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Tax Reform Extends Credits for Renewable Energy Companies
Moss Adams LLP, April 2018

  The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (Budget Act), which was signed into law February 9, 2018, extends the production tax credit (PTC) and investment tax credit (ITC) that previously applied to only wind and solar companies to other renewable energy resources. Background Under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act), which President Obama signed into law in 2015, PTCs and ITCs were extended for wind and solar companies...

Renewable Energy Guide
Moss Adams LLP, April 2018

Opportunities & Challenges It’s an exciting time with extraordinary potential for investors in renewable energy projects. Public support has never been higher and the majority of the largest companies in the United States continue to set increasingly ambitious clean energy targets...

Transfers of Norwegian Petroleum Licences: Is Government Approval Regime Tightening?
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, April 2018

An increased number of corporate transactions and mergers have been observed in the oil and gas sector on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) in recent years. Several oil majors and traditional utilities and down stream companies have reduced their presence and, to some extent, been replaced by smaller companies, including start-ups backed by private equity...

South African High Court Rules That B-BBEE Mining Deals Do Not Need To Be Topped Up
ENSafrica, April 2018

Earlier this year, a full bench of the High Court of South Africa made a ground breaking ruling on the recognition of the continuing consequences of previous broad-based black economic empowerment (“B-BBEE”) ownership transactions in the mining industry...

CENACE Announces Call to Bid for the Fourth Long-Term Power Auction in Mexico
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2018

On March 15, 2018, the National Center for Energy Control (“CENACE”) announced the fourth long-term auction for the purchase and sale of power, capacity, and clean energy certificates. The term of the contracts for power and capacity will be 15 years while the term for clean energy certificate contracts will be 20 years. The standard commercial operation date of the power generation projects awarded under the auction is scheduled for January 1, 2021...

Plans for New US$1.7 Billion Power Transmission Line in Mexico
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2018

On February 13, 2018, Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (“CFE”) announced the bidding process for its Ixtepec Potencia – Yautepec Potencia Transmission Line in Oaxaca (“Project”). The transmission lines will cross the following states: State of Mexico, Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca, Mexico City and Veracruz. The estimated investment is US$1.7 billion and it will have a transmission capacity of 3,000 MW at a voltage level of 500 kV...

Law that Introduces Modifications to the Regulatory Framework that Rules Water on Inspection and Sanctions Matters
Carey, February 2018

Earlier this year, and five years after being presented before the National Congress, Law 21,064 that “Introduces modifications to the regulatory framework that rules water on inspection and sanctions matters”, was enacted and published in the Official Gazette (Bulletin 8149-09) (the Law). The main modifications introduced by the Law to the current regulatory framework are the following: 1...

Mexico: Guidelines for Interconnection of Power Plants and Connection of Load Centers
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2018

On February 9, 2018, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) published in the Official Federal Gazette the “Guidelines for Interconnection of Power Plants and Connection of Load Centers” (Manual para la Interconexión de Centrales Eléctricas y Conexión de Centros de Carga)...

Mexico: Bid Round 2.4 Results
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2018

On January 31, 2018 the National Hydrocarbons Commission (“CNH”) conducted the long-awaited event for submission and opening of bids for the Deep Water “Round 2.4” E&P license contracts. The bid round comprised 29 offshore deep waters blocks and the overall result was very successful for Mexico...

Mexico: Round Three – Second Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

The National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) published the call for the second bid of Round 3 on January 25, 2018. This new bid round (Round 3...

A Comparison of Non-Operator’s Rights Under the Joint Operating Agreement 1982 and 1989 Model Forms
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

Companies looking to purchase non-operating working interests will review longstanding operating agreements, or negotiate the terms of new operating agreements, to ensure that appropriate non-operator rights are present and enforceable...

Reality Check – Political and Economic Realities Hamper Efforts to Reopen U.S. Waters to Offshore Drilling
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

On January 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of the Interior ("Department") announced its draft proposal of the 2019-2024 Outer Continental Shelf ("OCS") Oil and Gas Leasing Program that would reopen nearly all federal waters to offshore leasing for new oil and gas operations...

Mexico’s Ministry of Energy Issues New Guidelines for the Wholesale Power Market in Mexico
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2018

In January 2018, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) published several Guidelines as part of the applicable rules for the Wholesale Power Market (“WEM”) in the Federal Gazette. This Haynes and Boone alert is important to all participants of the WEM, including qualified users, suppliers, marketers, non-suppliers and generators. 1...

