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Canada’s Pembina Pipeline Picks Up Former PG&E General Counsel

Nov. 6, 2020, 7:37 PM

Pembina Pipeline Corp. has hired Janet Loduca, a longtime lawyer at Pacific Gas and Electric Co., where she was most recently general counsel.

Wendy Vaillancourt, an assistant to Pembina Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of External Affairs Harry Andersen, confirmed to Bloomberg Law in an email that Loduca started Nov. 2. Her title at the Calgary-based company is general counsel and vice president of legal and sustainability.

Loduca takes over from Chris Scherman, a former general counsel and corporate secretary at Pembina, Vaillancourt said. Scherman, a former oil and gas lawyer at leading Canadian law firm Stikeman Elliott, earlier this year took on the role of vice president of marketing for Pembina.

Loduca joins the Canadian pipeline giant after two decades at PG&E, a San Francisco-based utility she left Aug. 15 after spending almost two years as its general counsel. Loduca became PG&E’s top in-house lawyer in early 2019 after the utility filed for bankruptcy. The company emerged from Chapter 11 protection this past June.

Bloomberg data shows that Loduca still owns roughly $242,000 in PG&E stock.

Prior to joining the utility in 2000, Loduca worked as an environmental litigation and compliance lawyer at Beveridge & Diamond and as a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s environmental crimes section.

An online job listing for Loduca’s new role at Pembina states that the position reports to Andersen, another former Stikeman lawyer who oversees the company’s legal, land, and regulatory departments. Loduca will lead Pembina’s legal services unit and be a member of the executive committee at the Canadian pipeline company, which is involved in several major U.S. energy regulatory matters.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved this year Pembina’s $10 billion Jordan Cove terminal project in Oregon, a controversial liquefied natural gas facility that faced a contentious environmental review. Latham & Watkins and Stikeman also advised Pembina last year on its $3.3 billion acquisition of Kinder Morgan Inc.’s Canadian unit and its portion of a key U.S. pipeline.

Pembina and other Canadian pipeline operators have moved to cut their capital costs this year as global oil prices plunged. Pembina, which is a major player in Alberta’s oil sands, has hired at least three other in-house lawyers in recent months in Kyle Taylor, Brett Watson, and Kristen Read.

Ailing Energy Sector

Several major energy companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp., have made changes to their in-house legal ranks in recent months as the industry grapples with a series of bankruptcies and consolidation due to slumping commodities prices.

Devon Energy Corp. and WPX Energy Inc., two leading shale producers that in September agreed to merge in a $2.6 billion all-stock deal, recently disclosed that WPX general counsel Dennis Cameron will be part of their executive integration team, overseeing legal, public, and government affairs.

Unit Corp., a Tulsa, Okla.-based energy company that emerged from bankruptcy in September, announced Oct. 27 the promotion of longtime general counsel Mark Schell to chief strategy officer. Drew Harding, associate general counsel at Unit since 2014, has taken over from Schell as the company’s legal chief.

UP Energy LLC, a privately held, Englewood, Colo.-based company known as Ultra Petroleum Corp. prior to its bankruptcy exit in September, announced Oct. 20 its appointment of General Counsel Kason Kerr. UP’s new legal chief had previously been general counsel at Ultra Petroleum, which went bankrupt in May.

DCP Midstream LP disclosed in an Oct. 29 securities filing that general counsel Brent Backes will retire at year’s end from the Fortune 500 natural gas company. Backes will be succeeded as legal chief by Deputy General Counsel George Green, who has worked at Denver-based DCP since 2014.

Arch Resources Inc., a St. Louis-based coal industry company that saw a judge block in September its proposed merger with rival Peabody Energy Corp., announced Oct. 14 its hire of Rosemary Klein as senior vice president of law, general counsel, and corporate secretary. Klein, a former legal chief at Solutia Inc. and Spartech Corp., replaced Arch’s retiring general counsel Robert Jones.

TechnipFMC PLC, a global oil and gas giant with its U.S. headquarters in Houston, announced that its chief legal officer Dianne Ralston resigned Oct. 1 to pursue a new opportunity. A TechnipFMC spokesman told Bloomberg Law the company has initiated a search to find a successor for Ralston, who received nearly $4.2 million in total compensation last year.

Ralston owns roughly $1.3 million in TechnipFMC stock, per Bloomberg data.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com
John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com

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