Energy Companies Face Potential Lawsuits If Layoffs Don’t Follow the Letter of the Law


Nearly all energy companies carried out major reductions-in-force (RIFs) during 2015. Unless the industry sees a major rebound in the price of oil in the very near future, companies are likely to continue to shed headcount during 2016. RIFs are often a necessity during economic downturns, as they help reduce labor costs, “right size” companies based on the current economic climate, and steer companies back towards profitability. But companies can face significant legal exposure if they do not execute RIFs to the letter of the law.
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Six Oil and Gas Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Issues for 2016


Following another record year of crude oil production, the impact of depressed oil prices is finally expected to impact domestic output in 2016, with U.S. production expected to decrease by 570,000 barrels per day. While world oil demand is anticipated to increase by 1.2 million barrels per day during 2016, global production is anticipated to decrease by 600,000 barrels per day with the bulk of such decrease coming from the United States. Even so, global stocks of produced crude oil still exceed 300 million barrels. As the domestic oil and gas industry adjusts to the reality of an extended low price environment, several issues will be at the forefront during the coming year.
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‘Here We Go Again’: Oil and Gas Sector to Face New Regs in 2015


Tracking regulatory changes in the oil and gas industry is no minor undertaking. After all, when someone speaks of “the oil and gas industry,” that person isn’t simply referencing some narrowly defined zone of activity; instead, the term points to a wide and multi-faceted collection of distinct operations that make up the total process of delivering natural resources from ground to market. These activities—all of which are covered by distinct and ever-evolving regulatory frameworks of their own—include manufacturing, geological services and oil-field services, to name just a few. Consequently, at any given time, the collection of different laws and regulations that could potentially affect this broad industry is quite expansive. It is thus impracticable to cover all potentially important regulatory changes on the horizon in this column. Below, however, are a few specific laws and/or enforcement-related activities that oil and gas companies should be aware of in 2015.
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REMIT: Bringing Physical Commodity Trading into the Regulatory Spotlight


As far back as the 1986 Financial Services Act, regulators in the UK have had the authority to oversee activities related to commodity derivatives, but until recently, their presence was negligible. Despite the advent of the Financial Services and Markets Act in 2000 and a move from self to statutory legislation, the regulatory focus on commodities remained limited. The weight of rule-making was restricted to just two small handbooks—one for energy market participants (EMPs) and one for oil market participants (OMPs). With the Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT), however, that is about to change. In this article, David Wardley and Owen LaFave discuss REMIT, its anticipated impact and what companies need to do to ready their organizations for compliance.
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