Energy Regulation, Markets and Enforcement > Natural Gas and Oil

We represent a broad range of natural gas and oil industry participants, including pipelines and their customers, gas gatherers and processors, gas storage companies, liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal developers, producers, marketers, industrial customers, local distribution companies, electric generators and other end users. We regularly counsel clients on issues arising under the Natural Gas Act (NGA), the Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA), the Oil Pollution Act, the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA), federal pipeline safety laws and federal and state environmental statutes. Members of our team represent oil and gas pipelines and their customers in a wide variety of matters, including the rates and terms and conditions of regulated service; obtaining regulatory permits required to develop gathering, storage, transportation and import/export facilities; and the negotiation of commodity purchase and sales agreements, transportation agreements, liquefaction and regasification agreements and hedging agreements.

Akin Gump lawyers have broad experience in federal and state gas and oil pipeline matters. A member of our team, while serving as general counsel and deputy general counsel of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), was responsible for reviewing all oil pipeline orders drafted for the Commissioners. Akin Gump has represented a wide variety of clients on oil pipeline matters before FERC and state regulatory agencies. Representative matters include:

Pipeline Safety

  • participating on a pipeline company’s incident management team during pipeline events and ruptures, which involved assisting with incident investigations; communicating information to the Department of Transportation (DOT), other stakeholders and the general public; preparing and submitting position statements to DOT and negotiating proposed fines and remedial actions; and implementing and documenting remedial actions
  • providing counseling on compliance with DOT requirements governing pipeline construction
  • providing advice on the design and operation of pipeline integrity inspection and testing practices and procedures in order to comply with the applicable DOT regulations
  • participating in the evaluation of pipeline emergency management protocols
  • reviewing proposed DOT regulations, providing advice on the impact of the proposals upon pipeline operations and assisting in preparing comments in rulemaking proceedings
  • counseling a local distribution company after a natural gas pipeline explosion on federal pipeline safety regulations and compliance issues
  • preparing a manual for compliance with federal pipeline safety requirements applicable to gathering lines
  • advising a producer/gatherer regarding federal and state pipeline safety requirements applicable to gathering and transmission pipelines
  • advising a producer/gatherer with respect to pipeline classification issues for federal pipeline safety purposes.

FERC Certificates

  • representing a gas producer on FERC certificate regulations applicable to the construction of an Alaska pipeline
  • representing a project developer in connection with the construction and operation of a natural gas pipeline project, originally designed to extend from a point on the United States/Canada international boundary in Lake Erie to an interconnection with the facilities of Consolidated Edison Company in Mount Vernon, New York
  • representing an interstate natural gas pipeline in connection with the proposed construction, operation and maintenance of a meter, a mainline tap and other appurtenant facilities for the receipt of natural gas from an LNG facility
  • representing an interstate natural gas pipeline in connection with three separate applications to construct and operate new lateral pipeline and appurtenant facilities to serve new electric power plants
  • representing an interstate natural gas pipeline in connection with a proposed expansion of its offshore and onshore interstate pipeline facilities
  • representing a gas storage company in connection with the development and operation of a new underground natural gas storage facility
  • representing a terminal developer in connection with a FERC application for an LNG regasification terminal and pipeline facilities
  • representing an interstate pipeline on regulatory issues related to the construction and operation of an LNG regasification terminal and related pipeline facilities
  • representing a gas gatherer in a FERC Presidential Permit proceeding for cross-border facilities and a related DOE proceeding for long-term import/export authorization
  • representing a terminal developer in connection with a MARAD deepwater port application for an offshore LNG regasification terminal
  • representing a foreign LNG terminal operator regarding regulatory approvals necessary for the construction and operation of pipeline facilities to transport natural gas to the United States
  • representing an interstate pipeline and various gas marketers in obtaining DOE import/export authorization
  • representing an interstate pipeline in connection with the construction of pipeline lateral and appurtenant facilities
  • representing a storage developer in connection with the development and operation of a new underground natural gas storage facility
  • representing a bidder in connection with a potential acquisition of an existing LNG import facility and proposed modifications thereof to allow exports of up to 2.8 BCF/day
  • representing a shipper in connection with an interstate natural gas pipeline’s application to expand the summer design capacity of its system
  • representing a potential shipper in connection with an application to construct and operate a new interstate natural gas pipeline system extending from Opal, Wyoming to Malin, Oregon
  • representing a gas marketer in certificate proceedings for pipeline and storage facility construction filed by pipelines on which it held capacity
  • representing a midstream company on FERC jurisdiction issues arising in connection with the purchase of pipeline facilities from an interstate pipeline
  • representing an interstate natural gas pipeline with respect to lateral expansion facilities
  • representing interstate and intrastate pipelines on a variety of NGPA section 311 issues related to transportation, storage and parking and lending matters.

