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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. Reforming the Argentinian Oil and Gas Regime

    Friday, January 16, 2015 9:15 am by and

    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…)


  2. White House: Oil & Gas Industry Must Cut Methane Emissions By 40-45%

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015 3:33 pm by and

    On January 14, 2015, the White House  announced that it would for the first time directly regulate methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.   By choosing to regulate methane directly rather than regulating VOCs, EPA may be seeking to create a legal basis (and perhaps even a legal obligation) to regulate methane emissions from existing oil and gas operations in the future.

    According to the announcement, the oil and gas sector will need to reduce its methane emissions by 40-45% from 2012 emission levels by 2025. Although this announcement did not indicate how industry must achieve these steep reductions, it did clarify that EPA will propose regulations in the Summer of 2015 that will apply to new and modified oil and gas sources.  Because these regulations would be proposed under the Agency’s authority under section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act, they will not reach existing sources.  A final EPA rule is expected in 2016 that would cover activities and equipment such as oil and gas well completions, compressor stations, pumps, gathering stations, and other transmission sources.  (more…)


  3. Pleasing No One, Fish and Wildlife Service Lists the Gunnison Sage-Grouse as Threatened

    Wednesday, November 12, 2014 3:49 pm by and

    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…)


  4. The Transparency Initiative: Are You Ready?

    Friday, October 31, 2014 8:07 am by and

    Are you a UK company that operates in an EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRY? 

    If so, do any 2 of the following apply to you:

    • You have a balance sheet in excess of £18 million;
    • You have net turnover of over £36 million; or
    • You have more than 250 employees

    If so, do you make annual payments to any Government of over £86,000?

    If the answer to the above is YES, then from 1 January 2015 you will most likely be required to comply with the UK’s new Transparency Initiative Regulations.

    Introduction The UK is set to become the first EU member state to transpose the most recent EU directives on accounting and transparency rules in an effort to satisfy growing demands for a European-wide strategy to fight corruption in relation to substantial payments that oil and gas companies are often required to make to government entities by way of signing bonuses, taxes or royalties. (more…)


  5. East Africa Licensing Update – Q4 2014

    Thursday, October 30, 2014 2:28 pm by and

    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…)


  6. 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…)


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