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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. Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power Project Lights the Way for the East African Power Market

    Wednesday, October 29, 2014 10:07 am by and

    Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy, yet it faces a power supply crisis.  Per capita, it generates barely 4% of the power generated by South Africa.  Only 18% of the population has access to electricity and, even for this fortunate minority, rationing and blackouts remain a daily reality.

    The Kenyan Government has ambitious development goals for the country, seeking to achieve annual double-digit growth and to ‘create a prosperous and globally competitive nation with a high quality of life by the year 2030’.  There is certainly plenty of cause for optimism.  Politically, the country is relatively stable. The capital, Nairobi, is home to the regional offices of some of the world’s largest multinational corporations, including General Electric, Google and Coca Cola.  These companies enjoy access to a labour force that is increasingly urbanised, professional, computer-literate and English-speaking. (more…)


  2. The New Petroleum Law in Mozambique

    Friday, October 24, 2014 9:20 am by and

    Originally published in Petroleum Review in October 2014.

    On the 14th of August, the Parliament of the Republic of Mozambique approved a revised version of the Petroleum Law that revoked the existing Law nr. 3/2001, of 21 February.

    In the context of the significant discoveries and rapid growth of the Mozambican oil and gas industry, the emphasis of the new Petroleum Law has been to ensure that Mozambique and its population benefit from the exploration and production of these discoveries. However, Law nr. 21/2014 of 18 August was approved in a significantly different version than that which had been heavily discussed between industry players and regulating authorities and subsequently submitted to Parliament. Where the Ministry of Natural Resources in the initial draft law had hesitated to impose concrete measures and/or restrictions in relation to local content and domestic consumption requirements, Parliament showed a heavier hand. There is now a requirement for foreign operators to “associate” with local companies in the acquisition of goods and services, as well as a requirement for 25% of all oil and gas produced to be delivered to the market in Mozambique. (more…)


  3. Sackett Two Years Later: Wetland Jurisdictional Determinations Still Not Appealable

    Thursday, September 25, 2014 10:35 am by

    When the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Sackett v. EPA that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wetland compliance orders were appealable, one question was how far would other courts extend the Supreme Court’s reasoning? Two years later, the answer is becoming clear on at least one front: courts continue to hold that wetland jurisdictional determinations are not appealable.  In Belle Company v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Fifth Circuit was the latest court to say so. (more…)


  4. Mexican President Signs Historic Energy Reform Into Law

    Monday, August 18, 2014 2:45 pm by and

    On Monday, August 11, 2014, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a package of energy secondary laws passed by the Mexican Congress (the “Legislation”) that will overhaul the Mexican oil and natural gas, petrochemical, and power generation industries[1].  The Legislation includes nine new laws and amendments to several current laws.

    The cornerstones of the Mexican oil and gas reforms are the Hydrocarbons Law (Ley de Hidrocarburos) and the Hydrocarbons Revenue Tax Law (Ley de Ingresos Sobre Hidrocarburos). These new statutes regulate, among other items: (i) “entitlements” (asignaciones) granted to state-owned entities, such as Pemex; (ii) the types of exploration and production contracts that will be granted to Mexican and foreign operators as well as joint ventures between certain state-owned companies such as Pemex and private parties; (ii) the rules for the granting of such contracts and execution by the National Hydrocarbons Commission (Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos or “CNH”) through a public bid process; and (iv) the regulations for midstream and downstream activities, which will be overseen by the Ministry of Energy (Secretaría de Energía or “SENER”) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (Comisión Reguladora de Energía or “CRE”). (more…)


  5. Battles Continue Over Local Bans on Hydraulic Fracturing

    Monday, July 28, 2014 10:44 am by

    In towns across America, hydraulic fracturing continues to be a hot-button issue, with municipalities in at least twelve states adopting measures to ban hydraulic fracturing altogether on a temporary or permanent basis.  Recent developments in Texas, California, and Colorado demonstrate that battles continue over local bans on hydraulic fracturing. (more…)


  6. FERC Approves $3.25 Million Civil Penalty in Southwest Blackout Case

    Tuesday, July 8, 2014 2:00 pm by and

    On July 7, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved a stipulation and consent agreement between FERC’s Office of Enforcement, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and Arizona Public Service Company (APS) resolving FERC and NERC’s joint investigation into APS’s involvement in the September 8, 2011 Southwest Blackout.  The Southwest Blackout was a system disturbance in the Pacific Southwest that affected transmission in Arizona, California and Mexico, and ultimately caused a complete blackout of San Diego.  FERC and NERC found that APS violated certain of the Transmission Operations (TOP) group of NERC Reliability Standards, and that these violations resulted in cascading outages in which 2.7 million customers, or approximately 5 million people, lost power for several hours.  FERC and NERC concluded that APS failed to prepare for this type of event by not performing a unique day-ahead study for September 8 and by not coordinating its day-ahead studies with neighboring transmission operators, including the Imperial Irrigation District and the California Independent System Operator.  APS has neither admitted nor denied the violations in the stipulation and consent agreement.  (more…)


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