Law360 Quotes Mike Mills on Risks Faced by Energy Companies After Hurricane Harvey

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Attorney Mike Mills was quoted in Law360 in an article titled “Energy Industry Braces For Legal Headaches Post-Harvey.” The article discusses the legal challenges energy companies in Houston and surrounding areas will face as a result of Hurricane Harvey. The storm forced the shutdown of several refineries, petrochemical facilities and pipelines in the region, as well as major ports and drilling operations in South Texas’ Eagle Ford.

According to experts, the major liabilities the North American oil and gas industry will face in the wake of Harvey will be environmental and contractual i.e., will they be able to fulfil their obligations to their customers and other counterparties.

More immediate risks are the environmental and safety issues created by damage to oil and petrochemical facilities—from the direct impact of the storm or for those further inland due to extensive flooding. Mills and others stress the importance of fully identifying and assessing damage to a refinery or petrochemical facility before restarting it, as well as not skipping any steps in the restart process.

“The thing they can do to minimize their liability is have documented startup plans and ensure they are followed to a T, and they need to be paired with rigorous startup inspections,” Mills said. “That will be the biggest thing.”

Read “Energy Industry Braces For Legal Headaches Post-Harvey,” published August 28, 2017. (Subscription required.)

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