Energy & Utilities

Shipley Snell lawyers have handled some of the most significant and complex disputes in the energy and utilities industries. We regularly represent multinational energy companies and sophisticated utilities. We have also been engaged by smaller start-up companies, investors, and a range of dynamic companies and individuals working in the oil and gas industries. Because these industries are global, our practice often takes us out of the United States, including tribunals in Europe and the Virgin Islands. We have litigated, mediated, and arbitrated energy and utility matters involving:

  • Audits
  • Commercial and contractual claims
  • Plant outages
  • Performance and guarantees
  • Civil and criminal investigations
  • Personal injury
  • Engineering
  • Procurement
  • Construction and operation
  • Maintenance and turnaround
  • Equipment failures
  • Requirements and supply contracts
  • Transportation and pipeline issues
  • Logistic agreements
  • Acquisition disputes
  • Joint Operating Agreements
  • Unit Operating Agreements
  • Joint Ventures
  • Deepwater E&P
  • Onshore E&P
  • Lease termination
  • Gas gathering and processing
  • Environmental contamination
  • Refining
  • Power transmission
  • Power purchase agreements
  • Eminent domain and condemnation
  • Licensing and technology
  • New and renewable energy
  • Bio fuels
  • Fixed and variable costs

Representative Matters

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Some of our energy and utility engagements include:

  • Represented major oil company in contract and insurance dispute arising from collapse of an offshore oil platform and obtained significant insurance recovery.
  • Represented a power generation facility owner in AAA arbitration and achieved $9.6 million in savings arising from an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction contract dispute.
  • Represented a Finnish contractor in ICC arbitration over the construction of a power plant in Guatemala, including recovery of $16 million and confirmation of award in U.S. federal courts. Wärtsilä Finland Oy v. Duke Energy Int’l Guat. y CIA, S.C.A., 518 F.3d 287 (5th Cir. 2008).
  • Represented refinery owner and recovered $27 million in payments against French and Italian contractors in multi-jurisdictional EPC contract litigation.
  • Represented two multinational energy companies in accounting, audit, and overhead claims against operator under an Operating Agreement.
  • Achieved summary judgment dismissal for a pipeline owner in Louisiana litigation involving claims of contamination from pipeline construction and operation.
  • Represented an international joint venture operator of a refinery, marketing, and retail company in multiple incident investigations, compliance reviews, and subsequent ICDR “baseball” arbitrations involving general contractors and subcontractors.
  • Successfully resolved litigation in Louisiana state district court involving 500+ plaintiffs alleging damages for groundwater contamination arising from the operation of a natural gas processing plant.
  • Represented a natural gas transmission company against claims for soil and groundwater contamination arising from a natural gas pipeline compressor station.
  • Represented refinery and petrochemical facilities in litigation arising from catastrophic events, including defense of claims brought by EPA and OSHA.
  • Represented numerous corporations and individuals in environmental investigations and prosecutions and energy regulatory matters, including assistance with initial responses to EPA, OSHA, and state government investigations.
  • Successful defense of trespass claims arising from natural gas transmission easement dispute. Koelsch v. Indus. Gas Supply Corp., 132 S.W.3d 494 (Tex. App. – Houston [1st Dist.] 2004, pet. denied).
  • Obtained multiple favorable jury verdicts for an electric utility involving commercial and personal injury claims arising from electrical contact, easement, and property disputes.