Schlumberger Fights to Boost Patent Damages at US Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday appeared divided over whether to make it easier for companies to recoup profits lost due to the unauthorized use of their patented technology overseas in a dispute involving Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services provider.The nine justices heard about an hour of arguments that will resolve the amount of money that rival ION Geophysical Corp must pay for infringing Schlumberger technology that helps search for oil and gas beneath the ocean floor. Both companies are based in Houston.Some justices, including conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch and liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, expressed concerns about applying U.S.
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects BP, Anadarko Over Deepwater Horizon Spill Penalties
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected bids by BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp to avoid penalties under federal pollution law in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The high court left in place a June 2014 ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the companies were liable for civil penalties under the federal Clean Water Act. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley)
U.S. Supreme Court: Antitrust Claims Over Natural Gas Prices Can Proceed
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a federal law governing the natural gas market does not shield energy companies from state antitrust claims made over the western U.S. energy crisis between 2000 and 2002. The ruling, on a 7-2 vote, was a loss for several energy companies, including American Electric Power Company Inc, Dynegy Inc and ONEOK Inc, which were accused of manipulating published price indexes that led to a spike in gas prices. The resulting energy crisis included rolling blackouts in California. Reporting by Lawrence Hurley
US Top Court Rejects Accenture Trade Secrets Appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left in place a $44 million damages award that Wellogix Inc won against Accenture Plc over alleged trade secrets theft. The high court declined to hear Accenture's appeal of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld a jury verdict in favor of Wellogix. Wellogix says Accenture impermissibly used its software when developing a product with SAP AG for BP PLC. The software was aimed at helping oil and gas companies plan oil well construction projects. Wellogix resolved separate claims against BP via arbitration. The case is Accenture v. Wellogix, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 13-1051.
U.S. Top Court Rejects Challenge to Obama Mercury Air Pollution Rule
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower-court ruling that left in place Obama administration environmental regulations limiting power plant emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants while the Environmental Protection Agency revised them. The justices opted not to hear an appeal by 20 states led by Michigan of a December U.S. appeals court decision that said the rules could remain intact while the government responded to last year's Supreme Court ruling that the EPA should have considered the compliance costs when crafting the regulations. The rules affect mainly coal-fired power plants. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley)
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal in Shareholder Suit Against BP
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined a request from shareholders seeking to revive their class action lawsuit against BP claiming the British oil company misrepresented its safety procedures prior to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The court left in place a September 2015 ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that refused to certify the lawsuit filed by investors who bought shares in the 2-1/2 years before the spill. BP's share price plummeted after the disaster that has cost the company more than $55 billion. BP…
U.S. Top Court Rejects Exxon Appeal in Groundwater Contamination Case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Exxon Mobil Corp's appeal of a $236 million judgment against the oil company in a case brought by the state of New Hampshire over groundwater contamination linked to a gasoline additive. The justices left in place the New Hampshire Supreme Court's 2015 ruling upholding the judgment by a jury that in 2013 spurned Exxon's claims that the contamination linked to its fuel additive was not its fault but rather the fault of the local gas stations and storage facilities that spilled it. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley)
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects BP Deepwater Challenge
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected BP's challenge to a settlement agreement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which the oil giant said allowed certain businesses to get payouts despite being unable to trace their losses to the disaster. The court's refusal to hear BP's appeal means the London-based company will have to make the payments as it continues to deal with the aftermath of the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and rupture of BP's Macondo oil well. BP signed a settlement agreement in 2012 to compensate spill claimants…
U.S. Supreme Court Declines Exxon Mobil Appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review a ruling against Exxon Mobil Corp that ordered the company to pay $105 million in damages for polluting New York City's groundwater with a toxic gasoline additive. The decision not to hear the case leaves intact a July 2 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld the judgment. In 2009, a jury concluded that Exxon contaminated water supply wells when the additive, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), leaked from its underground storage tanks in the borough of Queens. The appeals court rejected Exxon's arguments that it was required to use the additive under the federal Clean Air Act.
U.S. Top Court Rejects Ecuador Challenge to Chevron Arbitration Award
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected Ecuador's challenge to a $96 million international arbitration award in favor of energy company Chevron Corp in a dispute over the development of oil fields in the South American country. The high court's refusal to hear the case leaves in place an August 2015 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholding a 2011 award in Chevron's favor from The Hague's Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley)
Supreme Court Rejects Human Rights Suit Against Occidental
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to revive a human rights lawsuit against Occidental Petroleum Corp and a security contractor that had accused them of complicity in a deadly 1998 bombing by Colombia's military of a village in the South American country. The court left intact a November 2014 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stating that victims' families could not pursue claims against Occidental and Florida-based AirScan Inc under two U.S. human rights laws, the Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victims Protection Act. The lawsuit stemmed from a December 1998 cluster bomb attack by Colombia's air force that killed 17 people…
US Supreme Court Refuses Challenge to California Climate Rule
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a challenge to California's landmark low-carbon fuel standard, in a blow to out-of-state ethanol and gasoline producers that say the rule unfairly discriminates against their products. A coalition of fuel makers, led by the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, a grower of corn and soybeans for ethanol in western states, brought a lawsuit to overturn a 2009 rule mandating cuts in carbon emissions. The California regulation calculates emissions throughout the life cycle of a fuel by including pollution from production as well as ultimate use.
