Pipelines, Gas Storage and Midstream Operations

Kean Miller represents some of the country’s most prominent energy, chemical, transmission, midstream and pipeline companies in a wide variety of legal matters in Louisiana and beyond.  For almost 30 years, our attorneys have handled complex transactions, interconnection agreements, expropriation and land use projects, administrative issues, disputes, regulatory matters, and environmental regulation for pipeline industry client, and for the midstream divisions of some of the world’s largest energy companies.

Our team has experience in the sale, purchase, financing, and condemnation of all manner of real property associated with pipeline operations.  Kean Miller has handled numerous pipeline projects from start to finish, including right-of-way negotiations, purchases, final demands, and expropriation litigation.  When our clients are faced with disputes, they rely on Kean Miller for sophisticated representation in connection with expropriation under federal and state law, declaratory or injunctive actions for access to rights-of-way, property damage claims, trespass and inverse condemnation claims, wetlands loss or damage, contract disputes, property damage, and personal injury.  Our representation has involved underground storage, pipeline rights-of-way, access rights, pipeline ruptures and leaks, surface use of rights of way and easements, and automobile accidents. 

Kean Miller represents pipeline companies in environmental regulatory matters and in toxic tort claims in Louisiana.  Our team has handled pipeline explosions, burn pits, Corps of Engineers permits, river crossings, environmental enforcement matters,  site assessments and remediation under RECAP/RCRA/Superfund, landowner suits, OPA claims, right-of-way and surface leases, sales and purchases of facilities, environmental indemnity claims,  pipeline abandonment matters, release reporting, water discharge permits, and air emissions.  Some of the chemical constituents with which we have experience include:  PCBs, chromate, TPH, PAHs, VOCs, BTEX, Hg and others.
 
We represent common carrier pipelines with respect to rate increase filings, ownership transfers and various other regulatory issues, as well as negotiation of transportation agreements and storage agreements.

Kean Miller also represents companies within the energy industry, in defense of claims for damage to wetlands as a result of exploration and construction activities.  Our attorneys are well versed on the scientific evidence regarding the various natural and man-made causes of coastal erosion. 

Finally, we represent oil and gas operators and service companies in all manner of personal injury and property damage claims arising from seismic operations, drilling operations, production activities, workover operations, pipeline installation and repair, and platform construction and demolition.

