A new regime for Nigerian upstream royalty rates

What has happened? Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has taken the final steps to pass a new law amending the country’s upstream royalty rates applying to offshore and certain inland areas. The Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts (Amendment) Bill (“ Amendment ”) quickly passed through Nigeria’s National Assembly and was returned to the President for his assent. What does it cover? The Amendment makes changes to an existing law – the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract 1993 (“ Act ”). The Act establishes the legal framework for deep offshore and...

An Autumn Gleaning: Insights from October 2019 decisions in Kraft Foods, Vitol Manipulation Cases

For those interested in the contours of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) anti-manipulation authority, three October 2019 decisions in two pending cases create opportunities for continued litigation over the scope of the agencies’ authority. The reopening of the CFTC case against Kraft Foods and FERC’s assessment of civil penalties against Vitol Inc. create the opportunity for further judicial refining of the agencies’ rules. In the meantime, while these developments provide no new insights as to the substance of market...
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FERC Proposes Significant Reforms to its QF Regulations

On September 19, 2019, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) [1] proposing significant changes to FERC’s regulations governing qualifying facilities (“QFs”) [2] pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended (“PURPA”). [3] If implemented as proposed, the changes would significantly scale back some of the benefits afforded to many QFs, particularly small QFs. FERC considers the proposed changes appropriate due to changed circumstances since Congress enacted PURPA in 1978, including “sweeping...
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LNG in Europe: Current Trends, the European LNG Landscape and Country Focus

Overview This article provides an overview of current trends in the European LNG market, describes the status of the pan-Europe LNG landscape, and looks at recent activities in individual European LNG-importing countries. Current Trends in the European LNG Market Growth of LNG Supply to Europe: Global LNG trade is buoyant due to a wave of new sources of LNG supply. What were historically distinct, regional LNG markets are becoming increasingly interconnected as the global LNG market evolves and diversifies. Against this background, Europe’s LNG import terminals are gaining momentum and...

EPA Repeals Obama Rule Defining Waters of the U.S.

On Thursday, September 12, EPA General Counsel Matt Leopold announced EPA’s final rule repealing the 2015 Waters of the United States (“WOTUS”) Rule. Significantly, General Counsel Leopold did not announce the final replacement WOTUS Rule, which was proposed in February of this year; the replacement rule remains at the final rule stage as EPA revises the rule in light of public comment. A recent interview with Administrator Wheeler indicates that it will be a few months before the replacement rule is finalized. The 2015 WOTUS Rule, also called the Clean Water Rule , significantly extended the...
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