Oil, Gas & Energy

Monday, February 26, 2018

In Focus: Mineral Rights and Property Rights

Advances in horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other oil and gas extraction techniques have contributed to an energy boom in Texas. At the same time, questions over mineral rights and property rights have become hot button issues. When landowners and mineral rights owners are involved in disputes, it is essential to have the advice of an experienced energy contracts attorney.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Why Texas is a Leader in Wind Power

Although Texas has long been a leader in global oil production, the state is also one of the top producers of wind energy in the world. In fact, just five countries produce more wind energy than Texas does. Obviously, the state also leads the nation in electricity-generation capacity from wind, far outpacing the second-ranked state, Oklahoma.

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

T. Boone Pickens Closes Energy Hedge Fund

T. Boone Pickens recently announced in a Linkedin post that he has closed his energy hedge fund. What this means for the energy futures market remains to be seen. Meanwhile, if you are involved in energy drilling or transactions, speak to our experienced oil and energy contracts  attorneys.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Energy Transfer Partners Brings Defamation Claim Against Environmental Groups

After years of protests over the Dakota Access Pipeline by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe,  indigenous rights activists and environmental groups, the Trump Administration granted final construction approval to Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) in January 2017. The approval was the culmination of a hard fought battle that required the advice and counsel of experienced energy and environmental attorneys.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

EPA Sued Over Ozone Levels

A number of environmental and public health groups have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency claiming the federal agency has unreasonably delayed designating major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S., including Houston, out of compliance with the Clean Air Act (CAA), particularly regarding ozone levels.

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Natural Gas Flares on the Rise in West Texas

According to a recent report released by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the oil boom in the Permian Basin has contributed to increased natural gas flaring in West Texas. The EDF report was based on data collected by the Texas Railroad Commission in 2014 and 2015 which found that oil producers in the basin were burning off an average of 3 to 4 percent of their natural gas. 

Although gas flaring is a byproduct of oil exploration and a common practice in developing fields, the flares emit sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds such as benzene. As such, establishing regulatory standards for gas flaring requires the advice and counsel of

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

ExxonMobil and PDC Energy Settle Clean Air Act Claims

Exxon Mobil Corp. recently agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle a lawsuit brought by Department of Justice for alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations at petrochemical manufacturing facilities in Texas and Louisiana. In a related development, Denver-based PDC  Energy Inc. also agreed to pay $2.

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Monday, October 23, 2017

$100 Million in Damages Awarded in Eagle Ford Shale Dispute

As anyone in the energy production sector can attest, contracts are the bedrock of doing business in the oil and gas industry. Recently, a legal dispute between two oil companies in the Eagle Ford Shale culminated in a $100 million award in damages. A South Texas jury found that Canada’s Talisman Energy USA Inc. violated a joint operating agreement with Houston’s Matrix Petroleum by underpaying the company for Eagle Ford oil and gas production.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Harvey Triggers Major Gasoline Spill in Texas

What were the environmental impacts of Hurricane Harvey?

As Southeast Texas continues to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the immediate and long term environmental impacts will be a key consideration. In particular, the storm triggered failures numerous leaks from petrochemical storage tanks into area waterways.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Texas Oil Sector Bounces Back from Harvey

The Texas oil industry is rapidly recovering from the ravages of Hurricane Harvey, with most of the refineries up and running again and the major ports in the state returning to normal operations. As has widely been reported, after Harvey made landfall, up to one-third of the nation’s refinery capacity was offline, halting delivery of Texas petro-products to the Northeast through the Colonial Pipeline.

Now, the recovery in oil production has been quicker than many analysts predicted. Moreover, as operations ramped up, prices for gasoline eased up a bit. As of September 9, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $2.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Texas Conservation Plan for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard Under Pressure

The Texas Comptroller’s office recently sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stating that the Texas Conservation Plan for the dunes sagebrush lizard is being threatened by companies that mine the fine-grain sand oil producers use for hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Endangered Sagebrush Lizard

In 2010, the FWS proposed listing the lizard as an endangered species because of the loss of habitat due to sand mining to support oil and gas fracking and ranching operations in the Permian Basin. Industry groups pushed back, however, claiming that an official listing would hinder much needed oil and gas production through the use of fracking techniques in old wells. The Comptroller’s office, which has oversight of endangered species, then worked with oil industry participants to craft a voluntary plan to protect the sand lizard’s habitat.

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