Serbian Commission Fines Another Bid Rigging Cartel
Karanovic & Nikolic, January 2018

The Serbian Competition Commission (the "Commission") recently fined four undertakings for bid rigging in the public procurement for the maintenance of train wagons. The contracting authority, the "Nikola Tesla" power plant, which represents the largest electricity-producing complex in Serbia, informed the Commission about possible collusion in public procurement for repair services for the train wagons it uses in coal transportation...

Renewable Energy Updates - Japan
Atsumi & Sakai, December 2017

As of late this year [1], the Agency of Natural Resources and Energy announced that it has issued deadlines for the submission of renewable energy application documents, etc. based on the FIT Act in FY 2017. Upon submission of these applications, etc. they will be reviewed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), however, every year, the review process tends to be stalled because of the large number of applications submitted at the end of the ?scal year...

Fuels Storage Public Policy
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

Mexico maintains a minimum strategic storage inventory of crude oil and refined oil products, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, to guarantee market supply for a determined period of time. Under Article 80 Section II of the Hydrocarbons Law, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) has the authority to issue public policies to determine the required strategic storage volumes...

Mexico: SENER Announces Major Baja Transmission Line Bidding Process
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

On December 7, 2017, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) announced the first bidding process for the financing, installation, maintenance, management, and operation of the Baja California Electric System interconnection with the National Grid (“National Grid”). This is the first power transmission project allowing private participation in power transmission lines in Mexico. The estimated investment will be US$1.1 billion...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, November 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, December 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican energy reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during November 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies and power generators, traders and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons November 8, 2017...

Romanian Government Approves Draft Law on Mining Activities
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen, November 2017

The Romanian Government has recently approved a draft law on mining activities that is intended to replace the existing law. In order to be enacted, the draft law needs to pass the Parliament test, which means that it will not come into force this year. In addition, the draft can suffer many changes in the parliamentary proceeding...

Mexico: Outage Scheduling Guidelines
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

On November 13, 2017, the Ministry of Energy (“SENER”) published the Outage Scheduling Guidelines (Manual de Programación de Salidas) (“Guidelines”), establishing the principles of calculation, instructions, rules and procedures that Market Participants, Transporters and Distributors shall observe to schedule their outages and obtain the corresponding authorizations from CENACE; as well as the criteria that CENACE must follow to schedule mid-term outages an

E&P Companies and the OCC’s Leverage Test – October 2017 Update
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

In August 2016, we reviewed publicly available data for a group of 58 E&P companies and predicted how they would fare under the leverage test that had, at the time, recently been introduced by the OCC.Based on that review, we predicted that, in 2016, over 91 percent of the companies reviewed would be non-passing credits under the OCC’s leverage test. The average leverage ratio of the E&P companies reviewed in 2016 was 6.0x...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, September-October 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, November 2017

During the months of September and October 2017, new regulations and administrative guidelines in the Mexican energy sector were issued. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies, power generators, traders, developers and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons September 5, 2017. NOM-167-SEMARNAT-2017...

Design Risk: What Have You Agreed?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

Contractual negotiations for ships and offshore units commonly involve commercial, legal, and technical teams negotiating different parts of the contract. It is however crucial that before the contract is signed, it is read as a whole to ensure consistency in a party’s obligations throughout the contract. The English Supreme Court’s judgment in MT Højgaard A/S v. E...

Norwegian Continental Shelf - A New Dawn for EPC Alliance Contracts?
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, October 2017

Following the collapse of oil prices – from their peak of an average of $112 per barrel to their lowest point of $28 per barrel - a significant number of developments became commercially unviable. During the lowest period, oil prices were substantially lower than the breakeven price of most new developments...

Nobilis-Maximino - Fifth Pemex Farmout Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

On September 18, 2017, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos) (“CNH”) called an international public bid for the selection of a partner for Pemex Exploración y Producción (“Pemex”) to pursue exploration and production activities in the Nobilis-Maximino field, located in deep waters in the Perdido Belt in the Gulf of Mexico...

Mexico: Round Three – First Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

The Mexican government announced on September 28, 2017 the first bid of Round 3. This will be the sixteenth upstream bid round in Mexico since the enactment of the energy reform in mid-2014. The new bid round (named Round 3...