Representative Experience:
  • Legal representation of interstate and intrastate natural gas pipelines, natural gas gathering companies, crude pipelines, natural gas processors, power generators, marketers and distributors, oil and gas producers and chemical manufacturers.
Administrative Hearings:
  • Appearances before the Office of Conservation on various issues for numerous pipeline and energy production companies, and private landowners.
  • Representation of numerous pipeline and midstream companies before the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Office  of Conservation relating to applications for permits, construction, interconnection, contract approval, abandonment and related regulatory issues.
  • Representation of common carrier pipelines before the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and the Office of Pipeline Safety with respect to pipeline safety compliance.
  • Representation of common carrier pipelines before the Louisiana Public Service Commission with respect to rate increase filings, ownership transfers and various other regulatory issues, as well as the negotiation of transportation agreements and storage agreements, and electric service agreements.
Admiralty and Maritime:
  • Representation of a pipeline owner in litigation arising from an oil spill in state territorial waters.
  • Representation of a pipeline company against oil and gas company for the destruction of an offshore oil and gas platform as well as eight deaths and multiple personal injuries.
  • Representation of a major pipeline company in litigation arising from the destruction of offshore pipeline by an offshore drilling rig during Hurricane Katrina.
  • Representation of a major pipeline company in litigation arising from the damage to and loss of use of offshore pipeline caused by an offshore drilling rig during Hurricane Rita.
  • Representation of offshore pipeline in litigation arising from pipeline damages caused by the legs of a liftboat, including loss of use of pipeline.
Business, Corporate, and Transactions:
  • Negotiation of LLC Operating Agreement on behalf of one joint venture partner involving the ownership and operation of a project in excess of $3 billion including an 1100 mile natural gas liquids pipeline from West Virginia to Louisiana, a fractionation facility, storage facilities, an LPG terminal, and export facilities. 
  • Lead outside counsel in the representation of a national 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.
  • Counsel for interstate natural gas pipeline in the negotiation and drafting of precedent  agreements with foundation shippers for two $1 billion-plus pipeline projects.
  • Lead Counsel for intrastate and interstate natural gas pipelines concerning commercial transactions and capital projects and expansions, including: negotiating and drafting transportation agreements, gathering agreements, treating and processing agreements, precedent agreements, negotiated rate agreements; evaluating impact of Natural Gas Act and Natural Gas Policy Act regulation; and federal and state permitting and clearances.
  • Representation of Louisiana Intrastate Gas Company (LIG) in the acquisition and conversion of a Department of Energy strategic petroleum reserve oil pipeline into a gas transmission pipeline. 
  • Representation of Colonial Pipeline, a products pipeline system crossing the state of Louisiana. 
  • Representation of Exxon Mobil Corporation in mineral lease and complex oil and gas pipeline negotiations.
Energy Regulation:
  • 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.
  • Advise offshore pipelines concerning impact of various federal laws, regulations and orders, including Outer-continental Shelf Lands Act, Natural Gas Act, Interstate Commerce Act, and regulations of the Minerals Management Service and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Representation of intrastate gas pipelines and storage companies (gas and liquids) in proceedings before the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, Office of Conservation.
Environmental Regulation:
  • Representation of pipeline and energy companies with respect to environmental and air regulations involving pipeline compressor stations throughout Louisiana.
  • Representation of the a significant Louisiana port with respect to Corps of Engineers permitting of a channel dredging project and in obtaining summary judgment dismissing a citizen litigation on the permit.
  • Development of new greenfield energy projects, LNG projects, Salt-dome storage, and chemical manufacturing projects.
  • Representation of clients in connection with IT factors and permitting associated with brine wells and hydrocarbon storage wells.
  • Representation of pipeline and energy companies in connection with state and federal claims for natural resources damage related to a natural gas release.
  • Representation of a pipeline company on a regional basis regarding the remediation of PCBs.
  • Representation of a midstream gas company in the remediation of mercury from manometers.
  • Representation of an energy company in connection with PCB remediation projects throughout the state of Louisiana.
  • Representation of a gas pipeline company in judicial water enforcement actions by the Environmental Protection Agency at several facilities. 
Expropriation and Land Use:
  • More than 35 years of expropriation and condemnation experience on behalf of key players in the U.S. pipeline industry.
  • Representation of a pipeline and energy company in connection with the real estate, environmental, tax, and expropriation aspects of a 250-mile pipeline from the Haynesville Shale area to Abbeville, Louisiana.
  • Representation of a global energy company as coordinating counsel on the acquisition through negotiation or expropriation of servitudes/easements for a 265-mile petroleum pipeline from Houston to St. James Parish Louisiana.
  • Representation of the pipeline division of a global energy company regarding necessary land rights in conjunction with the reversal of flow of the Houma to Houston petroleum line.
  • Representation of a global energy company in a 75-mile pipeline expropriation project from Garyville, Louisiana to East Feliciana Parish, north of Baton Rouge.  The pipeline carries liquified petroleum products.
  • Representation of the pipeline division of a global energy company in the expropriation of a 180-mile ethylene pipeline right of way that extends from Ascension Parish in Louisiana to the Texas border.
  • Representation of natural gas pipeline company in the expropriation of underground gas storage rights, surface easements, and pipeline rights of way for an underground natural gas storage facility in St. James Parish, and in a case involving the public need for pipeline land.   
Gas Storage:
  • Representation of a major interstate natural gas pipeline company in connection with underground natural gas storage issues, including negotiating and expropriating surface rights and underground storage rights; mass tort litigation arising from unplanned releases of natural gas; legal opinions relating to property and mineral rights and related property law issues; regulatory advice relating to regulatory requirements for plugging and abandoning wells, abandoning pipelines and dissolving LDNR-created storage units; landowner disputes; and ad valorem tax advice.
  • Representation of a major interstate natural gas pipeline company in connection with negotiating an agreement with company engaged in seismic operations in the vicinity of natural gas storage operations to assure protection of natural gas storage operations and protect legal interests of the interstate natural gas pipeline company.
Insurance Coverage:
  • Representation of a pipeline company in coverage claims involving chemical releases.
Pipeline Rupture Litigation:
  • Representation of  Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation in Geraldine Ard v. Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation in the 21st Judicial District Court in St. Helena Parish, Louisiana.  This matter involved the rupture of a high pressure natural gas pipeline in a rural area of St. Helena Parish.  The rupture caused a fire that burned more than 30 acres of woodlands, primarily used for hunting.  350 residents in the vicinity of the rupture filed a joint petition making claims for personal injury (primary respiratory ailments), fear and fright, and punitive damages.  The matter was removed to federal court on grounds of diversity jurisdiction, but ultimately remanded to the state court on grounds that the amount in dispute for each claimant did not exceed the jurisdictional amount of $75,000.  The matter was settled at the trial court level.
  • Representation of Colonial Pipeline Company in Gill l v. Colonial Pipeline Company and consolidated cases in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana.  In this case we represented Colonial in connection with the release of over one million gallons of gasoline from a 40" interstate pipeline in St Helena Parish, La.  The gasoline contaminated a drinking water aquifer and soluble constituents (MTBE/BTEX) leached into surface waters in a nearby recreational creek. We defended Colonial in a class action lawsuit, resulting in a favorable class settlement well below the potential liability predicted by mock jury trials. We also represented Colonial in related enforcement action instituted by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and assisted the company’s outside counsel in connection with claims by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department.
  • Representation of Williams Field Services and Transcontinental Pipeline Company in The Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans v. Williams Field Services and Transcontinental Pipeline Company, Civil Action 02-996, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  In this case we represent Williams and Transcontinental in connection with landowners' lawsuit related to the rupture of a natural gas pipeline and resulting release on natural gas condensate into a saltwater marsh. We are also engaged in representing the companies in connection with Natural Resource Damages (NRDA) claims by the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator Office (LOSCO) and federal and state trustees which include NOAA and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Representation of Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation in Rice v. Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation, No. 32,031 (East Feliciana Parish, La) and Miller v. Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation, No. 32,528, a wrongful death action and personal injury action, respectively, arising out of an automobile accident cause by flooding of a highway, allegedly caused by an undersized and plugged culvert owned by Transco. 
  • Representation of TE Products Pipeline Co. v. Michael B. Simpson, et al., Docket No. C560812 and consolidated cases arising out of a release from an interstate products pipeline.
State and Local Taxation:
  • Representation of interstate natural gas pipelines in a commerce clause challenge to the method used to assess interstate pipelines for ad valorem tax purposes.
  • Representation of major industrial clients in tax litigation involving  corporation income and corporation franchise tax disputes, including intangible holding company nexus issues, allocation and apportionment issues, and issues involving the interplay of provisions of the Internal Revenue Code with Louisiana tax law.