The Pipeline & Energy Authority
Murchison Law Firm, PLLC The Pipeline & Energy Authority
Pipeline Industry

The Murchison Law Firm provides the level of involvement that is best suited to each client’s needs, and we shape our counsel to your particular circumstances. From jurisdictional determinations and reporting obligations to design, testing, O&M, OQ and CP, we have deep experience in pipeline safety regulations, their history and their original intent. We monitor regulatory developments from multiple angles, and we frequently comment on regulatory proposals through industry forums. That knowledge and history places us among the most experienced firms advising clients on regulatory interpretations, compliance obligations, and jurisdictional analyses. We also advise clients under related environmental regulations applicable to project development, permitting, operations, and remedial obligations.

Our firm has extensive experience in enforcement procedures and administrative processes, pleadings, hearings, and informal resolutions. We’ve contested agency findings and reached unprecedented voluntary resolutions, along with appeals of agency findings and penalties. Our deep knowledge of the pipeline safety regulations and agency processes places us in a position of strength and familiarity representing and defending your interests. We shape our advice and level of participation based on the qualities of the issues, agency preparation of its case, the implications of compliance to operations, potential effects on the industry, and the magnitude of the penalties and compliance obligations.

Transactional experience at Murchison Law ranges from structuring, entity and asset preparation, documentation, due diligence, and execution. We’ve led the drafting, negotiating, and managing of acquisitions and divestitures of pipelines systems, including PSAs, assignment of pipeline right-of-way, services agreements, leases, permitting, transition services agreements and shared services agreements. We have advised clients on preparation of procedures to comply with conversion-to-service requirements, including regulatory, jurisdictional, and permitting/authorization.

Should circumstances turn contentious, we offer knowledgeable and assertive representation to address and resolve disputes, including alternative resolution of various matters relating to pipeline transportation and storage.

Our industry focus has given us a thorough grounding in the day-to-day operating environment of the pipeline industry. We understand maintenance and integrity management processes from the operator’s perspective, including activities such as ROW management, risk assessment, maintenance practices, CP, integrity management, hydraulics, pigging, cleaning, commissioning, conversions and more.

We advise clients in navigating interactions with PHMSA and state agencies, assisting with inspection preparation, responses and communications with the agencies during inspections, and assisting with written responses to enforcement actions. This experience extends to every aspect and all stages of project development, including permitting, authorizations, state and local requirements, NEPA analysis, right-of-way acquisition and management, construction contracting, and agency liaison. We have managed matters involving USACE permitting, EPA regulations, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and state and local corollaries. We’ve advised regarding system construction, expansion and connection, including construction contracting, materials and equipment acquisition, project authorization, land and right-of-way acquisition, environmental protection, contractor management, and dispute resolution.

We also are adept in operational contracting, having drafted connection agreements, operating agreements, sharing agreements, transportation agreements, terminalling agreements, MSAs, T&Ds, and ROW documents.

Vince Murchison also serves the pipeline industry at the national level. Vince is an original member of the API/LEPA Performance Excellence Team, a position from which he has informed many aspects of group’s proceedings and initiatives. He also has aided API/LEPA Leadership Initiatives and contributes to industry efforts around Pipeline Safety Act reauthorization. We make frequent appearances at industry conferences and symposiums, along with presentations before other organizations interested in, and aligned with, pipeline safety and pipeline development.

Murchison Law Firm, PLLC represents pipeline clients in all aspects of their business, offering owners and operators an unparalleled understanding of the pipeline industry in the areas of regulatory matters, operations, transactions, project development, pipeline-related environmental matters, dispute resolution, risk assessment, integrity management, maintenance, and the needs and requirements that can, and do, arise unexpectedly.

Murchison Law Firm’s combined decades representing the pipeline industry places our team among the most experienced attorneys in this complex practice area.