Energy

Kean Miller LLP has represented the Louisiana energy industry since its earliest days of oil and gas exploration in the Bayou state. Many of the firm's national and international energy clients came to our predecessor firm in the 1920s for assistance in the acquisition of land for their first Louisiana refining sites. As these companies expanded in Louisiana, so did the variety and complexity of their legal needs. Today, these energy and petrochemical clients continue to rely on Kean Miller for their legal services based on our understanding of the complex needs of the industry, our knowledge of their business, and our unique Louisiana know-how.

Representative Industry Experience:
  • Representation of the American Petroleum Institute (API), Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA), and the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) as counsel in filing numerous amicus briefs on behalf of the oil and gas industry in matters before the Louisiana Supreme Court and Appellate courts.
  • Representation of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association (LOGA) in connection tax, liability, and environmental issues including a challenge to the valuation of subsurface oil and gas well properties for ad valorem tax purposes.
  • Representation of the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association (LMOGA) in connection with an amicus brief filed with the Louisiana Supreme Court regarding oil field contamination and “NORM” litigation.
Admiralty, Maritime, Exploration and Production:
  • Representation of various drilling companies and oil companies in lawsuits filed by offshore workers based on the Jones Act, General Maritime Law, Louisiana and Texas state law and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”).
  • Representation of the second largest natural gas producer in the United States in case arising from blowout of one of its land wells in Louisiana, including successful prosecution of breach of contract and gross negligence claims against the wellhead contractor.
  • Representation of an oil and gas company in a dispute involving damage to an oil and gas reservoir.
  • Representation of an oilfield service contractor in a contractual dispute with an oil and gas company for rights and the development of an LNG facility.
  • Representation of an offshore drilling manufacturer in numerous lawsuits evolving from the collapse of a mobile offshore drilling unit during a hurricane.
  • Representation of various energy companies in well blow-outs and all claims arising from significant catastrophes, which involve contract disputes, personal injury and death claims, environmental issues, and large property damage claims.
  • Representation of offshore oil and gas platform owners and operators in defense of personal injury claims and in prosecution of property damage claims associated with well blowouts, vessel allisions, personnel basket transfers and other issues, including analysis of defense and indemnity issues under relevant contracts.
  • Representation of an energy company’s insurer in litigation and governmental proceedings resulting from destruction of a platform that was struck by a vessel, including issues surrounding a $25,000,000 oil spill clean-up.
  • Representation of an oil company in a dispute with a co-venturer over a multi-million dollar contract involving a drilling project on the North Slope of Alaska.
  • Representation of an energy company in a complex dispute over salvage operations.
  • Representation of various oil companies and drilling companies in litigation involving disputes over contracts with service companies and oil companies, including Master Service Agreements.
  • Representation of numerous marine and energy companies in U.S. Coast Guard and OSHA investigations and hearings.
  • Representation of platform owner in personal injury actions arising from Outer  Continental Shelf operations.
  • Representation of various oil companies in claims involving OPA 90 regulations and governmental investigations.
  • Representation of various oil companies in litigation and governmental proceedings resulting from pipelines being ruptured by vessels, including all issues surrounding multi-million dollar oil spill clean-ups.
  • Representation of numerous marine and energy companies involving significant catastrophes resulting from a rupture of pipelines and explosions.
Business and Corporate:
  • Project finance counsel for a Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) regasification receiving terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The facility will process 2.6 billion cubic feet per day. Kean Miller LLP represented the lenders in the transaction as Louisiana real estate counsel, Louisiana energy regulatory counsel, and Louisiana and federal environmental counsel.
  • Lead outside counsel in the representation of a major oil and gas company in the negotiation of a suite of agreements involving the construction of oil and gas export pipelines and the ownership and operation of those lines to gather a.) gas production from a floating platform system situated in the Green Canyon Block 641, Offshore Louisiana, Gulf of Mexico; b.) oil and gas production from a floating platform system situated in the Aliminos Canyon Block 857, offshore Texas in the Gulf of Mexico; and c.) oil and gas production from a semi-submersible floating oil and gas production facility situated in Mississippi Canyon Block 650, offshore Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Representation of a major energy company in the negotiation and drafting of an assignment of interests in offshore leases and in a joint operating agreement in connection with a proposed deepwater drilling and production platform.
  • Representation of the former Mobil Oil Corporation in its $595 million acquisition of the Tenneco Refinery in Chalmette, Louisiana.
