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Codification of Oil and Gas Lien Claimants’ Preference Defense?

Crude oil and natural gas prices began to decline in the third quarter of 2014.  From the beginning of the third quarter of 2014 to the beginning of the third quarter 2016, the price of crude oil declined approximately 60%.  Natural gas prices likewise suffered a significant decline during that time period.  Consequent to the decline in commodity prices,...

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Delaware Court Cracks Down on Insufficiently Plead Preference-Action Complaints

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware recently issued a series of decisions in which the court dismissed preference-action complaints for insufficiency of the factual allegations contained in the complaints. These decisions represent an acknowledgment by the bankruptcy judiciary that the U.S. Supreme Court “meant what it said” in the Twombly and Iqbal cases about a heightened...

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Offshore Oil and Gas Leases:  The Unanswered Question

Despite some recent government action, the oil-and-gas market has yet to rebound to where it was three years ago.  It is not certain when the next wave of oil-and-gas bankruptcies will hit, but when it does, we might see more companies engaging in offshore exploration and production seeking bankruptcy protection.  Exploration and production (E&P) companies and other parties involved...

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Is That Exploration and Production Lease Really a Lease?

Notwithstanding the technological advances in recent years that have significantly increased oil and gas production in the U.S., there is a growing global focus on use of cleaner renewable energy sources, such as geothermal energy. In bankruptcy cases, legal issues often arise with respect to exploration and production projects, including the question of whether an oil and gas or...

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Can Subchapter V Trustees Invoke the Common Interest Doctrine?

The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 created subchapter V[1] of chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code which became effective on February 19, 2020. Courts and practitioners are now actively interpreting and applying the new subchapter’s provisions. One issue of application that is sure to arise during the discovery phase of litigation is whether the debtor or subchapter V...

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Oil and Gas Decommissioning:  At Whose Expense?

In recent bankruptcy cases in the U.S. and Canada, debtors have sought to abandon oil and gas assets and attached plugging, abandonment and decommissioning (collectively, “decommissioning”) obligations.  In those cases where abandonment is granted, state and local governments, co-lessees and predecessors-in-interest, among other parties, are often left holding the bag with respect to the substantial cost of decommissioning. This article...

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Ensuring Enforceability of Liquidated-Damages Provisions

Liquidated damages provisions of agreements set forth in advance the amount of damages the breaching party must pay in the event of breach. These provisions are intended to avoid often costly and lengthy litigation precipitated by a contractual breach. The enforceability of these provisions, which is a question of state law, however, is frequently challenged in bankruptcy cases and...

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Bankruptcy & Restructuring 2017 – Virtual Round Table

The Bankruptcy & Restructuring Round Table features eight restructuring professionals from around the world, including Simmons Legal PLLC attorney Camisha L. Simmons, Esq.   Highlighted topics include a focus on key industries facing bankruptcy & restructuring challenges such as oil and gas, the impact of ecommerce on the  retail sector, and a discussion on recent case studies such as Toys R Us...

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Space Exploration and Production:  Bankruptcy Perspectives

There is a global race to get first dibs on valuable metallic and nonmetallic minerals and other natural resources in outer space for consumption on Earth as well as use as materials and fuel to aid completion of exploration and colonization missions in outer space. Chances are that companies and investors racing to space to establish commercial operations, including...

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Tax Lien Foreclosures Could Be Unraveled in Bankruptcy

Debtors often lose real property pre-petition for failure to pay property taxes to their local taxing authority. If a debtor is delinquent on property tax payments, the local taxing authority will place a lien on the property. If the debtor fails to pay the delinquent property taxes after given an opportunity to remove the lien through payment, the taxing...

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