Offsite Drilling: Lightning Oil v. Anadarko and Its Potential Impact on Offsite Surface Use in Horizontal Drilling

As the global commodity price rout continues, operators have become hypersensitive to increasing efficiencies in order to lower break-even prices. Following a recovery in early 2016, oil prices have remained somewhat range-bound between roughly $45 and $55 per barrel for the past twelve months. [1] A corresponding decrease in service prices has offered some relief, but this alone has proven unsustainable for many producers to continue their current drilling plans. While the geological attributes of formations found in the Permian Basin offer unique opportunities to attain break-even prices in...

EPA Announces Reconsideration and Stay of Additional Parts of the Methane Rule

On May 26, 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a pre-publication notice that announced the reconsideration and a three-month stay to the effectiveness of certain portions of the 2016 rule establishing methane emissions standards for the oil and gas industry (“Methane Rule”). The Methane Rule applies to oil and gas facilities for which construction, modification, or reconstruction started after September 18, 2015. See 40 C.F.R. Part 60, Subpart OOOOa (40 C.F.R. § 60.5360a et seq. , adopted at 81 Fed. Reg. 35824 (June 3, 2016)). The May 26 notice granted reconsideration...

EPA Postpones Compliance Dates for More Stringent Requirements for Discharges from Coal Fired Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken two recent actions that have resulted in postponement of the compliance dates for more stringent requirements in the effluent limitations guidelines and standards for the steam electric power generating point source category originally published on November 3, 2015 (2015 Rule). This will allow EPA at least until August 12, 2017, to determine whether it will seek remand of any portions of the 2015 Rule. On April 12, 2017 the EPA filed a motion in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit requesting that ongoing litigation...

For Oil & Gas M&A, It’s a Buyers’ Market

For the majority of global oil and gas companies, 2016 was a tough year. Buffeted by depressed crude oil and natural gas prices, corporate profits were squeezed, sparking widespread restructurings, layoffs and in certain cases bankruptcies. In normal circumstances, such conditions would be a boon for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity. But uncertainty over the length and severity of the commodity price downturn created a value mismatch between buyers and sellers. The result was a moribund M&A market in the oil and gas sector. In fact, according to business advisory firm Deloitte,...

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