Pipeline Rates and Terms and Conditions of Service

  • representing an interstate natural gas pipeline’s largest customer in an NGA Section 5 complaint to reduce general rates
  • representing a shipper in proceedings under Sections 4 and 5 of the NGA, at FERC and on appeal, to revise an interstate natural gas pipeline company’s general rates and to change the terms and conditions of firm gas transportation service
  • representing a shipper in settlement negotiations with an interstate natural gas pipeline company seeking to increase general rates pursuant to Section 4 of the NGA
  • preparing and litigating an application on behalf of a gas utility for a  $4.8 million increase in annual revenue requirements
  • filing and litigating an application on behalf of a local distribution company to recover $137 million in commodity costs
  • filing and litigating an application on behalf of a local distribution company to recover $149 million in commodity costs.
  • representing a shipper in connection with an interstate natural gas pipeline’s application to replace its existing FERC gas tariff in its entirety
  • representing a shipper in connection with an interstate natural gas pipeline’s application to close three existing rate schedules
  • representing a shipper in connection with an interstate natural gas pipeline’s request for approval of revised tariff sheets governing scheduling priorities and curtailment policies
  • representing a shipper in connection with an interstate natural gas pipeline’s request to revise the credit provisions in its tariff
  • representing a shipper in connection with an interstate natural gas pipeline’s request to revise the capacity release provisions of its tariff
  • representing a shipper in connection with an interstate natural gas pipeline’s request for approval of 107 nonconforming service agreements
  • obtaining state regulatory approvals of a local distribution company’s gas transportation strategy, physical gas procurement strategy and financial gas hedging strategy
  • submitting a compliance filing on behalf of an electric utility regarding the adequacy of its physical gas supplies
  • representing a local distribution company in connection with an investigation regarding natural gas hedging practices.

Oil Pipeline Matters

  • representing a shipper in FERC Quality Bank proceedings on the TAPS crude oil pipeline
  • providing regulatory advice to a developer of a common carrier crude oil pipeline and its marketing affiliate regarding structuring of business arrangements to minimize federal and state regulatory issues, and strategy for designing rates in accordance with ICA requirements
  • preparing FERC rules and regulations tariff and rate tariffs for shipments of crude oil over a common carrier pipeline and negotiating and drafting transportation service agreements
  • providing regulatory advice to a developer of a common carrier crude oil pipeline regarding state and federal jurisdiction of pipeline, terminal and dock facilities and assisting in drafting transportation service agreements
  • providing regulatory advice to a developer of common carrier pipelines into and out of storage facilities regarding compliance with ICA and state regulatory requirements
  • providing advice to a Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) regulated products pipeline regarding common carrier obligations
  • providing advice on oil supply, terminal (storage) and pipeline transportation contracts on refined products pipelines on behalf of an entity acquiring dual-fueled (oil and natural gas) electric generating plant
  • advising shippers regarding ICA, DOT and state regulatory requirements applicable to refined products and crude oil pipelines and pipeline shipments
  • preparing interventions and protests under the ICA at FERC on behalf of oil pipeline shippers regarding crude oil and refined products pipelines
  • advising a crude oil pipeline regarding scope of ICA jurisdiction and common carrier obligations
  • providing advice to crude oil and refined products pipelines regarding RRC rate, tariff and service issues
  • providing ICA regulatory advice to an entity considering acquiring an interstate natural gas pipeline and converting it to crude oil service
  • providing ICA regulatory advice to a crude oil pipeline regarding its common carrier obligations
  • advising an offshore crude oil pipeline in California on ICA and Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requirements; providing advice on various shipper issues; analyzing status of regulatory compliance; drafting new FERC tariff provisions and updating FERC tariffs
  • advising a financial institution on an ICA and state regulatory compliance issues related to the acquisition of an interest in a crude oil pipeline company regulated by FERC and the RRC
  • representing Trans-Alaska Pipeline in a rate case litigation before FERC and the Alaska Public Utility Commission under the ICA
  • advising a crude oil pipeline regarding quality bank issues to ensure ICA compliance
  • representing a crude oil pipeline in connection with an application to revise the terms and conditions of transportation service in compliance with ICA requirements.
  • advising shippers on crude oil and refined products pipelines regarding their rights and remedies at FERC under the ICA and at the RRC under Texas statutes
  • negotiating a refined products pipeline storage and throughput agreement on behalf of an oil marketer
  • analyzing FERC crude oil and refined products pipeline tariffs and advising shippers on proration issues
  • advising an entity seeking to acquire an oil refinery on ICA and RRC regulatory issues and analyzing existing contracts as part of due diligence review
  • advising an entity seeking to acquire a FERC-regulated crude oil pipeline on ICA regulatory compliance and tariff issues
  • representing a crude oil pipeline in ICA complaint proceeding at FERC against another crude oil pipeline
  • advising an oil and gas producer on RRC regulatory requirements and obtaining necessary permits on an expedited basis

Transactions

  • representing natural gas pipeline and storage companies and LNG companies in the construction and operation of major pipeline, storage and LNG facilities
  • representing natural gas and oil companies in contract negotiations involving commodity and transportation service agreements
  • representing underwriters in securities issuances and debt offerings by natural gas and oil companies regarding FERC regulatory risks
  • representing an interstate pipeline company in the divestiture of a FERC-regulated offshore pipeline system
  • representing a client in connection with the divestiture of pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico
  • representing clients in connection with acquisitions of gathering and transportation facilities.