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. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: September 2015

    Tuesday, October 20, 2015 8:00 am by , , and

    September’s Highlight

    September saw a handful of settlements of ICE Futures enforcement actions related to position limit violations under Rule 6.20(b).  The settlements of these actions included monetary fines, disgorgement of profits, and cease and desist orders.  Of note, an action related to a single, self-reported violation of the applicable spot month position limit under Rule 6.20(b) resulted in a $35,000 fine and a cease and desist order.  These settlements serve as reminders that position limits are tracked intra-day and to the single lot, and exceeding a position limit is a per se violation absent an exemption. (more…)

  2. The Sage Grouse Isn’t Added to the List of Endangered Species. And so. . . ?

    Thursday, September 24, 2015 9:17 am by

    As the trade and mainstream press has widely reported, yesterday, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) decided against placing the Greater Sage Grouse on the endangered species list. This is big news, if for no other reason than that grouse habitat covers hundreds of thousand square miles area across a dozen states:

    Sage grouse geography

    Certainly, the FWS’s decision not to list the sage grouse spares a large geographic area of oil and gas land, rangeland, federal land, and otherwise developable area from restrictions under ESA. (more…)

  3. MLP Qualifying Income – IRS May Reconsider Position on the “Processing or Refining” of NGLs into Olefins

    Tuesday, September 22, 2015 4:31 pm by , , and

    An IRS official indicated that the government may reconsider its position in the recently issued proposed regulations under Section 7704(d)(1)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code regarding the production of olefins derived from natural gas liquids (NGLs).  According to press reports, Curtis G. Wilson, IRS associate chief counsel (passthroughs and special industries), stated that the government has been meeting with industry engineers to better understand how olefins are produced – “We thought we had an understanding. We might have been wrong,” Mr. Wilson said at the American Bar Association 2015 Joint Fall CLE Meeting in Chicago on September 18, 2015. See Laura Davison, Final Publicly Traded Partnership Rules Could Bless Olefins, BNA Daily Tax RealTime (September 18, 2015) & David Stewart, ABA Meeting: List in Proposed PTP Qualifying Income Regs is Not ‘Final Word’, Tax Analysts (September 21, 2015). (more…)

  4. FERC Proposes To Expand Classes Of Information Collected From Participants In RTO And ISO Markets

    3:13 pm by and

    On September 17, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NOPR”) proposing to significantly expand the information that entities would be required to disclose in order to participate in the wholesale markets administered by Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTO”) and Independent System Operators (“ISO”).  Notably, while market participants already are required to disclose certain affiliate relationships to the RTOs and ISOs in which they participate, FERC’s proposal would require market participants to provide additional information regarding a broad array of contractual, employee, and other business relationships.  (more…)

  5. 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…)

  6. Monthly Futures Exchange Issuance Report: August 2015

    Friday, September 11, 2015 8:38 am by , , and

    August’s Highlight

    This past month, the NYMEX Business Conduct Committee (“Panel”) entered into a settlement with an entity to resolve alleged violations of Exchange Rule 526- Block Trades and two Market Regulation Advisory Notices, RA1326-4 and RA-1327-4, related to pre-hedging of block trades.  The settlement resulted in a fine of $50,000 and disgorgement of $51,315.60 in profits, as well as a $15,000 fine and 5-day suspension against the individual trader involved.

    Specifically, the Panel found that on four different trade dates the trader pre-hedged block trades by “trading on Globex prior to consummating the block trade with the counterparty.”  The hedge was placed after soliciting but before consummating the block trade and locked in a profit.  The trader also failed to timely report two of the block trades. (more…)

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