US Supreme Court to Hear Venezuela Oil Rig Dispute
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to weigh Venezuela's bid to block a lawsuit filed by an American oil drilling company that claims the South American country unlawfully seized 11 drilling rigs six years ago. The high court will review a May 2015 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that allowed one of the claims made by Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company to move forward. The company sued both the Venezuelan government and state-owned oil companies under a U.S. law called the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, saying among other things that the property seizure violated international law.
U.S. Supreme Court Rejects BP Executive's Appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by a former BP Plc executive who contested whether he can be charged with obstruction of Congress for downplaying the severity of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Prosecutors say David Rainey misled members of Congress over the amount of oil spilled in the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident. Rainey's legal argument on appeal was that the government missed the deadline to file an appeal after a district court judge dismissed his obstruction charge. He was also charged with making false statements to law enforcement agents, which was not at issue in his Supreme Court appeal. He has pleaded not guilty.
US Supreme Court to Hear Schlumberger Fight over Patent Damages
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to review a bid by Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services provider, to allow companies to recoup profits lost due to patent infringement when patented technology is used overseas. The case involves a fight over how much rival ION Geophysical Corp must pay for infringing Schlumberger technology that helps search for oil and gas beneath the ocean floor. The justices will hear Schlumberger's appeal of a lower court ruling that barred it from recovering more than $93 million stemming from foreign contracts the company said it lost as a result of the infringement.
US Justices Weigh Antitrust Lawsuits Related to Energy Crisis
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday wrestled with the question of whether a federal law governing the natural gas market would allow energy companies to evade state antitrust claims made over the western U.S. energy crisis between 2000 and 2002. The court appeared divided during oral arguments in the case, with the liberal justices voicing some support for the industrial and commercial users of natural gas who filed the lawsuits. Several energy companies, including American Electric Power Company Inc, Dynegy Inc and ONEOK Inc, were accused of manipulating published price indexes that led to a spike in gas prices. The resulting energy crisis included rolling blackouts in California.
NH Court Upholds Water Pollution Judgment Against Exxon
New Hampshire's top court on Friday upheld a $236 million judgment against Exxon Mobil Corp over groundwater contamination linked to gasoline additive MTBE. The New Hampshire Supreme Court ruling affirms a 2013 jury decision that rejected Exxon's claims that contamination linked to the fuel additive was the fault of the local gas stations and storage facilities that spilled it. In the 1990s, in response to U.S. clean air regulations, MTBE was commonly added to gasoline to reduce smog. Subsequent studies found that the chemical easily penetrated and contaminated groundwater, and its use was gradually phased out.
U.S. Supreme Court Cuts Back Climate Change Regulation
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued a mixed ruling on a challenge to part of President Barack Obama's greenhouse gas regulations by exempting a small proportion of facilities from a federal air pollution program while allowing most major pollution sources, including power plants and refineries, to be included. The court was divided in several different ways in what was a relatively narrow case concerning a challenge by industry groups and Republican-leaning states to one aspect of a suite of rules issued by Obama's Democratic administration in 2009 and 2010.
US Top Court Trims Obama's Emissions Bid
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday trimmed the Obama administration's power to curb greenhouse gases under a long-running air pollution program in a decision that means major facilities, including power plants and refineries, will go on being regulated as they have been. On a 7-2 vote, the court rejected an industry-backed argument that most emitting facilities should not be regulated for greenhouse gases under one particular air pollution program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But industry could claim a partial win because the court ruled on a 5-4 vote that some facilities the government had wanted to regulate will be exempted.
U.S. Top Court Hands Chevron Victory in Ecuador Pollution Case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to Chevron Corp by preventing Ecuadorean villagers and their American lawyer from trying to collect on an $8.65 billion pollution judgment issued against the oil company by a court in Ecuador. The justices turned away an appeal by New York-based lawyer Steven Donziger, who has spent more than to two decades trying to hold Chevron responsible for pollution in the Ecuadorean rain forest, of lower court rulings blocking enforcement in the United States of the 2011 judgment. While not disputing that pollution occurred…