Moeller: Rulemaking May Be Needed on Gas-Power Coordination

FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller Tuesday said a formal rulemaking may be required to resolve the inconsistencies in scheduling so that natural gas pipelines can better serve power generation markets. This is opposite of the opinion held by Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, who earlier this month suggested that a rulemaking was not the way to go (see Daily GPI, Sept.6).

September 19, 2012

BP Accused of ‘Gross Misconduct’ in Macondo Well Blowout

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed an objection to BP plc’s $7.8 billion preliminary settlement to resolve court claims following the blowout of the Macondo well in April 2010, saying that it plans to prove “gross negligence or willful misconduct” on the company’s part.

September 6, 2012

Industry Brief

Total Fina SA and its affiliates have agreed to pay the federal government $14.6 million plus interest to resolve claims that the companies underpaid royalties owed on natural gas produced from federal and American Indian lands. The settlement between the United States and Total Fina, Total Oil and Chemical Co., Total Minatome Corp., Total Exploration Production U.S.A. Inc., Fina Oil & Chemical Co., Elf Exploration Inc. and Total E&P USA Inc. covers the period from August 1986 to the present. The agreement arises from a lawsuit filed by Harold E. Wright under the Federal False Claims Act. Under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the act, a private citizen may file actions on behalf of the U.S. government and share in the recovery of funds. Because Wright is deceased, his heirs will receive $23,000 as part of their share of the settlement. The Total settlement and numerous agreements with other energy companies in recent years have returned approximately $280 million to the federal government and Indian lessors, said Greg Gould, the Interior Department’s acting deputy assistant secretary for Natural Resources Revenue.

February 23, 2012

Shell Offshore Pays $25M for Royalty Underpayments

Shell Offshore Inc. has agreed to pay $25 million to resolve claims that it underpaid royalties owed on oil and natural gas produced from federal leases, Interior Department’s Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) said Tuesday.

January 18, 2012

Court Approves $77.1M Settlement Resolving Claims Against Amaranth

A U.S. District Court judge has approved a $77.1 million settlement to resolve claims against Amaranth Advisors LLC, a hedge fund that collapsed in September 2006 after suffering $6 billion in market losses due to wrong-headed bets in natural gas futures.

December 22, 2011

Williams, ConocoPhillips Agree to Clean Air Act Fines

Williams and ConocoPhillips have agreed to pay fines totaling nearly $250,000 and reduce emissions from some facilities to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at the Southern Ute Reservation in Colorado’s San Juan Basin near Durango, CO, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

November 7, 2011

Pennsylvania Impact Fee Delayed Again

Pennsylvania lawmakers approached Halloween hoping to bring drilling impact fee legislation to the Senate floor before the end of October, but after failing to resolve major issues over the weekend they now hope to pass a bill before Thanksgiving.

November 2, 2011

Subcommittee Hears Criticism of BLM Oil Shale Impact Review

An environmental impact review on oil shale and tar sand plans in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming initiated earlier this year by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is an “inefficient and unnecessary” exercise, according to one Shell Exploration and Production (E&P) Co. official.

August 26, 2011

Shell Settles in Long-Running Royalty Case

Shell Oil Co. and some of its affiliates have agreed to pay the United States $2.2 million to resolve claims that they violated the False Claims Act by underpaying royalties owed on natural gas produced from federal leases. It is the latest settlement in a long-running whistle-blower case.

May 12, 2011

Range, Pennsylvania Township to Enter Mediation

Range Resources Corp. and a shale-rich township in southwestern Pennsylvania plan to enter mediation to resolve their difficulties.

April 18, 2011