Electric Transmission and Distribution Utilities and FERC COVID-19 Relief

On March 13, 2020, President Trump deemed the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States a national emergency as of March 1, 2020. [1] Due to the pandemic, certain electric transmission and distribution public utilities have experienced electricity demand that differs from projections. In addition, some state regulators took steps to provide relief to certain consumers. At the federal level, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (“NERC”) issued guidance in March 2020 that it will consider the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to be an acceptable basis for non-compliance with certain NERC...

Nigerian Marginal Fields: New Bid Round and New Guidelines

Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (“ DPR ”) announced on 1 June 2020 the launch of a new marginal field bid round. Fifty-seven marginal fields have been made available, being a mix of onshore, swamp and shallow-offshore fields. The DPR also released new guidelines covering the bid process, the award and farm-out of marginal fields and their operation (“ Guidelines ”). We consider the essential features of marginal fields – a somewhat complex arrangement of law, regulation and practice – along with the significant requirements of the 2020 bid process and new Guidelines, and the...

FERC Proposes To Limit Availability Of Tariff Waivers

At its May 21, 2020 meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC” or “Commission”) issued an order soliciting comments on a proposed policy statement respecting the waiver of tariff requirements. [1] As discussed further below, the proposed policy statement represents a marked change relative to FERC’s existing practices on tariff waivers and, if adopted, would limit the circumstances in which an entity would be able to obtain waiver of a tariff provision to excuse actions or omissions occurring prior to the submission of a petition for relief. When issuing the proposed policy,...
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LNG lockdown lessons: what next for the LNG industry post-COVID?

Despite the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and low LNG prices, the future is bright for LNG. Bracewell considers the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lessons for the LNG sector and how the LNG SPAs of the future may be adapted so the LNG industry can continue to thrive. An industry in turmoil The LNG industry was already dealing with more than its fair share of challenges when it was thrown further off course by the “double whammy” of reduced energy demand due to the steep decline in economic and industrial activity triggered by COVID-19 and the plunge in LNG prices caused by...

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Guidance

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC” or “Commission”) Division of Enforcement (“Division”) today issued “ Civil Monetary Penalty Guidance ” regarding factors staff will consider when recommending civil monetary penalties to the Commission. The guidance tracks with prior guidance and current practices but can serve as a helpful resource for measuring and mitigating enforcement risk. The guidelines identify three broad categories of factors staff considers: 1. Gravity of the Violation The Division will consider the (a) nature and scope of the violation (e.g., duration and degree of...
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