The Louisiana Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit, in Rainbow Gun Club, Inc., et al. v. Denbury Resources, Inc., et al., recently affirmed a trial court ruling that imposed liability on SKH Energy Partnership, LP (SKH), a former lessee of mineral interests, for a one-fourth share of more than $10 million in damages. (more…)
On June 17, 2016, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied review of an appellate decision effectively terminating efforts by the St. Tammany Parish government and a group of citizens to block Helis Oil & Gas from drilling an exploratory well in the parish. (more…)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently issued an opinion ruling in favor of Cameron International Corporation and certifying a question to the Texas Supreme Court on issues arising out of an insurance dispute filed against Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc. In its ruling, the court considered several issues connected to Liberty’s refusal to fund a settlement between Cameron and BP and Liberty’s refusal to waive subrogation against BP. (more…)
The Energy Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation recently published a new book entitled, The Shale Energy Revolution: A Lawyer’s Guide. In this publication, the authors explore legal issues arising from the shale gas industry. (more…)
The Town of Abita Springs filed a suit on December 1, 2014, seeking a declaratory judgment to block the drilling of an oil and gas well about 40 miles north of New Orleans into the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale. Earlier this year, Helis Oil & Gas Company, LLC requested and obtained a unitization order from the Louisiana Office of Conservation. In September 2014, Helis applied for a permit to drill, and the Office of Conservation held a public hearing in November but has not yet issued the permit. The new suit contends that the construction of a well pad and related structures, along with the well itself, will violate local zoning ordinances as the site has been zoned for residential use. Moreover, the suit contends that the drilling activities will cause detrimental impacts to the surrounding residential areas and a high school located near the proposed site. Finally, the town alleges that the well may pose a “risk of contamination” to an aquifer that serves as a source of drinking water for the town. (more…)
A jury in Dallas County, Texas, awarded nearly $3 million on April 22, 2014, in a suit contending that Aruba Petroleum, Inc., as well as other operators and service providers, had caused “environmental contamination and polluting events” through its drilling, hydraulic fracturing and production activities. In Parr v. Aruba Petroleum, Inc., a jury in Texas’ Dallas County Court-at-Law heard evidence that due to the operation of some 22 wells within two miles of a 40-acre ranch owned by Bob and Lisa Parr, the plaintiffs and their daughter had experienced a number of health problems and suffered property damage. (more…)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed course on August 29th and withdrew its earlier opinion in a dispute involving Transocean Deepwater Drilling, Inc., Ranger Insurance, Limited, and BP, P.L.C., among others, arising from the Deepwater Horizon incident. (more…)
The issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, continues to be an integral part of the debate over national energy policy. With the release on January 4th of the movie Promised Land, it does not appear the debate will subside any time soon. Matt Damon, one of the movie’s stars, has stated in at least one interview that the “jury” remains out on what the science will say about fracking. Nevertheless, a survey of recent case law indicates that judges appear to be less than impressed with the claims brought thus far. For more information about legal disputes involving fracking, see a recent National Law Journal article by clicking here.