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Energy Regulatory

Energy Regulatory
Energy Regulatory
Expertise / Practices / Energy / Energy Regulatory

The energy industry is one of the most heavily regulated in Canada. Blakes offers a robust understanding of the fluid business environment, current regulatory schemes and dynamic changes faced by businesses in the sector, enabling us to help clients maximize their opportunities in high-risk/high-reward settings. Blakes Energy Regulatory lawyers have the advocacy skills, technical knowledge and detailed understanding of regulatory regimes that allow us to provide practical and strategic legal and business advice to our clients pursuing physical projects or engaged in rate-making proceedings.

Regulatory Proceedings

We have successfully represented our clients in major regulatory proceedings before federal and provincial agencies, including the Canada Energy Regulator, the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada, the Alberta Energy Regulator, the Alberta Utilities Commission, the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board, the Alberta Surface Rights Board, the British Columbia Environmental Appeal Board, the British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission, the British Columbia Utilities Commission, the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office, the Ontario Energy Board, the Ontario Municipal Board, the Public Utilities Board of the Northwest Territories, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board, the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, the Manitoba Public Utilities Board and other regulatory authorities, as well as federal-provincial joint review panels. We have appeared before all levels of courts and have been involved in numerous mediations and arbitrations.

Physical Projects

Blakes has comprehensive expertise assisting our clients in obtaining the approvals necessary to construct and operate a wide variety of energy facilities. From power transmission lines and liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to wind farms and oil and gas pipelines, Blakes has the in-depth experience that allows for a proactive, coordinated and highly successful approach to the approvals process. This experience includes consultation with aboriginal and other interested parties and the successful resolution of constitutional issues.

Our breadth of knowledge also allows us to help our clients continue to operate in accordance with approvals once granted and quickly and effectively respond to issues if they should arise.

Our team also has far-reaching experience with the regulatory aspects of commercial transactions, such as asset and share sales. As part of these transactions, we provide advice on the relevant regulatory regimes, review all regulatory approvals to ensure their validity and advise on how to best transfer those approvals as required by the transaction.

Economic Regulation

As competition and demand for efficient utility transportation increases, rate-making proceedings become more complex, and the importance of skilled and knowledgeable counsel grows. Our team has extensive experience in all aspects of rate making. Our success is directly attributable to our in-depth understanding of the economic principles that underpin the determination of tolls and tariffs. In addition to traditional rate making, Blakes also has experience with performance-based rate-making and innovative responses to issues that are beginning to impact rates, such as changing markets and demand.

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Recent Experience
  • Algonquin Power and Utilities on its acquisition of the New Brunswick natural-gas distribution business from Enbridge for C$331-million.

  • Ceres Global Ag Corp. on its joint venture with Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp. to develop a hydrocarbon rail terminal at Ceres’ existing Northgate, Saskatchewan, rail facility to facilitate the transloading of hydrocarbon products for movement between the U.S. and Canada.

  • Kinder Morgan in connection with the C4.35-billion acquisition of Kinder Morgan Canada Limited and the Cochin pipeline system by Pembina Pipeline Corporation.

  • Imperial Oil on the sale of its retail gas stations for approximately C$2.8-billion.

  • Suncor Energy Inc. on its investment in Enerkem Inc., a Canadian biofuel technology company.

  • Suncor Energy Inc. on the sale of its Petro-Canada lubricants division to HollyFrontier Corporation for C$1.13-billion.

  • Methanex Corporation on its large-volume, long-term natural-gas procurement and transportation management arrangements with Chesapeake Energy Corporation for its “G1” methanol production, storage and handling facilities at Geismar, Louisiana.

  • Nexen Inc. on the sale of its North American natural gas trading unit.

  • Harvest Energy Trust on its C$1.6-billion acquisition of North Atlantic Refining Limited from Vitol Refining Group B.V.

  • Pembina Pipeline Corporation on the C$185-million purchase from NOVA Chemicals Corporation of a 50 per cent interest in the Fort Saskatchewan Ethylene Storage Limited Partnership.

  • Suncor Energy Inc. on its acquisition of a 50-per-cent interest in the Fort Saskatchewan Ethylene Storage Limited Partnership operated by Dow Chemicals.

Awards & Recognition

Members of the Energy Regulatory group are recognized as leaders in the following publications:

  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

  • The Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to leader 500 Lawyers in Canada

  • Who’s Who Legal: Business

  • The Legal 500 Canada

  • The Best Lawyers in Canada