The LOIA applies to decommissioning a well

The Louisiana legislature really doesn't like indemnity contracts. First, it barred them outright for any contracts that pertain to an oil and gas well, in the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act - the LOIA or LOAIA in 1981. Second, more recently, it passed La R.S. 9:2780.1, which purports to extend anti-indemnity language to construction and trucking contracts. 

Federal judges, particularly in the Fifth Circuit, really like freedom of contract. They have sought to limit the LOIA as best as able, and with great success, to the extent the LOIA now only applies to injuries on fixed production platforms (unless it's an injury on a jack-up rig or the like performing wireline services) and the indemnitee didn't pay to be named as additional insured. 

What about decommissioning a platform? Judge Engelhardt in the Eastern District of Louisiana, likely reading the tea leaves about Fifth Circuit jurisprudence on the LOIA, held decommissioning a platform isn't subject to the LOIA because the well isn't actually producing any more. In Tetra Technologies, Inc. v. Continental Ins. Co. 813 F.3d 733 (5th Cir. 2016), the Fifth Circuit disagreed. It held that the LOIA expressly covers plugging and abandonment of a well, and P&A work is a necessary part of the decommissioning process. Therefore (reluctantly, I assume), the Fifth Circuit held the LOIA applies. 

That didn't end the case though. The Fifth Circuit remanded, because it concluded it couldn't tell whether the majority of the work was going to be performed on the to-be-decommissioned platform, or whether it was going to be performed on the barge. If on the platform - ostensibly the target of the effort - then the LOIA would apply, but if on the barge, potentially not. 

The case is nominally a win for democracy - after all, Louisiana voters elected the legislature that passed the LOIA, and the case stops it from eroding further. But it is one of many cases that will make litigation difficult and convoluted. What's more, parties entering into contracts will not know ahead of time whether the contracts are wholly valid, or whether they might fall entirely or partially into the LOIA.