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Powered by the attorneys of Bracewell & Giuliani, Energy Legal Blog® is your resource for updates and analysis on national and global energy issues.
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  1. FERC Adopts Changes to Natural Gas Pipeline Nomination Timelines as Part of Gas-Electric Coordination Efforts

    Friday, April 17, 2015 8:46 am by

    In a move that will affect gas-fired generators, shippers on interstate natural gas pipelines, and the pipelines themselves, FERC has adopted changes to its rules that will modify the nomination timelines for scheduling interstate natural gas pipeline transportation service. The changes, set forth in an order issued concurrently with FERC’s April 16, 2015 monthly meeting, (1) extend the deadline for the day-ahead Timely Nomination Cycle from 11:30 am Central Clock Time (“CCT”) to 1:00 pm CCT, and (2) add a third intraday nomination cycle on top of the existing two, with new intraday nomination deadlines of 10:00 am, 2:30 pm, and 7:00 pm. The changes will become effective 75 days after the forthcoming publication of FERC’s order in the Federal Register. (more…)


  2. FAA Continues to Modify UAS Approval Process to Expedite Integration

    Wednesday, April 15, 2015 9:20 am by

    By the end of 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had approved less than 15 Section 333 exemptions authorizing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations. Roughly three months later, that number has jumped to over 130 Section 333 exemptions approved. The surge in approvals can be attributed to recent changes in the FAA’s approval process as well as increasing pressure from the White House and industry to speed up UAS integration. A few of the recent changes implemented by the FAA include introduction of a “blanket” COA, reliance on a “summary grant” process, and dialing back of certain prerequisites to approval.   (more…)


  3. Egypt’s Renewable FiT Program Gathers Pace with the Release of Draft Project Documents

    Sunday, April 12, 2015 2:38 pm by

    Hot on the heels of the long-awaited release of definitive guidelines on SPV incorporation (on which we reported on 7 April), the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company has released discussion drafts of the major project documents proposed for Egypt’s renewable feed in tariff. This programme was launched at the end of 2014 and the first round of bidders was prequalified almost immediately thereafter. Those prequalified bidders are now gearing up to execute their projects – and it is becoming increasingly apparent that this will require them to move with some rapidity. (more…)


  4. EgyptERA Issues Final Guidelines for the Renewable FiT Program

    Tuesday, April 7, 2015 9:59 am by

    egyptwindturbines2Egypt’s Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency – EgyptERA – has issued its long-awaited guidelines on special purpose vehicle incorporation.  These guidelines are identical to the draft guidelines on which we reported on 24 March.

    As expected, the guidelines permit a prequalified developer to hold equity sufficient to build up to 100MW per substation and in each of the solar and wind programmes.  It is understood that there will be four separate solar project substations and five separate wind project substations.   Therefore, a single qualified developer could theoretically hold up to 400MW worth of solar projects and up to 500MW of wind projects in the programme. (more…)


  5. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: March 2015

    Thursday, April 2, 2015 9:24 am by

    This report summarizes selected material notices from CME Group and ICE Futures, with a particular focus on energy. It is not intended to a be a comprehensive review of each and every notice issued by these Exchanges.

    March’s Highlight 

    This month CME Group announced that it will launch a physically delivered crude oil storage futures contract, the first-ever of its kind, in reaction to extremely high levels of stockpiles of crude oil available nationwide and the demand for storage capacity. The futures contract—LOOP Crude Oil Storage Futures—will represent the right to store 1,000 barrels of crude at LOOP LLC’s Clovelly Hub in Louisiana. LOOP LLC is the operator of the largest privately-owned crude oil terminal in the United States. On March 30, 2015, pending all regulatory review periods, NYMEX will implement new Rule 710 into Chapter 7 of the Rulebook to incorporate certain conditions and requirements with which the LOOP facility must comply in its capacity as the operator of the delivery location for the LOOP Crude Oil Storage Futures contract. (more…)


  6. BLM Releases Final Rule for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal Lands; Industry Immediately Files Suit

    Friday, March 27, 2015 1:37 pm by and

    Brief Overview

    On March 20, 2015, three years after its initial proposal, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) finalized new regulations applicable to hydraulic fracturing activities on federal and Indian lands.  BLM previously released a draft proposed rule in May 2012 and revised draft in May 2013.

    Key aspects of the final rule include requirements to:  (1) request approval of hydraulic fracturing before commencement of operations; (2) disclose chemicals after completing hydraulic fracturing activities (preferably via FracFocus); (3) perform well integrity and cement evaluation tests and obtain approval if cement remediation is required; (4) use steel tanks for the storage of recovered waste fluids from hydraulic fracturing; and (5) supply information  on estimated fractures and existing wellbores to reduce the risk of impacts to existing wells, i.e., “frack-hits.” (more…)


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