Tenth Circuit Dismisses Litigation Over Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule
Haynes and Boone, LLP, October 2017

Earlier this year, the Tenth Circuit dismissed two appeals in connection with the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) Final Rule implementing its regulations imposing new standards and obligations on hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands (“Fracking Rule”). The appeals had been filed challenging the district court’s prior ruling that struck down the rule in the face of industry, state, and tribal challenges...

Power to the People – Opening the Gates to Shareholder Activism
TSMP Law Corporation, October 2017

Noble Group continues to draw fire from Iceberg Research more than two years after the short-selling firm first accused the listed commodities trader of questionable accounting practices. In August this year, Iceberg renewed its criticism of the group, but expanded its crosshairs to include Singapore's regulators...

Summary of Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, July-August 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican energy reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during July-August 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies and power generators, traders and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector...

BIVA – The New Mexican Stock Exchange
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

On August 29, 2017, the Mexican Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público) grantedCentral de Corretajes(“CENCOR”) a new concession to operate a new stock exchange in Mexico. This new stock exchange will be calledBolsa Institucional de Valores(“BIVA”). It is anticipated that BIVA will initiate operations in early 2018...

Court of Appeals Judgment could have Fundamental Impact on Europe's Bedrock Gas Supplier
Simonsen Vogt Wiig AS, September 2017

Earlier this year the Borgarting Court of Appeal rendered its judgment in Gassled, a case of major importance for the upstream Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) industry, natural gas buyers in Europe; and the Norwegian government, as resource owner and NCS regulator. If the judgment becomes final and binding, it will benefit the European gas supply. However, it may be a rude awakening for institutional investors in NCS infrastructure...

Mexican Ministry of the Environment Publishes Guidelines for Protection and Conservation of Waters in Unconventional Blocks
Haynes and Boone, LLP, September 2017

The Ministry of Energy has announced that before the end of the Peña Nieto Administration on December, 2018, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) will call the fifth bid of Round 2 (commonly known as Bid 2.5) for the award of exploration and production contracts for onshore blocks, which will include unconventional or shale blocks...

Mexico: Round Two – Fourth Public Bid
Haynes and Boone, LLP, July 2017

The Mexican government announced, on July 19, 2017, the fourth bid of Round Two. This will be the 14th upstream bid round in Mexico since passage of the energy reform in mid-2014. The new bid round (named Round 2.4) comprises 30 offshore blocks for exploration in the Perdido Belt, the Salina Basin, the Mexican Ranges (Cordilleras Mexicanas), and the Yucatán Platform in the Gulf of Mexico, covering collectively 70,844 km2, with prospective resources of approximately 4...

The Third Energy Package - What The Macedonian Electricity Market Needs?
Karanovic & Nikolic, July 2017

Two and a half years after the expiry of the deadline for the implementation of the Third Energy Package, the Macedonian authorities seem eager to finalise this process in the near future. The new draft legislation has been in the pipeline for quite some time, but until now its adoption was postponed due to different reasons...

Upcoming Mexico Anti-Corruption Law: What Does it Mean for Companies Doing Business in Mexico?
Haynes and Boone, LLP, July 2017

Two years ago, Mexico began a process to completely change the legal framework regulating anti-corruption in the country. On May 27, 2015, a Constitutional amendment was published in the Official Gazette of the Federation to create the new framework against corruption...

Tanzania Overhauls Legal and Regulatory Regime for the Extractive Industry
ENSafrica, July 2017

Tanzania has enacted three pieces of legislation that introduce sweeping changes to the legal and regulatory regime governing the natural resources extractive industry...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, May-June 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, July 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican energy reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during May and June 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, midstream companies, power generators, traders and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons May 2, 2017...

Making The Most Of Leaner Times: A Contractor’s Guide to Common English Law Issues
Haynes and Boone, LLP, July 2017

Contractors who are managing to continue to operate in the offshore oil and gas sector have had some time to adjust their business models and modes of operation to the new commercial realities resulting from the lower oil price. However, the radically different economic circumstances of recent years continue to manifest themselves in challenging commercial scenarios quite unlike those experienced in the better times when the oil price was significantly higher...

