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Securities Law Update - Public E&P Companies

September 7, 2014

Recent trends in SEC comments issued to oil and gas companies, and an enforcement action against one such company, illustrate current SEC priorities relating to the industry.

We are now at the point in the calendar-year reporting cycle when comments of the SEC staff on annual reports for the prior year, and the current year’s proxy statements, have generally become publicly available. Issuers in the energy industry may want to consider the content of frequently-issued comments specific to energy issues as they prepare for the upcoming annual reporting cycle, as those comments provide an indication of relevant SEC staff concerns. Also potentially relevant is the outcome of a recent SEC enforcement action against a publicly-traded E&P company, and a related federal appeals court decision, arising out of alleged deficiencies in its disclosures.