Friday, January 16, 2015 9:15 am by Adam Waszkiewicz and Darren Spalding
In order to prevent the increase of energy prices and to safeguard domestic supply, at the start of the millennium the Argentinian federal government made various amendments to the legal regime regulating the exploration and production of hydrocarbons. Such measures included the introduction of a system of regulated prices and the prohibition of exports until domestic demand had been satisfied. Following these changes, oil and gas production and exports declined and Argentina has subsequently had to manage a reduction in its energy self-sufficiency as fuel imports have increased.
Following months of extensive negotiations in 2014 between the federal government, the regional oil-producing provinces, YPF and other key members of the private oil and gas sector in Argentina, the Argentinian Congress passed a new law amending its hydrocarbon regulatory framework (the “New Hydrocarbon Law”). (more…)
Category: Offshore, Regional Energy Law, Upstream Energy
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 3:49 pm by Lowell Rothschild and Eric Washburn
In the latest listing driven by a huge July 2011 settlement with environmental NGOs, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service earlier today announced it would list the Gunnison sage-grouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The listing comes in the face of objections from both sides. Colorado’s Governor and both its senators – all Democrats – had worked hard to prevent the listing, while environmentalists warned in advance that they would sue over a threatened listing, demanding that the bird be listed as endangered, not just threatened. (more…)
Category: Construction, Enforcement, Environmental, Litigation, Midstream, Natural Gas/LNG, Power, Regional Energy Law, Shale Development, Upstream Energy
10:14 am by Matthew Mulqueen
The message from the South African Department of Energy at the Windaba Conference in Cape Town last week could not have been clearer. In his address during the opening session of the conference, Dr. Wolsley Barnard (Deputy Director General: Energy Programs and Project at the DOE) forced home the point that the South African authorities “…will be enforcing penalties…” for breaches of the mandatory economic development obligations under the South African Government’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme.
Listening to Dr. Barnard’s address got me thinking. Three years on from its launch has the REIPPP Programme made a real difference to South Africa’s manufacturing and service sectors? The answer quite clearly has to be a yes. The development of the R300-million wind turbine tower factory at the Coega IDZ, the recent announcement by SunPower of the construction of a new 160MW solar panel manufacturing facility in Cape Town and the DOE’s job creation forecasts for construction and operational posts in the renewable energy sector make this apparent. But it did occur to me that there may be some unexpected side effects to the approach being taken by the DOE to this point. (more…)
Category: DOE, Power, Regional Energy Law, Renewable Energy/Cleantech
Monday, November 10, 2014 3:15 pm by Tracy London and Tom Swarbrick
Construction law can be something of a dark art – there isn’t a day that goes by where the humble construction lawyer isn’t presented with a bit of a head-scratcher.
Take liquidated damages, for example. It’s clear that an LDs provision shouldn’t seek to penalise the offending party. It’s also clear that LDs should represent a ‘genuine pre-estimate’ of the innocent party’s loss following breach. So until recently, the well-advised client would make a reasonable effort to assess the likely losses as a result of a particular breach, describe them clearly in the contract and keep records showing the parties’ working. And they could rest safe in the knowledge that any court applying English law would be very reluctant to interfere with a commercial agreement on LDs.
Yet a series of recent cases has given lawyers and their clients food for thought. In two cases, LDs provisions were held to be unenforceable and struck down. So are the courts are seeking to adopt a more flexible approach to LDs, reflecting the commercial reality of their use in commercial contracts? (more…)
Category: Construction, European Energy Law, Regional Energy Law
Friday, October 31, 2014 9:53 am by Martin Stewart-Smith and Paul Jones
The majority of landlocked Uganda’s estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil reserves are destined to be pumped to the East African coast for export (potentially linking up with supplies from Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia along the way). While preferred export routes continue to be debated, it is likely that multiple pipelines stretching across the East Africa region will be developed in the near future. The development of such infrastructure will be heavily dependent on project finance. In this article, we consider some key issues affecting international pipeline projects that sponsors and host governments in the East Africa region will encounter. (more…)
Category: Environmental, Midstream, Regional Energy Law
Thursday, October 30, 2014 2:28 pm by Ben James and Paul Jones
With Tanzania in the final stages of evaluating bids for oil and gas blocks offered in its latest bidding round which closed in Q2 2014, it was Mozambique’s turn to announce its latest round in London on 23 October. Uganda and Kenya are also expected to embark on fresh licensing next year to complete a busy period for East African block auctions. (more…)
Category: Regional Energy Law, Upstream Energy