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. MLP Qualifying Income – IRS May Reconsider Position on the “Processing or Refining” of NGLs into Olefins

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015 4:31 pm by , , and

    An IRS official indicated that the government may reconsider its position in the recently issued proposed regulations under Section 7704(d)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code regarding the production of olefins derived from natural gas liquids (NGLs).  According to press reports, Curtis G. Wilson, IRS associate chief counsel (passthroughs and special industries), stated that the government has been meeting with industry engineers to better understand how olefins are produced – “We thought we had an understanding. We might have been wrong,” Mr. Wilson said at the American Bar Association 2015 Joint Fall CLE Meeting in Chicago on September 18, 2015. See Laura Davison, Final Publicly Traded Partnership Rules Could Bless Olefins, BNA Daily Tax RealTime (September 18, 2015) & David Stewart, ABA Meeting: List in Proposed PTP Qualifying Income Regs is Not ‘Final Word’, Tax Analysts (September 21, 2015). (more…)

  2. MLP Qualifying Income – IRS Releases First PLRs Since Issuance of Proposed Regulations

    Monday, September 14, 2015 2:15 pm by , , and

    On September 11, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released two private letter rulings (PLRs) addressing MLP qualifying income. These are the first PLRs relating to MLP qualifying income to be released since the issuance of the proposed regulations under Section 7704(d)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) on May 5, 2015, and the lifting of the approximately year-long “pause” on PLRs in this area. (more…)

  3. BP Initial Decision: The Significance of Change

    Wednesday, August 19, 2015 8:10 am by , , and

    On August 13, 2015, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) assigned to hear evidence in BP America Inc. et. Al (Docket No. IN13-15) issued an Initial Decision in which she found that BP America Inc., and certain of its affiliates (collectively “BP”) engaged in market manipulation by intentionally trading to influence index prices to benefit a related financial position.  Putting aside the merits of the BP case, the Initial Decision is a good reminder of the kind of circumstantial evidence that regulators might interpret as indicia of manipulation.  The reoccurring theme is CHANGE.  (more…)

  4. BP Initial Decision Adopts FERC Staff’s Positions

    Tuesday, August 18, 2015 1:17 pm by , , and

    Seven years after the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or the “Commission”) first opened an investigation into the trading practices of BP America Inc. and certain of its affiliates (collectively “BP”), on August, 13, 2015, Administrative Law Judge Carmen Cintron (“ALJ Cintron”) issued her Initial Decision in the case of BP America Inc., finding that “BP engaged in market manipulation” by “intentionally [selling] large volumes of next-day physical gas at HSC in a way designed to benefit their corresponding short financial positions.”[1]  ALJ Cintron agreed with FERC Staff on all the material issues in the case, disagreeing with BP that FERC did not have jurisdiction over the case and finding BP’s defenses unpersuasive. (more…)

  5. FERC Fines Columbia Gas $350,000 for Violating Auction Rules

    Friday, July 31, 2015 9:35 am by and

    On July 30, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a stipulation and consent agreement between the FERC Office of Enforcement and Columbia Gas Transmission LLC (Columbia Gas) for violations of Section 4 of Columbia Gas’s tariff governing auctions for firm capacity. Columbia Gas admitted the violations and agreed to a $350,000 civil penalty along with compliance improvements. (more…)

  6. Decision on Fate of BLM’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Expected September 2015

    Friday, July 24, 2015 10:27 am by , and

    The Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM’s”) Hydraulic Fracturing Rule has been stayed until at least September 2015. BLM finalized the rule on March 20, 2015 for application on federal and Indian lands, three years after its initial proposal. However, on June 23, 2015 (the eve of the rule’s effective date), a federal judge in Wyoming stayed implementation of the rule siding with several industry group and state petitioners that had filed lawsuits and sought an injunction. As deadlines have now slipped, based on the current schedule, Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming is not expected to make a final decision on the BLM Rule until September 2015. (more…)

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