Bracewell’s energy focus—We Know Energy®—extends to our trial lawyers, who excel in disputes involving issues unique to the energy industry. In the oil and gas arena, we have fought and won cases involving joint operating agreements, development agreements, royalty disputes, title disputes, surface use agreements, environmental issues, damaged well bores, and oilfield intellectual property, including patents and trade secrets. Our power practice includes representing some of the largest power producers in the world in litigation and arbitrations throughout the United States and before state and federal regulatory bodies. From cross-border disputes to renewables, our team has addressed every major issue faced by the power industry.
Legal 500 (2016) remarked on the firm’s "stellar client base of leading energy companies," and Chambers USA (2016) reported our clients' respect for our "knowledge of the industry," characterizing Bracewell as "[a] leading firm with highly impressive expertise across the range of energy work."
Recent Notable Matters
Major chemical manufacturer — defense of owner of chemical manufacturing facility in cost allocation arbitration involving highly-complex Superfund site and consisting of 35 trial days over a four-month period before a three-member JAMS panel
NEXUS Gas Transmission, LLC — defense of FERC-certificated $2 billion interstate natural gas pipeline against multiple environmental and Natural Gas Act challenges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth and D.C. Circuits, including briefing and oral argument
BG Americas & Global LNG — In two related arbitrations, we established BG’s right not to pay for unused midstream transportation capacity, and the obligation of the operator to market all hydrocarbons produced.
Bluescape Resources Company — Representation in arbitrations arising out of the sale of oil and gas assets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia to companies owned by legendary Texas oil man Boone Pickens.
Eni Petroleum US LLC and Marubeni Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. — In a matter arising from oil and gas production at one of the largest oil and gas platforms in the world, the case involved a number of issues, including the use of “lift gas” in the production of Gulf of Mexico hydrocarbons, the contractual allocation of production handling capacity on the spar, such as compressors, dehydrators and separators, the weight available for the installation of a completion/workover rig, and the defendants’ alleged overuse of production handling equipment.
Eni S.p.A. — Bracewell defeated entirely a $6.4 billion claim against our client Eni for the value of an oil and gas concession off the coast of West Africa.
GDF Suez Energy North America — Participants in the U.S. energy futures derivatives market alleged that our client GDF Suez used its bidding strategy to manipulate the market, causing them to suffer tens of millions of dollars in damages. Bracewell conducted an aggressive defense of GDF, developing a comprehensive motion to dismiss that the district court granted in full.
Juno Energy LLC — Victory in the trial of an eight-figure title dispute involving oil and gas properties in West Texas. On the second day of trial, Bracewell secured a settlement with one party, and continued the trial against the remaining party. After a week-long bench trial, the judge ruled immediately after closing arguments that Juno had title to the property.
Layline Petroleum — Our client Layline Petroleum sold oil and gas interests to Wapiti Oil & Gas for $375 million; a dispute arose over the post-closing purchase price adjustment. In arbitration we prevailed on our opponent’s claim for a downward reduction, and in fact achieved an upward increase.
Powerex Corp. — The trading and marketing subsidiary of BC Hydro and Power Authority - In a series of litigation and appellate matters arising from the California energy crisis, defended claims in excess of $1 billion including related proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This litigation involved novel and complex issues arising under the Federal Power Act, as well as issues involving the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the North American Free Trade Act and the Columbia River Treaty.
PPL Montana — Prevailed in the arbitration of the sales price of the Kerr hydroelectric dam, a three-turbine dam constructed on tribal land in Montana. The arbitration was unique in the history of FERC licensed hydroelectric projects.
Seahawk Drilling — (successor in interest to Pride International) Defended claims arising from the loss of the Wyoming drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Ike. Claimed damages by various claimants in litigation exceeded $150 million.