Bracewell's Oil & Gas Regulatory Group 2020 Top 10 Highlights
Oil & Gas RegulatoryGroup Top 10 Highlights
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Oil & Gas Regulatory Group Top 10 Highlights In 2020, we handled exciting and important projects for industry leaders such as DTE Midstream, Enterprise Products, Kinder Morgan, Pembina, Phillips 66, Tallgrass/Rockies Express, Targa Resources, TC Energy and many others. Some of our favorite projects included:
1. Rockies Express Pipeline LLC — we represented Rockies Express in a hotly contested proceeding at FERC, obtaining favorable orders providing unprecedented findings that modification or abrogation of firm transportation service agreements would not be in the public interest. These orders, issued in advance of Gulfport Energy Corporation’s bankruptcy, allowed FERC to rule on the merits before being barred by the automatic stay upon Gulfport’s filing and provide support for Rockies Express to oppose Gulfport’s efforts to reject in bankruptcy the contracts under which Gulfport still owes Rockies Express approximately $800 million in fees. Bracewell currently represents Rockies Express in Gulfport’s bankruptcy proceeding. 2. Phillips Pipeline LLC and Phillips 66 Company — we successfully defended Phillips Pipeline and Phillips 66 against a high profile, emergency petition and fast track complaint filed by NGL SupplyWholesale, LLC (NGL) at FERC. NGL’s complaint alleged that Phillips Pipeline’s prorationing policy was unduly discriminatory and Phillips Pipeline and Phillips 66 had colluded to prevent NGL from procuring propane during the winter months. Among other things, NGL’s jurisdictional issues. FERC ruled in favor of Phillips Pipeline and Phillips 66, dismissing all of NGL’s material claims and setting one smaller issue for hearing (which issue NGL withdrew). Bracewell is now representing Phillips Pipeline and Phillips 66 in NGL’s appeal to the DC Circuit. 3. TC Energy Corporation — we represented TC Energy as US counsel in connection with the Government of Alberta’s $1.1 billion equity investment and $3.5 billion loan guarantee to support construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. At 1,210-miles in length, the pipeline will be capable of safely delivering 830,000 barrels per day (Bbl/day) of crude oil from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it will connect with TC Energy’s existing facilities to reach the US Gulf Coast refiners to meet critical needs for transportation fuel and useful manufactured products. complaint also alleged market manipulation, affiliate preference, and involved complex
2020 Chambers USA Ranked Bracewell’s Oil & Gas Regulatory Practice as Band 1 for the 6th consecutive year .
4. Jordan Cove LNG/Pacific Connector Pipeline — we are representing Pembina’s Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector in connection with a Petition for Declaratory Order at FERC seeking a finding that the Oregon Department of Natural Resources waived its Clean Water Act Section 401 rights by failing to act within the prescribed time period permitted for the state agency to act. The proceeding remains pending at FERC. 5. Permian Highway Pipeline LLC — we advised Permian Highway on a host of commercial and regulatory issues associated with the development of its new approximately $2 billion intrastate natural gas pipeline system in Texas, that consists of almost 430 miles of pipeline with capacity to transport up to 2 Bcf/d of gas. Bracewell also successfully represented Permian Highway in several high-profile state and federal court challenges by the Sierra Club and other project opponents, alleging that construction of the project should be halted on the basis that the pipeline has not obtained necessary federal and state permits and authorizations. Permian Highway commenced service in December of 2020. 6. Enterprise Products Partners L.P., Targa Resources Corp., and TC Energy Corporation — we represented each of these companies individually in connection with the proposed policy statement that FERC issued on October 15, 2020 pertaining to transportation agreements between liquids pipelines and their affiliates. Bracewell prepared comments on behalf of each company addressing concerns with the proposal that were filed at FERC. Subsequently, FERC withdrew its proposed policy statement.
7. Washington 10 Storage Corporation — we are representing DTE Midstream’s Washington 10 in connection with its efforts to obtain FERC authorization to transition from being a primarily state-regulated intrastate storage provider to a FERC-regulated interstate storage provider. Bracewell has represented Washington 10 in all aspects of this project, including the preparation and filing of a certificate application at FERC in May 2020. 8. Targa Resources Corp. — we are defending Targa against a complaint filed at FERC by Enerplus Resources (USA) Corporation, claiming that Targa is acting in violation of the Interstate Commerce Act in the performance of a crude oil purchase and sale agreement between Targa and Enerplus. Targa answered the complaint, arguing that it should be dismissed because the purchase and sale of crude oil is not subject to FERC jurisdiction. The proceeding remains pending before FERC, awaiting an order on the merits 9. Phillips 66 Company — we represented Phillips 66 as project counsel for the Gray Oak Project, a new crude oil pipeline project to bring crude oil from the Permian Basin in West Texas to market destinations in Corpus Christi and the Houston area, since project inception in 2017. In the first half of 2020, we represented the company in the regulatory process of commencing service on the project, including a new storage service that was added in response to market conditions resulting in part from the COVID-19 pandemic. This project has been highly anticipated and closely watched by the market due its status as a high capacity connection between the production areas of the Permian Basin and the diverse Texas Gulf coast refinery, storage, interconnection and export hubs. Gray Oak commenced initial interstate service in April 2020. 10. Targa Resources Corp. — we represented Targa in the preparation of transportation services agreements, tariff documentation, and regulatory matters in relation to an extension of its NGL pipeline system in Oklahoma. Following conclusion of the commercial agreements underpinning the pipeline extension, which would connect volumes fromWilliams’ Bluestem pipeline to Targa’s NGL fractionation center in Mont Belvieu, Texas, we advised Targa on regulatory and commercial pipeline development issues, including development of an initial rate structure based on a cost-of-service analysis and development of open season procedures. We also prepared and filed a successful Petition for Declaratory Order at FERC for approval of the service structure and terms and conditions of service.
CHAMBERS USA A leading firm with highly impressive expertise across the energy arena, particularly esteemed for its ability within the oil and gas regulatory space. Offers excellent capability in FERC and CFTC investigations, as well as representation of pipeline clients in FERC rate, tariff and jurisdictional matters. “Bracewell has a deep bench of experts who do a great job and provide a high level of attention and responsiveness. They are also willing to advocate strongly on the client’s behalf.” – Chambers USA (2020) THE LEGAL 500 Bracewell LLP handles a mix of transactional and standalone regulatory work in the oil and gas field, covering the full spectrum of upstream, midstream and downstream mandates. The team is at the forefront of pipeline infrastructure work and is experienced in issues involving both oil and gas pipelines. Senior team members frequently represent clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy (DoE), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and other state and federal regulatory agencies. The core team includes Washington DC office managing partner Mark Lewis, Kirk Morgan, David Perlman, Michael Brooks and George Fatula. All are based in Washington DC. “This team has deep knowledge on what makes our company commercially tick and never loses focus on that while rendering legal advice.” – Legal 500 (2020)
Oil & Gas Regulatory Group
Mark K. Lewis Managing Partner Washington, DC
D. Kirk Morgan II Partner Washington, DC
George D. Fatula Partner Washington DC
Michael W. Brooks Partner Washington, DC
Joshua Robichaud Associate Washington, DC
Kathryn F. Penry Associate Washington, DC
Brittney E. Justice Associate Washington, DC
Boris Shkuta Associate Washington, DC
Taylor M. Stuart Associate Washington, DC
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