Practice/Industry Group Overview
Duane Morris attorneys understand the challenges of producing, transporting, storing and distributing natural gas to businesses and consumers in the United States and around the world. Duane Morris offers strategic legal and business counsel to the entire spectrum of participants in the natural gas, LNG and biogas business cycle. We represent producers, gatherers, processors, storage providers, marketers, intrastate and interstate pipelines, local distribution companies and large consumers at the FERC, the California Public Utilities Commission and other state regulatory commissions, and assist clients with exploration and production issues, gathering, processing, storage and transportation issues, project development, finance, taxation, mergers and acquisitions, and transactional and litigation services for complex natural gas, Marcellus Shale, LNG and biogas projects.
The need for expanded transportation capacity presents a host of regulatory and business problems, especially logistical issues, as the United States' reliance on natural gas continues to increase. Duane Morris attorneys have been actively involved in FERC, Department of Energy and Department of Transportation proceedings concerning the exportation, importation and transportation of LNG. Additionally, we help clients develop emerging natural gas technologies and alternative sources, including landfill gas, biogas and biomass, and address legal, practical and business issues.
Duane Morris lawyers also represent developers, investors and sovereign nations with projects with varying levels of complexity in jurisdictions around the world.
- Analyzed and negotiated the contractual relationships among the parties to the construction of a LNG processing plant in South Sumatra, Indonesia and related field separation and gathering facilities and pipelines. Served as counsel to a major U.S.-based international bank regarding the $600 million syndicated loan that financed the project.
- Provided federal energy regulatory advice with respect to a $1.3 billion equity funding for proposed natural gas liquefaction and a LNG loading facility.
- Analyzed and negotiated the complex contractual relationships among the parties to the construction of a natural gas liquefaction and processing facility being built in Bontang Bay, East Kalimantan, Indonesia (primarily to process LNG supplied by the producers, and for delivery to the wholesalers, who were parties to the arrangement). Served as counsel to a major U.S.-based international bank in the $1.127 billion financing of the project.
- Assisted an industry leader in energy with review of regulatory implications (FERC, MARAD, DOE, U.S. Coast Guard) for a proposed LNG import project to be sited offshore under the Deepwater Ports Act. The project was subsequently cancelled by the company.
- Worked extensively with a major IPP developer on projects for major conversions to natural gas fired generation in Mexico, Northern Ireland and England.
- Represented ExxonMobil over the course of several years in connection with a large East Coast LNG project.
- Represented large east coast natural gas distribution company regarding its LNG facilities in New England on regulatory, safety and environmental issues.
- Provided complete review and analysis on an ongoing basis for large Caribbean LNG projects and associated electric generation and related pipelines.
- Represented the State of New York in considering support of major LNG projects.
- Advised a group of international advisors on the bidding for an LNG project in Manzanillo, Mexico.
- Assisted client with the evaluation of regulatory, permitting and certification strategies for a proposed new off-shore LNG import project. The client decided not to pursue the project due to changing economics.
- Assist the client with various commercial, regulatory and permitting issues involving two existing offshore LNG import facilities.
- Represent client before the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") and the U.S. Department of Energy in proceedings involving the certification of a new LNG import terminal, including siting, construction, operation and environmental issues, as well as LNG import and export permits.
- Assisted a large industrial consumer of natural gas with NGA compliance matters.
- Representation of clients on large LNG developments domestically and internationally, including advising developers on DOE's LNG export/import permit issues, developers and producers on Deepwater Port Act offshore LNG terminal certification, and compliance issues.
- Represents an international developer of LNG facilities in FERC's NEPA pre-filing and NGA Section 3 LNG terminal authorization proceedings.
- Counsel to natural gas operator in connection with a variety of Marcellus Shale permitting and enforcement issues in Pennsylvania.
- Counsel to natural gas well driller in connection with a Marcellus Shale matter involving site remediation and cost recovery.
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:
Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load Implementation
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, August 02, 2016
In a recent edition of our Energy, Environment and Resources Update, we discussed the then-pending petition for writ of certiorari from a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upholding the Chesapeake Bay TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load). On February 29, 2016, the U.S. Supreme...
Energy Sources—Following the Money
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, August 02, 2016
On April 14, 2016, the United States Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously approved an energy and water funding bill that would appropriate $2 billion for the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy programs (an amount equal to fiscal year 2016...
