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The past few years have seen some very visible and well publicized protests of pipelines, like the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.  In one of these protests, demonstrators in North Dakota chained themselves to construction equipment and pitched tents along the pipeline route.  The intent of these actions was obvious—to physically disrupt and delay

It has long been established that the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is under federal jurisdiction.  To this end, in 1953, Congress enacted the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) to govern activities on the OCS.  A key provision of the OCSLA provides that, while federal law generally applies, the adjacent State’s laws shall apply “[t]o

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