Schlumberger Wins in US Supreme Court on Patent Damages
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that companies can recover profits lost because of the unauthorized use of their patented technology abroad in a victory for Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services provider.The 7-2 decision overturned a lower court's ruling that had enforced limits on applying U.S. patent law overseas and reduced by $93.4 million the damages sum that rival ION Geophysical Corp had to pay for infringing Schlumberger technology that helps find oil and gas beneath the ocean floor. Both companies are based in Houston.The decision expands the ability of patent owners to recover foreign-based damages…
Obama Climate Plan Faces Skeptical Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court's unexpected move to block President Barack Obama's policy to cut pollution from coal plants highlights what both sides in the legal fight agree is a key weakness in the rules -- a provision that expands the scope of regulation far beyond curbing emissions from individual smoke stacks. Tuesday's order, in which the court put a halt to the administration's Clean Power Plan while a legal challenge goes forward in a federal appeals court, did not detail why the court's five conservatives believed a stay was warranted. The challengers, including 27 states, the coal industry, and business groups like the U.S.
Possible Scalia Replacement Previously Represented Exxon, Rio Tinto
One possible contender to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court is an Indian-American appeals court judge, Sri Srinivasan, who has pro-business credentials and a stellar resume. If he was nominated his background may make it more politically challenging for Republicans as they plan to block anyone put forward by President Barack Obama. Srinivasan, 48, has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit since he was confirmed on a 97-0 bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate in May 2013. Republican senators who supported him then would likely be asked to justify why they couldn't back him for the Supreme Court.
U.S. Will Sign Paris Agreement on Climate Change
The United States will sign the Paris Agreement on climate change this year regardless of the Supreme Court's decision to put a chunk of President Barack Obama's environmental action on hold, the U.S. climate envoy said on Tuesday. Todd Stern also said that Obama's successor, even if it is a Republican, would be unlikely to scrap the Paris deal as to do so would have negative diplomatic implications. The U.S. Supreme Court this month put on hold regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions mainly from coal-fired power plants, prompting speculation the United States and other nations could delay formal signature of the Paris Agreement, reached in December.
U.S., Canada to Cut Methane Emissions
The United States and Canada have agreed joint steps to fight climate change, including cutting methane emissions from the oil and gas industry and signing the Paris climate deal "as soon as feasible," the White House said on Thursday. The agreement comes ahead of an Oval Office meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama at the White House. The two countries are seeking to improve cooperation on energy after Obama last year rejected the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project, which was aimed at bringing heavy Canadian oil to the United States and was promoted by Trudeau's predecessor, Stephen Harper.
US Top Court Sides with Venezuela over Oil Rigs Claim
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday tossed out a lower court's ruling that had allowed an American oil drilling company to sue Venezuela over the seizure of 11 drilling rigs in 2010 but allowed the business another chance to press its claims. Siding with Venezuela, the justices ruled 8-0 that a lower court that had given the go-ahead for the suit must reconsider whether claims made by Oklahoma-based Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company can proceed. Writing for the court, Justice Stephen Breyer said the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2015 used the wrong standard in denying Venezuela immunity from the lawsuit.
U.S. Top Court Rules Against Maryland Over Power Plant Subsidies
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled against Maryland in its bid to revive a program to subsidize natural gas-fired electricity plant construction to serve the power needs of its residents in a case weighing state versus federal authority. Writing on behalf of the court in the 8-0 ruling, liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the Maryland program infringed upon the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) authority to regulate interstate wholesale electricity rates. The case focused on whether Maryland's actions to encourage power generation through subsidies and incentives ran afoul of the federal government's energy regulatory authority.
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 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…
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. 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)
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)
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.
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.
Most States on track to Meet Emissions Targets
The 27 states challenging Obama's Clean Power Plan in court say the lower emissions levels it would impose are an undue burden. But most are likely to hit them anyway. Already, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota appear to be meeting the CPP's early targets. And changes in the power market, along with policies favoring clean generation, are propelling most of the rest toward timely compliance, according to researchers, power producers and officials, as well as government filings reviewed by Reuters. "We are seeing reductions earlier than we ever expected," U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said in an interview.
FERC Mulls Action on NY Denial for NatGas Pipeline
U.S. federal energy regulators gave themselves more time to decide whether to rehear their earlier order upholding New York's denial of a water permit for Williams Cos Inc's Constitution natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New York. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Wednesday rejected Constitution's request to overturn New York's denial of a water quality certification in January. If FERC did not act, Williams rehearing request would have been deemed denied within 30 days from the date the request was made, which was Feb. 12.
US Justices Drill Down on Venezuela Oil Rig Dispute
Some U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday appeared wary about the foreign policy implications of making it too easy for foreign governments to be sued in U.S. courts as they considered a lawsuit by an Oklahoma-based oil drilling company that claims Venezuela unlawfully seized 11 drilling rigs six years ago. The eight justices heard an hour-long argument in Venezuela's appeal of a lower court ruling that allowed one of the claims brought by Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company against the South American nation to proceed. The company sued both the Venezuelan government and state-owned oil companies under a U.S.
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.
Trump Advisors Aim to Free Indian Land Resources
Native American reservations cover just 2 percent of the United States, but they may contain about a fifth of the nation's oil and gas, along with vast coal reserves. Now, a group of advisors to President-elect Donald Trump on Native American issues wants to free those resources from what they call a suffocating federal bureaucracy that holds title to 56 million acres of tribal lands, two chairmen of the coalition told Reuters in exclusive interviews. The group proposes to put those lands into private ownership - a politically explosive idea that could upend more than century of policy designed to preserve Indian tribes on U.S.-owned reservations…
U.S. Top Court Rejects Constitution Pipeline Over New York Permit
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt another setback to a proposed natural gas pipeline running from Pennsylvania to New York, rejecting Constitution Pipeline Co's bid to challenge New York state's refusal to issue a needed water permit for the project.The high court left in place an August 2017 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the state. Partners in the 125-mile (201-km) pipeline project include Williams Cos Inc, Duke Energy Corp, WGL Holdings Inc and Cabot Oil & Gas Corp.Reporting by Lawrence Hurley