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In January, the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal reinstated a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) back in April 3, 2017 to allow a new pipeline, reversing the district court that ordered the DNR to reevaluate the possible environmental effects.  Joseph v. Sec’y, La. Dep’t of Nat. Res., 18-414 (La.

The federal Fifth Circuit recently signaled its continued skepticism of permitting class certification for royalty owners.  In Seeligson v. Devon Energy Production Company, L.P., No. 17-10320, 2018 WL 5045671 (5th Cir. Oct. 16, 2018), a group of royalty owners in the Barnett Shale in Texas alleged that Devon Energy Production Company, L.P. breached its

As a sustained upward trend in U.S. shale growth continues, industry analysts predict it will offset the current production problems in the near future.  In recent months the energy market has been heavily influenced by a series of demand-side developments, and investors are continuing to monitor the escalating trade conflicts between the United States and

On June 27, 2018, the Louisiana Supreme Court resolved two important questions of Louisiana law over the scope of liability for breaches of mineral leases and over the maximum liability for unpaid royalties.  In Gloria’s Ranch, L.L.C. v. Tauren Exploration, Inc., No. 2017-C-1518 (La. 6/27/18), the Louisiana Supreme Court held (1) that a mineral

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision on employers’ ability to include mandatory and individualized arbitration clauses in contacts with their employees.  The issue came before the high court in cases from the Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits.  See Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, Docket No. 16-285 (May

This month, the Fifth Circuit en banc unanimously set aside prior precedent and adopted a “simpler, more straightforward test” for determining whether a contract relating to oil or gas activities on navigable waters constitutes a maritime activity.  In re Larry Doiron, Inc., No. 16-30217, 2018 WL 316862 (5th Cir. Jan. 8, 2018) (en banc). 

In an important case of first impression, the federal Fifth Circuit has just affirmed that contractors cannot be criminally prosecuted for violations of various safety regulations under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA). See United States v. Moss, No. 16-30561 (5th Cir. Sept. 27, 2017).  This decision has broad implications—both in the criminal

On May 30, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought by an environmental group accusing the U.S. Forest Service of ignoring the environmental impact of natural gas drilling in the Ozark National Forest that was approximately 860% above what its prior analysis assumed.  Without addressing the merits

On February 7, 2017, a Texas appellate court ruled that the city of Dallas must face a $200 million lawsuit filed back in 2014, where a driller alleged that the city acted improperly by entering into a mineral lease with the company and then denying it permits to drill—effectively rendering the lease worthless. See City