Bracewell & Giuliani

Powered by the attorneys of Bracewell & Giuliani, Energy Legal Blog® is your resource for updates and analysis on national and global energy issues.
  1. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: July 2015

    Wednesday, August 5, 2015 10:18 am by , , and

    July’s Highlight

    Exchange for related positions (“EFRPs”) involve an off-Exchange execution of an Exchange contract and, on the opposite side of the market, the simultaneous execution of an equivalent quantity of the corresponding cash or physical position (Exchange for Physical- “EFP”); corresponding related OTC swap or OTC derivative (Exchange for Swap- “EFS”); corresponding futures contract (Exchange for Risk- “EFR”); or the corresponding related OTC option position (Exchange of Options for Options- “EOO”). EFRPs can be great trading tools, offering users the ability to engage in private negotiations as a means of reducing overall risk exposure. However, when engaging in EFRPs it is important to understand and comply with the rules and regulations governing these unique transactions. (more…)

  2. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: June 2015

    Thursday, July 2, 2015 10:12 am by , , and

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

    June Highlight

    CME Group has released a Webinar on Block Trades summarizing the regulatory requirements in relation to block trades in eligible CME, CBOT, NYMEX, and COMEX products, including minimum block thresholds, pricing, reporting, and important requirements around the use of non-public information.

    Block trades – large, privately negotiated trades that meet minimum quantity requirements – can be traded by ECPs. Pricing must be fair and reasonable, as governed by four factors: the size of the trade; the prices and sizes of other transactions at the time; prices and sizes of other transactions in other markets; and the circumstances of the markets or parties. The trade price must be consistent with the minimum tick price for the market, and each leg/transaction must be executed at a single price.  (more…)

  3. FERC Issues Two Oil Pipeline Audits

    Thursday, June 18, 2015 10:50 am by and

    On June 17, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Division of Audits and Accounting, Office of Enforcement (DAA), issued two audit reports involving oil pipelines, the Colonial Pipeline Company Docket No. FA14-4 and Enterprise Products Partners, L.P., Docket No. FA14-1. The Enterprise audit focused on Mid-American Pipeline Company, LLC (MAPL), a subsidiary of Enterprise. These reports are significant because they demonstrate that FERC audit staff is taking a comprehensive look at oil pipeline accounting and rate issues along with enhanced scrutiny of affiliate issues. DAA found five minor areas of noncompliance in the Colonial audit and ten findings of noncompliance with respect to Enterprise. The Enterprise findings were more significant because they involved under recovery of revenues as a result of dealings with an affiliate and failure to follow proper accounting for depreciation and prepaid leases, among other findings. In addition to Colonial and Enterprise, FERC has also announced two other oil pipeline company audits involving Enbridge Energy Partners LP, Docket No. FA15-4, and Plantation Pipe Line Company, Docket FA15-12. Prior to these audits, FERC had not audited an oil pipeline in many years. (more…)

  4. The Final Waters of the US Rule: The Practical Bottom Line

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015 10:33 am by

    Two weeks ago, we started our series of posts examining the Obama Administration’s final rule redefining the waters subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act by looking at the bottom line, legally, of the waters now considered to be always jurisdictional. We then examined the waters that will probably be (and may be) jurisdictional, as well as a few of the ambiguities remaining in the final rule and some that were resolved by the agencies before finalization. Following two posts on changes we believe the Administration should have made but didn’t and one examining the practical reality of proving jurisdiction under the significant nexus test, today’s post is our last, and we’ll finish 180 degrees from our first one. That post looked at the legal bottom line; today we give you our view of the practical one. (more…)

  5. The Final Waters of the US Rule: The Practical Application of the Significant Nexus Test

    Monday, June 8, 2015 9:33 am by

    This is our penultimate post on the Administration’s final Waters of the US rule. For those of you who have read our last 16 posts on the proposed and final rules (hi Mom!), you know we have concerns about the significant nexus test. Our concern is not just the breadth of the test, but its ambiguity and need for case-by-case application. For the regulated community, knowing when one must comply with the law is half the battle (at least). And the significant nexus test, based on neither science nor the language of the Clean Water Act, is an ambiguous, case-by case test.

    But apart from its ambiguity, there is the practical reality – the practical difficulty – of actually applying the test. Now that the test has been ensconced into regulation, we’ll take a quick look at the practical implications of applying of the test. (more…)

  6. The Final Waters of the US Rule: Traditionally Navigable Waters and the Possibility of Future Use

    Friday, June 5, 2015 8:17 am by

    Yesterday, we looked at one of the core definitions in the Waters of the U.S. rule – that of “wetlands” – and suggested that, while the agencies didn’t change it, perhaps they should have. Today we’ll look at another static term – “Traditionally Navigable Waters.” It, too, has been unchanged for the last three decades and probably should have been modified in the final rule. Given the term’s newfound significance in the regulatory structure, the failure of the Agencies to do so adds unnecessary complexity and confusion to the process of identifying jurisdictional waters. (more…)

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