Oilfield Supplier to Pay US$25 Million to Settle Economic Sanctions and Export Control Charges

The Texas-based oil and natural gas equipment company National Oilwell Varco, Inc., and its subsidiaries Dreco Energy Services, Ltd. (Dreco), and NOV Elmar (Elmar) (collectively NOV) recently settled potential civil penalties with the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and executed a nonprosecution agreement (NPA) with the U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas). NOV, which did not voluntarily disclose the alleged violations to the government, will pay a total of US$25 million to resolve the charges.

(more…)

, , ,

Sidley Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Vol. 5, No. 48

Topics discussed in this week’s Report include:

  • New leadership at EPA still to be chosen.
  • Oklahoma residents filed class action over earthquakes.
  • Canadian researchers suggested hydraulic fracturing drilling may be linked to increased seismic activity.

(more…)

Sidley Partner Ken Irvin and CFE’s Subdirector of Modernization Speak About International Energy Infrastructure Development

On Monday, November 14, 2016, Sidley Austin LLP Partner Ken Irvin discussed planning and coordinating international gas pipelines and infrastructure at this year’s annual Platts Mexican Energy Conference in Mexico City, Mexico. Ken was joined by Javier Gutierrez, Subdirector, Modernization and New Areas of Opportunity with Mexico’s state-owned electric utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (“CFE”). (more…)

,

Sidley Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Vol. 5, No. 47

Topics discussed in this week’s Report include:

  • BLM oil and gas rules challenged.
  • Environmental groups sued to block hydraulic fracturing in Pacific Ocean.
  • Interior Department cancelled oil and gas leases in Montana.
  • BLM canceled Colorado leases.
  • Ballot measures won in California and Ohio, failed elsewhere.
  • Permian oil drilling outpaced rest of U.S.

(more…)

Energy Enforcement Update

This week at FERC:

  • Coaltrain’s reply in support of its motion to dismiss FERC’s complaint in district court;
  • Administrative law professors file amicus brief on de novo review in Barclays case;
  • City Power replies to FERC regarding discovery in district court proceeding;
  • FERC to hold second technical workshop on data collection NOPR.

(more…)

, ,

Updates from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission

Trader pleads guilty to spoofing and wire fraud, and settles manipulation and spoofing case with CFTC.  On November 9, Navinder Singh Sarao pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois to one count of spoofing and one count of wire fraud related to the “flash crash” in 2010.  On the same day, the CFTC announced that it submitted a proposed Consent Order that would resolve its civil enforcement action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against Sarao.  The CFTC’s complaint charged Sarao, along with his company Nav Sarao Futures Limited PLC, with unlawfully manipulating and spoofing with regard to the E-mini S&P 500 near month futures contract (E-mini S&P).  In the proposed Consent Order, Sarao admits to the allegations in the CFTC complaint that Sarao: (a) successfully manipulated the E-mini S&P on at least 12 days between April 27, 2010 and March 10, 2014 (including the May 6, 2010 “flash crash” day); (b) attempted to manipulate the E-mini S&P tens of thousands of times between April 2010 and April 17, 2015; (c) placed tens of thousands of bids and offers that he intended to cancel before execution (i.e., spoof orders) between July 16, 2011 and April 17, 2015; and (d) employed or attempted to employ a manipulative device, scheme, or artifice to defraud in connection with his spoof orders between August 15, 2011 and April 17, 2015.  On November 17, Judge Andrea R. Wood approved the Consent Order against Sarao, which requires him to pay a $25,743.174.52 civil monetary penalty and $12,871,587.26 in disgorgement.  The Court’s order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against Sarao.

(more…)

, , ,

FERC releases 2016 Report on Enforcement and Two Enforcement White Papers

On November 17, FERC’s Office of Enforcement released its 2016 Report on Enforcement.  The Report shows continued focus on fraud and market manipulation, serious violations of mandatory Reliability Standards, anticompetitive conduct and conduct that threatens the transparency of regulated markets.

(more…)

, , ,

Sidley Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Vol. 5, No. 46

Topics discussed in this week’s Report include:

  • Changes in federal oil and gas policy likely in Trump administration.
  • Southern Ute Tribe assumed authority over hydraulic fracturing in tribal lands.
  • Oklahoma Corporation Commission responded to earthquake near Cushing.
  • Pennsylvania judge issued preliminary injunction enjoining certain of the state’s revised hydraulic fracturing regulations.
  • Wyoming report concluded that hydraulic fracturing likely did not cause contamination in Pavillion.

(more…)

Sidley Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Report

Vol. 5, No. 45

Topics discussed in this week’s Report include:

  • National Park Service released updated regulations governing nonfederal oil and gas rights on lands it manages.
  • Oklahoma Corporation Commission required wastewater injection wells to cease operations or reduce disposal volumes in response to seismic activity.
  • Environmental NGO issued report claiming that increased drilling in the Alpine High field would contaminate natural springs.

(more…)

FERC and ETRACOM File Joint Status Report in District Court Case

On October 24, FERC and ETRACOM filed a joint status report in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.  FERC argues that the court need not address discovery at this time because the proper and best mechanism for resolving this case is a motion to affirm designed to allow the court to review the administrative record supporting the FERC’s Order Assessing Penalties.  According to FERC, this approach is similar to the procedures adopted by Judge Nunley in the Barclays case before the same court.  On the other hand, ETRACOM argues that the “de novo” review proceeding is governed by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, so it is entitled to discovery and a trial as judges have ruled in FERC’s enforcement cases against Maxim Power and City Power.  ETRACOM attached as an exhibit its first request to FERC for production of documents, which it served to FERC on October 7.

, , ,