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. Recent Drone Developments and a Look Ahead to 2016

    Friday, November 13, 2015 3:56 pm by

    The 2012 Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act called for the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) to institute a program to facilitate the safe integration of civil unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) into the National Airspace System (“NAS”) by September 30, 2015. While the legislatively imposed deadline passed with no regulatory program in place – and such a program is unlikely to be finalized until at least mid-2016 – 2015 has been a year for significant developments in UAS integration. FAA’s approvals under the Section 333 exemption process have skyrocketed, drafting of the final small UAS rule is wrapping up, the FAA recently proposed the largest penalty ever for the unauthorized operation of a UAS and announced the creation of a UAS Registration Task Force. (more…)

  2. What Constitutes a Reasonable and Prudent Operator?

    9:18 am by , and

    The English Commercial Court interprets the definition of the standard of a “Reasonable and Prudent Operator” in the context of a dispute relating to long term gas sales agreements

    The phrase “reasonable and prudent operator” is frequently used in commercial contracts in the oil and gas industry to specify the standard at which a party must perform a particular obligation (or group of obligations).  Helpfully, contracts often define the phrase in order to give the content of that standard greater substance, albeit a definition that inevitably imports a degree of subjective judgement. (more…)

  3. 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…)

  4. UK Government Continues The Fight for Shale

    Tuesday, September 8, 2015 4:54 pm by and

    Despite facing opposition on numerous fronts, the development of a regulatory regime to promote the exploration of shale gas in the UK has continued apace following David Cameron’s comments earlier this year that the UK was “going all out for shale”.[i]  The UK government has reiterated the national need to develop the UK’s shale gas resources to improve the country’s energy security and transition to a low-carbon economy.

    For over a decade, the UK has been a net importer of gas following declining levels of production from the UK’s North Sea’s gasfields.  Imports of gas accounted for 45% of the UK’s supply last year.[ii]  The Department of Energy and Climate Change (“DECC”) predicts that, without any contribution from shale gas, net imports of gas could increase to 75% by 2030.[iii]  Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, considers the development of the UK’s shale resources as an essential component of the UK’s energy mix going forward and has pledged to “deliver shale”.  (more…)

  5. EPA Proposes Voluntary Methane Emissions Reduction Program

    Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:27 am by

    As a first step toward curbing methane emissions from existing sources, EPA has released a proposed framework for the Natural Gas Star Methane Challenge Program. EPA is scheduled to propose regulations this summer to reduce methane emissions from new and modified sources. Therefore, any sources that exist before the date EPA proposes those regulations would not be required to reduce their methane emissions until EPA adopts methane regulations for existing sources. In order to try to reduce methane emissions from existing sources in the interim, EPA will be looking to industry to voluntarily reduce methane emissions by participating in the Natural Gas Star Methane Challenge Program. (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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