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Energy & Natural Resources

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Overview

Stoll Keenon Ogden serves a diverse group of energy and natural resource clients on issues arising in the procurement, development and distribution of natural resources and energy services.

Our attorneys work on matters, from the simple to the complex, including transactions, acquisitions, legislation, regulatory compliance, development and production, investing and financing, contracting, construction, disputes, real estate, policies and litigation.

SKO’s experience is extensive in the coal, natural gas, electric, and water and wastewater industries. We maintain a wide, regional presence in the industry, and our clients include:

  • Coal mining and development companies
  • Oil producers
  • Gas providers
  • Residential and industrial customers
  • Lenders & borrowers
  • Developers & contractors
  • Government and trade agencies
  • Water and wastewater facilities and customers
  • Industry entrepreneurs

Work Highlights

Property Tax

Successfully represented several coal companies in an appeal of personal property tax assessment thereby reducing their taxes due by $4 million.

Successful resolution in 2016 of litigation before Kentucky Claims Commission  reducing real property tax assessments issued to thoroughbred race track.

Successful resolution in 2016 of tangible personal property tax assessments issued by Kentucky Department of Revenue on computer software and equipment.

Worked with the Kentucky Department of Revenue in 2016 and the landfill industry regarding repeal of the public service company tax on landfills and enactment of a new landfill property tax statutory and regulatory scheme.

Related Practices: Tax

Breach of Fiduciary Duty

James D. Duff v. David A. Duff et al., Case No. 04-345-USF (E.D. Ky.)

Obtained summary judgment on behalf of executor/trustee in a breach of fiduciary lawsuit by beneficiaries of an estate/trust where the ownership of a coal company was at issue.

Utility Contracting and Joint Ventures

Represent utilities and large purchasers of electric power and natural gas in negotiation of contract for purchase and sale of energy and energy services.  Includes traditional utility tariff relationships, as well as special contracts for solar renewable energy.  Negotiation of significant electric generation joint venture agreements. 

Related Practices: Utility & Energy

Acquisition of Coal Reserves

Series of transactions to acquire more than 450 million tons of Illinois Basin coal reserves; SKO served as lead deal counsel, performed due diligence.

Related Practices: Mineral & Environmental Law

Midstream MLP Initial Public Offering

An IPO for midstream gathering services for production from the Marcellus Shale. SKO performed due diligence and prepared transaction documents.

Related Practices: Mineral & Environmental Law

Acquisition of Illinois Basin Oil and Natural Gas Properties

Acquisition of over one million gross oil and gas acres (primarily New Albany shale acreage in the Illinois Basin, but also including acreage in Northern Appalachia, the San Juan Basin, the Powder River Basin and the Rockies). SKO performed due diligence and prepared transaction documents.

Related Practices: Mineral & Environmental Law

Utility Gross Receipts License Tax

Successfully represented a provider of utility services in an appeal of a utility gross receipts license tax assessment that reduced their liability by $2.5 million.

Related Practices: Tax

Condemnation Defense

Defense of a major water company against attempted condemnation by local government in multiple proceedings, ultimately resulting in a published decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court affirming an injunction to prevent a referendum scheduled outside the regular election cycle and a public vote in favor of the water company the following year.

Neighborhood Nuisance & Trespass Claims

Defended claims for nuisance, trespass, negligence and strict liability by multiple property owners against the local electric utility. Successfully defeated class certification.

Superfund Potentially Responsible Parties

Successfully resolved a contribution claim against alleged Potentially Responsible Party arising out of the remediation of a former scrap processing facility.

Development Transaction for Coal Producer

Transaction to support the development of a longwall mining operation in Hamilton County, Illinois; initial investment at closing of $69.5 million, total investment in the project in a range of $400-525 million; SKO served as lead deal counsel, performed due diligence.

Acquisition of Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Properties

Acquisition of 1.46 million oil and gas acres in eastern United States (primarily Pennsylvania and West Virginia) with more than 9,000 producing wells. SKO performed due diligence and prepared transaction documents.

Related Practices: Mineral & Environmental Law

Acquisition of Coal Mine

Acquisition of Illinois Basin coal mine with 40 million tons of coal; SKO served as lead deal counsel, performed due diligence.

Marcellus Joint Venture for Oil and Natural Gas Producer

A joint venture for a major oil and natural gas producer’s Marcellus shale acreage; the producer to receive aggregate payments of $3.4 billion; SKO performed due diligence and prepared transaction documents.

Related Practices: Mineral & Environmental Law

Motor Vehicle Accident: Alleged Negligent Maintenance of Street Light

Obtained a unanimous defense jury verdict on behalf of a public utility. The plaintiff claimed that the utility failed to properly maintain street light, which caused a motor vehicle accident. This is first and only case of its kind to be tried to a jury in Kentucky, subsequent to decision by Kentucky Supreme Court allowing such causes of action.

Utica Joint Venture for Oil and Natural Gas Producer

A joint venture for a major oil and natural gas producer’s Utica shale acreage; the producer to receive aggregate payments of $594 million; SKO performed due diligence and prepared transaction documents.

Related Practices: Mineral & Environmental Law

Coal Investment & Financing Transaction

Represented a publicly-traded client in a transaction to support the development of a longwall mining operation with a total investment in the project in a range of $400 – $525 million. Transaction featured several components, including a preferred equity investment, the acquisition and leaseback of reserves and surface rights, a coal handling and services agreement and an equipment financing facility.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Cases

Successfully handled major litigated rate case before FERC on behalf of utility purchaser of wholesale distribution service.  Case established new ratemaking methodology through extensive hearing and resulted in substantial refunds and lower purchase rates for SKO client.

Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. and Ameren Illinois Company, 148 FERC ¶ 61,206, Opinion 534 (2014)

Related Practices: Utility & Energy

Sale of Natural Gas Production Interests

Represented sellers of significant natural gas production interests in series of large transactions with strategic buyers.  Included negotiation with multiple prospective purchasers, NDAs, due diligence, regulatory issues, negotiation and closing of all purchase-related agreements.

Industry Involvement

Coal Operators & Associates, Inc.
Electric Edison Institute
Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
Energy Bar Association
Fayette County Bar Association
Federal Communications Commission Bar Association
Illinois Coal Association
Illinois Oil & Gas Association
Independent Oil & Gas Association West Virginia
Independent Oil Producers Association Tri-State, Inc.
Indiana Oil & Gas Association
Kentucky Association of Manufacturers
Kentucky Bar Association
Kentucky Coal Association
Kentucky Oil & Gas Association
Louisville Bar Association
Ohio Coal Association
Ohio Oil & Gas Association
Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association
Virginia State Bar Association
West Kentucky Coal Association
West Virginia Oil & Natural Gas Association

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