  • Drafting of Master Service agreements and drilling contracts for various drilling companies and oil companies.
Class Action Litigation:
  • Representation of a worldwide oil producer in a class action oilfield contamination case involving approximately 800 acres.  Our representation included securing expert testimony on behalf of the defendant and trial preparation.  The plaintiffs demanded over $25,000,000 for clean-up and the case was settled during negotiations after jury selection at an advantageous amount for defendant.
  • Representation of the successive owners of a Chalmette refinery in a number of class action cases involving air emissions.  The cases involved thousands of plaintiffs who had multiple complaints from alleged exposure to both permitted long-term and emergency discharges. 
  • Representation of a Foturne 10 energy company in over 200 separate suits, involving over 30,000 plaintiffs, as a result of explosions and fires at its Baton Rouge refinery.  The cases involved claims for personal injury, property damage, fear of cancer, exposure to numerous chemicals and substances, including benzene.
  • Representation of a global energy refiner and marketer in a class action case in which it was alleged that there was deceptive advertising concerning the benefits of premium gasoline. 
  • Representation of a top 5 energy company in a large toxic tort class action involving their Lake Charles, Louisiana refinery.
  • Representation of a international energy company in multiple class actions involving the release of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur.
  • Representation of a global energy refiner and marketer in two long-term emissions class actions.
Cogeneration and Utilities Regulation:
  • Representation of the Louisiana Energy Users Group (LEUG) for over 15 years.  LEUG is an unincorporated association of manufacturing, refining, and related business operations located in Louisiana.  We represent the organization in all major energy dockets before the Louisiana Public Service Commission and in dockets before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  We have provided extensive representation and advice to industrial and generation developers on state and federal electric power issues impacting proposed power projects. 
  • Representation of a global energy company in the negotiation and drafting of agreements required for the construction and operation of a co-generation facility on the property of a major utility company.
  • Representation of common carrier pipelines with respect to rate increase filings, ownership transfers and various other regulatory issues, as well as the negotiation of transportation agreements and storage agreements.
Commercial and Industrial Real Estate:
  • Representation of a major Baton Rouge refinery in all real estate aspects of its $500,000,000 expansion.
  • Representation of the former Mobil Oil Corporation as outside counsel in its $590,000,000 acquisition of the Tenneco Refinery in Chalmette, Louisiana.  We reviewed the title binder and negotiated the affirmative insurance coverage and exceptions to the title and curative work with respect to the acquisition, which involved one of the oldest industrial sites in Louisiana.
  • Representation of a Fortune 10 energy company in all real estate aspects of its Baton Rouge refinery expansion.
Construction Litigation:
  • Representation of an international energy refiner in a $20 million case before the Mississippi Supreme Court involving construction claims including overruns, cardinal changes, and quantum meruit issues.  The case involved the dismantling of an ammonia plant in Pascagoula, Mississippi and its reassembly in Pakistan.   The case was affirmed on appeal by the Mississippi Supreme Court. 
  • Representation of a global energy company in construction litigation brought by a construction company at the client's Baton Rouge facility concerning the construction of a cogeneration plant.  
Environmental Regulation and Permitting:
  • Representation of numerous energy refining facilities with respect to hazardous waste (RCRA) permit issuance and modification. 
  • Representation of numerous energy refining facilities with respect to air permit and water permit issuance and modification.
  • Representation of a refinery in the remediation of its site in Shreveport, Louisiana. 
Expropriation and Land Use:
  • Representation of an international energy company in a land use cases involving the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development where DOTD sued to acquire land owned by the company for its retail and service station operations.
  • Representation of ExxonMobil in Exxon Pipeline Company v. Price LeBlanc, which involved a landmark decision from the Louisiana Supreme Court regarding the appropriate valuation of pipeline servitudes.
Insurance Coverage:
  • Representation of a large energy exploration company for defense costs and indemnity in oilfield legacy and wetlands loss  litigation.
Labor and Employment:
  • Representation of major energy refiners as employer in jury trial in state court in which plaintiff alleged unlawful sex discrimination and sexual harassment.  Judgment for employer.
  • Representation of a global energy company as employer in jury trial in federal court in which plaintiff alleged unlawful retaliation in denied promotion.  Judgment for employer.
  • Representation of a large energy refiner as employer in jury trial in federal court in which plaintiff alleged disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.  Judgment for employer.