Latest Development on BOEM’s Program for Financial Assurance Under NTL 2016-N01
Haynes and Boone, LLP, June 2017

On June 22, 2017, BOEM announced that, in light of the recent order of the Secretary of the Interior concerning its recent NTL 2016-N01 establishing a new program for financial assurance for decommissioning liabilities on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), it will extend the NTL implementation timeline beyond June 30, except in circumstances where there is a substantial risk of nonperformance of the interest holder’s decommissioning liabilities...

What you need to know about the 2017 Mining Charter
ENSafrica, June 2017

The Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane (the “Minister”) recently gazetted the Broad-Based Black Socio-Economic Empowerment Charter for the South African Mining and Minerals industry, 2017 (the “2017 Mining Charter”), which comes into effect on the date of publication...

Supreme Court of Texas Holds that an Operator Can Drill Through an Adjacent Mineral Estate
Haynes and Boone, LLP, June 2017

In a recent decision concerning off-site drilling, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the San Antonio Court of Appeals1 and held that an oil and gas operator could drill through the mineral estate underlying an adjacent tract of land without the adjacent mineral lessee’s permission. Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P Onshore LLC, No. 15-0910, 2017 Tex. LEXIS 463, --- S.W.3d --- (Tex. May 19, 2017)...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector
Haynes and Boone, LLP, April 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican Energy Reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, power generators and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons March 6, 2017.Ayín-Batsil Farmout...

The Covenants May Not Run, But Sabine’s Ruling Won’t Hide
Haynes and Boone, LLP, March 2017

In the most recent ruling arising from the now infamous Sabine case (In re Sabine Oil & Gas Corp., 547 BR 66 (Bankr. SDNY 2016)), in which New York bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman held in favor of Sabine Oil & Gas Corp...

Amendments to the Gas Service Law in Chile and Other Legal Provisions Enter Into Force
Carey, March 2017

The Law that “Amends the Gas Service Law and other legal provisions” (hereinafter, the “New Law” ) entered into force on February 9, 2017. The purpose of the New Law is to fill in the legal gaps existing in a market that, according to the parliamentary discussion, needs to improve the level of competition among their different actors...

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Withdraws Contentious Sole Liability Orders for More Review
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2017

On February 17, 2017, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) withdrew its December 2016 orders requiring sole liability properties to provide additional security in the form of supplemental bonds for plugging, abandoning, and decommissioning Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”) wells, platforms and other facilities...

UPDATE: U.S. Prudential Regulators and EU (EMIR) Relief Guidance Issued on March 1st Variation Margin Deadline
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2017

U.S. Prudential Regulators and European Supervisory Authorities Follow CFTC in Issuing Regulatory Guidance Regarding March 1, 2017 Variation Margin Deadline, But Relief is “Risk” Based Last week we issued an alert advising of No-Action Letter 17-11 issued on February 13, 2017 by the U.S...

CFTC Variation Margin Rule No Action Relief
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2017

CFTC Issues No-Action Relief to September 1, 2017 for Variation Margin Rule for Uncleared Swaps, But for Swap Dealers under Prudential Regulators’ VM Rule the March 1, 2017 Deadline Remains On February 13, 2017, the Staff of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) issued time-limited no-action relief (Letter No...

Updates and Highlights in the Mexican Energy Sector, December 2016-January 2017
Haynes and Boone, LLP, February 2017

As part of the implementation of the Mexican energy reform of 2013, several new regulations and administrative guidelines affecting the hydrocarbons and power industries were issued during December 2016 and January 2017. These are of particular importance to oil and gas producers, power generators and others looking to invest or expand operations in Mexico’s dynamic energy sector. I. Hydrocarbons December 2, 2016. Open season exemptions for natural gas pipelines...

Falling out of the GAAP: Recent SEC Staff Comments on Energy Companies’ Non-GAAP Financial Measures Disclosures
Haynes and Boone, LLP, January 2017

In May 2016, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) added new Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”) to the existing catalog of C&DIs that addresses disclosures of“non-GAAP financial measures...

EUR 2.6 Million Fine Imposed On The Electricity Distribution Company By The Competition Commission
Karanovic & Nikolic, December 2016

The Competition Commission found that the company EPS Distribucija, the only operator of the electricity distribution network in Serbia, abused its dominant position in the market of electricity distribution in Serbia. The abuse consists of applying dissimilar conditions to equivalent transactions with trading parties, whereby some of those trading parties have been placed at a competitive disadvantage in comparison to their competitors...

 

 

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