
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
Today, the Colorado Court of Appeals held that the Denver district court erred when it dismissed the suit of Colorado youth who challenged the dismissal by the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (the “COGCC”) of their rulemaking petition. Martinez v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 2017COA37 (March 23, 2017). The district court had affirmed the COGCC’s dismissal concluding that the COGCC lacked the authority to consider a proposed rule that would require the COGCC to adjust the balance between the development of oil and gas resources and the protection of public health, safety, and welfare under the Oil and Gas Conservation Act (the “Act”).
The court of appeals concluded Continue Reading Kids’ Climate Suit Can Move Forward in Colorado State Court
California’s Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the consumer products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. Under recent changes to the law, companies in the oilfield business and gasoline service business will need to make warning signs more specific in order to Continue Reading Changes to California’s Prop 65 Warning Requirements to Impact Energy Industry
On January 23, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) amended its pipeline safety regulations to address the requirements of the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011. The final rule affects post-accident reporting obligations, safety training requirements, and permitting procedures. The major provisions of the new pipeline safety rule include Continue Reading PHMSA Updates Pipeline Safety Regulations
In a Presidential Memorandum issued January 24, 2017, President Trump directed the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan within 180 days to require that pipelines in the United States use materials and equipment produced in the United States “to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.” The plan will extend to newly constructed pipelines as well as to those that are “retrofitted, repaired and expanded . . . inside the borders of the United States.”