  • Representation of a major energy company as employer in jury trial in federal court in which plaintiff alleged race discrimination in denied promotion.  Judgment for employer.
Legacy Oil Field Litigation:
  • Representation of a major international oil company in a variety of oil field contamination cases over the course of the past 12 years.  The cases involved claims associated with soil and groundwater contamination.  The claimed contaminants included Non-Hazardous Oilfield Wastes ("NOW") as well as NORM.   The cases include inland locations as well as locations in marsh/wetland environments.  The cases have been brought on behalf of individual landowners and landowners numbering in the hundreds.  Many cases were filed as class actions involving thousands of potential class members.  The sites range from 1 acre tracts to 158 square miles. 
  • Representation of a major U.S. energy company in the first Louisiana case of record concerning NORM, the 51 Oil case.
  • Representation of a worldwide oil producer in an oilfield contamination case over approximately 700 acres where 250 plaintiffs requested total damages, including a clean up of $33,000,000, to $100,000,000. After trial, the jury awarded $375,000 in clean up costs. 
  • Representation of a major international oil company in the Herrington NORM litigation case in Mississippi, the Broussard NORM personal injury case in Lafayette, and the Bulot NORM personal injury case in New Orleans.
  • Summary judgment in favor of two oil companies in the OGTI personal injury case in New Orleans Civil District Court three months following the Grefer punitive damage award. 
  • Representation of a major international oil company in a case involving environmental claims, pit claims, and NORM claims associated with fear of exposure to contaminated seafood.
  • Representation of a major industrial chemical manufacturer in three cases involving claims for personal injury and property damage arising from alleged contamination of property by a cesium-137 radiation source.
  • Representation of three major oil and gas companies in contamination lawsuits in New Orleans, Louisiana involving NORM waste at a former pipe yard.   
  • Representation of major oil and pipeline companies in oil field cases involving wetland damage claims across South Louisiana.
  • Representation of various other clients in oilfield contamination cases involving serious and complex scientific, procedural and substantive legal issues, extensive trial preparation and logistical efforts.
Occupational Exposure:
  • National coordinating counsel for a major international energy company and in the defense of asbestos and silica exposure litigation.
  • Successfully represented a major international energy company in defending claims for cancer and fear of cancer caused by alleged exposure to asbestos and silica products.
  • Lead counsel to premises owners in hundreds of joint defense cases.
  • Representation of global energy clients in asbestos-related claims and in negotiations with some of Louisiana’s most prominent plaintiffs’ law firms.
  • Negotiation, litigation and settlement of hundreds of cases involving exposure to asbestos and asbestos-related products for some of Louisiana’s most prominent energy companies.
Oil and Gas:
  • Representation of a local financial services concern and a national bank in making loans secured by oil and gas leases.
  • Representation of an oil and gas exploration company owned by a Swiss investor in the sale of all of its oil and gas interests.
  • Representation of an energy company in oil and gas litigation involving claims for payment reconciliation, breach of contract, and detrimental reliance arising out of gas purchase agreements and an alleged gas purchase pre-pay contract.
  • Representation of an oil and gas partnership in oil and gas litigation involving claims for royalties and improper deductions by mineral lessee and operator
  • Negotiation of oil and gas leases for a major energy producer in Pointe Coupee Parish.
  • Representation of major energy companies in lease interpretation litigation.
  • Representation of Fortune 10 oil and gas major in alleged royalty underpayment litigation against the State of Louisiana and private landowners.
  • Representation of Fortune 10 oil and gas major in severance tax litigation.
  • Appearances before the Department of Conservation on various issues for numerous pipeline and energy production companies and private landowners.
  • Representation of a global energy company in mineral lease and complex oil and gas pipeline negotiations.
  • Representation of landowners in connection with mineral leases, seismic permits and oil and gas and other pipeline servitudes.
  • Representation of working interest owners in connection with disposition of working interests, leases and related equipment (eg, wells).
Product Liability:
  • Representation of a gasoline refiner and marketer in several birth defect and cancer cases involving alleged exposure to benzene.
Underground Storage Tanks (USTs):
  • Representation of a national petroleum marketer in a purported nationwide class action asserting claims based upon alleged leaks from underground storage tanks.
  • Representation of a major oil company marketing group against property damage claims related to leaking underground gasoline tanks.
  • Representation of numerous clients in matters before the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality with regard to the investigation, assessment and remediation of contaminants from leaking underground storage tanks.