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

U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany has introduced the Ending Legacy Lawsuit Abuse Act (H.R. 6169), which is aimed at preventing forum-shopping by attorneys representing landowners in “legacy lawsuits” based on historical oil and gas operations.  The bill would amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to allow defendants to remove certain lawsuits implicating federal waters from

The internal tussle between Louisiana’s governor and attorney general over potential lawsuits against the oil and gas industry continues to rage.  On September 21, 2016, Governor John Bel Edwards reaffirmed that he continues to be in conflict with Attorney General Jeff Landry over the governor’s desire to sue the oil and gas industry for its

On April 1, 2016, I wrote about new legislation revamping federal energy pipeline rules and reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHSMA), the federal agency that oversees pipeline safety.  The legislation was ushered through the Congress with bipartisan support and a sense of urgency from numerous congressmen who felt that new regulations in

Louisiana Revised Statute 30:10, commonly referred to as the Risk Fee Statute, was amended during the 2016 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature.  The statute as amended took effect June 13, 2016.  The amendment expressly allows an operator of a commissioner’s unit to assert the risk fee penalty against a non-operator lessee by sending the

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

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) into law.  This Act creates a federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets and entitles the trade secret owner to pursue its claims in federal court.  Historically, employers and other trade secret owners were forced to file suit