FERC to Hold Technical Conference on Generator Interconnection Issues
Frederick J. Heinle,Dennis J. Hough, August 02, 2016
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has scheduled a technical conference for May 13, 2016, to address potential revisions to its generator interconnection procedures and pro forma generator interconnection agreement. The technical conference presents the first opportunity for a...
FERC Declines to Resolve PURPA Dispute
Frederick J. Heinle, July 30, 2016
On January 8, 2016, FERC declined to initiate an enforcement action under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA) in a matter involving a solar developer’s access to Connecticut’s renewable energy procurement program. Allco Renewable Energy Limited (Allco) argued that...
Pennsylvania Announces Planned New Methane Rules
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, July 30, 2016
On January 19, 2016, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced a “nation-leading strategy” to reduce emissions of methane associated with natural gas production, processing and transmission. Citing the fact that Pennsylvania is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the nation...
FERC Grants Complaints Based on Affiliate Abuse
Dennis J. Hough, July 28, 2016
In a pair of almost-identical complaints brought by a coalition of wholesale power generators led by the Electric Power Supply Association (Complainants), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (Commission) affiliate abuse rules were recently put to the test. Electric Power Supply...
Long-Term Solar Outlook Remains Strong in Spite of SunEdison, Abengoa Troubles
Frederick J. Heinle, July 23, 2016
The recent financial difficulties for solar developers SunEdison and Abengoa have made headlines and raised questions of whether they foreshadow tough times for the industry as a whole. SunEdison, which has not been profitable in more than five years, faces, in the words of its yield co, a...
PHMSA Seeks Expansion of Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Regulations
Dennis J. Hough, July 23, 2016
On March 17, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”) announced proposed new safety regulations concerning onshore natural gas transmission and gathering pipelines. These proposed regulations would expand and enhance the reach of PHMSA’s pipeline...
FERC—National Labs Discuss Grid Modernization
Frederick J. Heinle, July 22, 2016
At its April 21, 2016 meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) invited representatives from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Lawrence...
NYC Council Approves Plastic Bag Fee
Seth V.D.H. Cooley, July 22, 2016
Joining the ranks of a growing number of cities and communities across the United States and around the globe, New York City will soon move to limit the use of plastic bags in the retail and grocery sectors. On May 5, 2016, a plastic bag fee bill (Intro. No. 209-A, 2014) was passed by City Council,...
California Public Utilities Commission to Be Restructured
Thomas M. Berliner, July 21, 2016
Through a deal entered into between the California legislature and Governor Jerry Brown, the embattled California Public Utilities Commission ("PUC") will be restructured and reformed. Following a series of crises, including a 2010 major gas pipeline explosion that killed several people...
FERC Debates Future of PURPA
Frederick J. Heinle, July 21, 2016
At a June 29, 2016, conference, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") considered whether changes should be made to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 ("PURPA"). PURPA aimed to increase generation capacity and change the generation mix by ending the...
What Does Trend Towards Residential Demand Charges Mean for Overall Rate Design?
Phyllis J. Kessler, July 21, 2016
In several states, utilities have been moving toward incorporating demand charges into residential rates. In June, Arizona Public Service Company filed a rate case, which included a proposal for three alternative demand charge rates for residential customers, while proposing to reduce volumetric...
Cuba’s Renewable Energy Plans Offer Opportunities for U.S. Investors
, January 19, 2016
Cuba recently announced plans to install more than two gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030. According to Rosell Guerra, director for renewable energy of the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the additional capacity will result in renewables comprising approximately one-quarter of...
New York PSC Adopts Net Metering of Community Distributed Generation Projects
, January 19, 2016
In July 2015, the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order establishing a Community Distributed Generation program, effective October 19, 2015. The program is intended to make renewables and other forms of distributed generation (DG) available to end users who are otherwise...
Renewable Energy Tax Incentives Extended
, January 19, 2016
On December 18, 2015, the Consolidated Appropriations Act was signed by President Obama and became law, extending a number of key renewable energy tax incentives. Of keen interest to many investors and developers, the law extends the PTC (the Section 45 Production Tax Credit) and the ITC (the...
New York Public Service Commission Staff Supports Continuation of Net Metering
Phyllis J. Kessler, October 09, 2015
By statute, New York state utilities are required to offer net metering of electricity to generators of certain renewable energy resources, depending on the size of the project. Net metering means that, to the extent that there is surplus energy that is not used by the utility customer on behalf of...