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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 June 9, 2017, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a final rule amending certain regulations in 30 CFR Part 250 to extend the time that an Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease remains in effect after cessation of production or other operations to one year.

Under the previous regulations, an OCS lease

The Bureau of Ocean Management (BOEM) announced that it will withdraw its orders issued in December 2016 to provide additional security for sole-liability properties to Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas lease and grant holders.  “Sole-liability properties” are leases, rights of way (ROWs) and right of use easements (RUEs) for which there are no

The Commissioner of Conservation is the head of the Office of Conservation, a division of the Department of Natural Resources and the agency with primary regulatory responsibility for oil and gas operations in Louisiana.  As the Office of Conservation is a state agency, actions taken by the Commissioner are subject to the usual rules and

On July 14, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published a long-awaited Notice to Lessees and Operators (NTL) implementing new financial security requirements (NTL No. 2016-N01 dated July 12, 2016).  The NTL was issued to “clarify the procedures and criteria that BOEM Regional Directors use to determine if and when additional security

By a vote of 4-3 on Friday, June 17, 2016, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied writs in reviewing the First Circuit’s decision upholding the Commissioner of Conservation’s permit to Helis Oil & Gas Company, LLC to drill an oil and gas well in St. Tammy Parish over the objection of the parish government.  We reported

Earlier this week, the Staff of the Louisiana Office of Mineral Resources posted its final proposed version of the New State Lease Form.

Over the last several months, Gordon Arata lawyers have spoken with and met with the Mineral Board’s Staff and revised and commented on numerous drafts of the proposed new lease form.