Friday, December 13, 2013 1:16 pm by Manuel Vera and Andrew Farris
As we previously reported, on August 12, 2013, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto submitted a highly anticipated constitutional reform proposal to the Mexican Congress for purposes of restructuring the Mexican energy sector, including oil, gas, petrochemical, and power, by allowing greater private participation in the Mexican energy market (the “Bill”).
Following this proposal by President Peña Nieto, the Mexican Senate approved the Bill on December 11, 2011 and the Mexican House of Representatives approved the Bill on December 12, 2011, with additional revisions that extend private participation in the Mexican energy market beyond that contemplated in the original Bill. The Bill must also be ratified by a majority of Mexico’s 31 state legislatures, where ratification is expected to happen soon. (more…)
Category: Natural Gas/LNG, Power, Regional Energy Law, Upstream Energy
Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:23 pm by Tracy London
A flood of bids reportedly delayed the announcement on the South African Government’s announcement on its final list of preferred bidders in the Round 3 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) from the originally scheduled date of 29th October. Whilst, according to the Department of Energy’s statement, 17 bids had been selected in the government’s initial wave of preferred bidders out of a total of 93 bids received, the large number of bids received has resulted in a delay. A final decision was expected to be made by 20th November but is now expected “by no later than 31 December 2013*.” The question that is now on the tips of everyone’s tongues in the renewable market is will the South African Government announce the full list of preferred bidders for this third round of REIPPPP before Christmas?
Launched in 2011, South Africa’s REIPPPP initially set a target of 3.725 GW of renewable energy by 2016, but this was revised upwards in 2012 to 6.925 GW by 2020. In Round 1, 28 projects were closed in November 2012 and in Round 2, 19 were closed in May 2013. (more…)
Category: Power, Regional Energy Law, Renewable Energy/Cleantech
Monday, December 2, 2013 3:16 pm by Charles Nixon, John Riley and Tim Wilkins
As we discussed in an October post, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has proposed rules to create a greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting program for the state of Texas and take over permitting authority from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Because it hopes to make the transition as quickly as possible, TCEQ is using a streamlined public participation process, which is soon coming to an end. At 2:00 pm on December 5th, TCEQ will hold its only public hearing on the proposal (see notice here). TCEQ will then continue to accept written comments on the rules through December 9th.
If your company would like to see a change to—or particularly supports—some aspect of the proposed rules, it is important to participate in the hearing or submit written comments before the deadline. It is not clear whether these proposed rules will be controversial, but it is possible, and participating during the comment period can help strengthen one’s position before the Commission or a court, should a challenge be brought. If you have any questions about attending the hearing or submitting questions or comments, please feel free to contact any of our Environmental Section members in the Austin office. We will be attending and are happy to assist any way we can.
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Natural Gas/LNG, Power, Regional Energy Law
Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:57 am by Charles Nixon and Tim Wilkins
On October 4th, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) released a preliminary draft of a proposal to establish greenhouse gas (GHG) permitting regulations for the state of Texas. This action kicks off what is likely to be a lively discussion between stakeholders and regulators over the design of Texas’s GHG permitting program. But it represents a first step toward an important change from the status quo.
For almost three years now, Texas companies have been subject to two different permitting authorities for air permits: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues GHG permits under a Federal Implementation Plan (FIP), while TCEQ issues permits for all other regulated pollutants. The dual permitting scheme has not been a model of efficiency. (more…)
Category: Air Quality/Climate Change, Environmental, Regional Energy Law
Monday, September 30, 2013 4:13 pm by Austin Lee and Chris Miller
On January 7, 2013, the Court of Appeals for the First District of Texas (Houston) (the “Court”) held that under Texas law the implied surface easement inherent in the mineral estate limited the mineral estate owner’s right to use a surface road on a pooled tract to benefit the production from the pooled unit, subject to the accommodation doctrine, to only instances in which such use benefited wells that produced from beneath the surface tract that such road crossed . In Key Operating & Equipment, Inc. v. Will Hegar and Loree Hegar, (2013 WL 103633 (Tex.App.-Hous. (1 Dist.))) (hereinafter “Key Operating”), the Court affirmed the trial court’s issuance of a permanent injunction against Key Operating & Equipment, Inc.’s (“Key”) use of a surface road across the Hegar family’s (“Hegar”) surface estate because the pooled unit’s production did not include any production from the portion of the pooled mineral estate beneath the Hegar’s surface estate.
Key’s operations included two neighboring tracts of land referred to as the Rosenbaum-Curbo tract and the Richardson tract. In 1994, Key constructed a road across the Curbo tract (a subpart of the Rosenbaum-Curbo tract) that was utilized to service wells on both the Curbo and Richardson tracts. In 2000, Key’s lease on the Rosenbaum-Curbo tract terminated upon the cessation of production from the well on the Curbo tract. Key’s owners subsequently acquired a 1/16th interest in the Curbo tract mineral estate and leased their interest to Key. Later that year, Key pooled its mineral interests in the Richardson and Curbo tracts and Key produced from the pooled unit through wells located on the Richardson tract that it accessed via the road on the Curbo tract. In 2002, Hegar (the surface owner at issue in this case) purchased the surface estate and a 1/4th mineral interest in the Curbo tract. In 2007, Hegar sued Key for trespass and sought a permanent injunction against Defendant’s use of the road after a significant increase in Key’s use of the road. (more…)
Category: Courts, Natural Gas/LNG, Regional Energy Law, Upstream Energy
Monday, September 16, 2013 11:45 am by Bryan Loocke and Stephen Boone
On September 6, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court (the “Court”) declined to clarify whether the statutory condemnation system set forth in the Texas Property Code (specifically, the interpretation of Tex. Gov’t Code §21.021) requires a court to make a “preliminary finding” of common carrier status before awarding temporary possession to a pipeline company. The court’s refusal to weigh in on the dispute represents a missed opportunity to clarify the statutory framework at a time of increasing pipeline projects fueled by the continued expansion of oil and gas drilling activity in Texas.
Texas Rice Land Partners, L.P., James E. Holland and David C. Holland (collectively, “TRL”) own farmland in Jefferson County, Texas. In re Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd., 402 S.W.3d 334, 336 Tex. App.—Beaumont 2013. TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. (“TransCanada”) is the owner and operator of the U.S. portion of the planned 2,151 mile crude petroleum Keystone Pipeline System designed to bring Canadian oil sands to Mid-West and Gulf Coast refineries. TransCanada filed a petition for condemnation for an easement across TRL’s farmland after unsuccessful negotiations. The trial court issued TransCanada’s requested writ of possession and awarded TRL $20,808 as compensation for the easement. (more…)
Category: Courts, Natural Gas/LNG, Regional Energy Law, Upstream Energy