You may recall our report that the Supreme Court of Texas was to take up the question of whether an insurance policy required indemnification of over $100 million in defense costs related to the Macondo well blowout. The court has ruled in Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. Houston Casualty Company. Anadarko, the insured, prevailed on
Co-author Niloufar Hafizi
The Colorado oil and gas industry breathed a collective sigh of relief when the state Supreme Court announced its unanimous decision in Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission v. Martinez. The court sided with the Commission in rejecting a proposed rule by a group of teenage plaintiffs that would have precluded the …
Co-author Niloufar “Nikki” Hafizi
The 2012 Macondo Well blowout and Deepwater Horizon rig explosion gave rise to a slew of lawsuits. Our subject today is one of them. In Houston Casualty Company v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp. the Beaumont court of appeals construed an insurance policy’s excess liability coverage provision. At stake was whether Underwriters had to indemnify Anadarko for over $100 million in defense costs. In an opinion much-decried by energy companies, the court thought not.
The Texas Supreme Court will review the decision, so let’s look at what the court of appeals said. …
Occasionally we visit issues larger than one-off courthouse decisions. Here are a few selected stories on the extent to which fracking contributes to rising levels of methane and, maybe, to climate change. There are conflicting facts and opinions, so decide for yourself. If you find a tilt in one direction, we’re just levelling the field. See the last entry.…
In light of the adverse effects the storm, floods and tornadoes will have on oil and gas production, transportation and processing operations, we offer several bits of advice:
Winds and floods are among the very reasons for the seldom-invoked force majeure provisions of your oil and gas leases, operating agreements, transportation agreements and other contracts. If your operations are affected by the storm, study your contracts and be mindful of what you will need to do and when in order to invoke the protections force majeure clauses offer.…
Forest Oil Corporation v. El Rucio Land and Cattle Inc. et al deserves your attention for four reasons:
- You won’t see another one involving damage to a rhinoceros pen.
- It confirms that the Texas Railroad Commission does not have exclusive or primary jurisdiction over private claims for environmental contamination. Welcome to the courthouse.
- The South Texas redistributionist approach to civil justice includes arbitrations.
- For once, the Texas Supreme Court declined to eviscerate a multi-million dollar plaintiff victory.
It was a bad day for the Parrs in Aruba Petroleum v. Parr. The trial court judgment was against the operator for intentional nuisance. The Parrs recovered $2.9 million for pain and suffering and mental anguish and for loss of market value of their home caused by Aruba’s gas wells in Wise County, Texas. (See …
Will the rules be good or bad for America?
The President says good. Will it be as “good” as the ACA? While you decide …
You might recall previous entries discussing Parr v. Aruba (here is one) – a suit for personal injuries from oilfield pollution (and a $2.9MM verdict for the plaintiffs). Not all similar suits have the same result.
You could liken Cerny v. Marathon Oil and Plains Exploration & Production to a game of legal …