Fluctuating supply and demand, extreme weather and ever-changing global economic conditions all contribute to the rise and fall of energy prices.
This volatility is both a constant and dominant challenge for the producers of oil, natural gas and coal. The difficulty of complying with evolving – and sometimes contradictory – local, state and federal regulations adds uncertainty and expense. Potential extraction sites may shrink with changing rules limiting construction near bodies of water. With pressure building to reduce carbon pollution under the federal Clean Power Plan, energy companies must adapt to create more energy from renewable sources. At the same time, ventures in solar, wind and other renewable energy forms are finding new opportunities and nuclear plants are facing their own set of challenges. Neighbors and activist groups also create uncertainty and expense for industry.
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr has worked with the rebirth of the Northeast's oil and gas industry, the discovery and development of vast shale reserves, as well as a continuing coal (and "noncoal") industry. We provide permitting, siting and compliance support, litigation and enforcement defense, public outreach advice, and regulatory and governmental affairs assistance. We have experience advising:
- Oil and gas well drillers
- Oil and gas companies
- Coal mining interests
- Renewable energy companies
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Energy Extraction Practice has a dozen lawyers in Pennsylvania with significant Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) experience. These lawyers include a former assistant attorney general and an assistant counsel who have handled numerous cases both on behalf of the commonwealth and private clients before the EHB. One of our lawyers spent three years as an assistant counsel to the EHB working closely with the judges of the EHB, writing adjudications, and attending dozens of trials before the board. Our EHB experience includes complicated multi-week trials involving oil and gas matters, as well as many other cases, all of which involved important direct testimony and cross examination of expert witnesses. In addition, we have substantial original jurisdiction and appellate experience before Commonwealth Court and appellate experience before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. We also have significant experience in the Courts of Common Pleas on oil and gas matters.
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When structuring an oil and gas transaction, the Hart-Scott-Rodino threshold is significantly higher than for other types, but there are exceptions.
These transactions often have tax partnerships within a group of assets and they must be considered in structuring and integration.
There are two specific confidentiality provisions that are unique to oil and gas transactions.
Change of operator provision can become important because if triggered, it can affect ownership.
A considerable amount of litigation can result from representations relating to gas imbalances, warranties and wells.
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The group includes attorneys who have received the following recognition:
- Chambers USA
- Super Lawyers