Babst Calland: Cincinnati Bans UIC Wells Within City Limits

On August 1, 2012, Cincinnati became the first locality in Ohio to ban underground injection wells. The City Council, citing an inability to assess the risks to public health, safety and welfare of injected waste, voted unanimously on Ordinance No. 314 to prohibit waste disposal by injection within the...

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP: Summit Petroleum: EPA's Aggregation of Oil and Gas Emissions Based on 'Mere Functional Relatedness' is Unreasonable

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit* in Summit Petroleum Corporation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Nos. 09-4348; 10-4572) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] vacated EPA's order aggregating Summit's sour gas wells and sweetening...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Regulatory Lead Time an Important Consideration in Development of Ohio Drilling Units

By Kathy Milenkovski and Neal Pierce During the past year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has conducted hearings on three applications for unitized operation under Ohio Revised Code 1509.28. Additional hearings are on the schedule for January 2013. This statutory provision, part of the oil...

U.S. EPA Creates Uncertainty in Appalachia with Air Quality Permitting Memorandum

By Armando F. Benincasa In the face of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision in late 2012 which struck down United States Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) use of "functional relatedness" in determining whether sources of air emissions should be aggregated for purposes...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio EPA Could Change Air Permits for Oil and Gas Well Sites

By Katerina E. Milenkovski Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently proposed several changes to its general permits for oil and gas well site production operations. These changes would: Incorporate requirements from the recently issued New Source Performance Standards (NSPS),...

State Net Capitol Journal: Ohio's $500 Billion Oil Resource Frustrating Drillers

The Utica Shale formation in eastern Ohio grabbed the national spotlight two years ago when the state's Department of Natural Resources estimated it held 5.5 billion barrels of recoverable oil, more than twice Yemen's oil resource and worth nearly $500 billion. But U.S. drillers that set up rigs...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Attorney General Rules Counties May Sell Water to Oil and Gas Operators

The Ohio Attorney General's office was recently asked to give its opinion on a county's authority to sell water that is available to oil and gas drillers in need of large quantities of water for hydraulic fracturing purposes. Specifically, Harrison County had inquired about the legality of entering...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Know How: Oil and Gas Regulation Sole Domain of State of Ohio

By Katerina E. Milenkovski, Of Counsel (Originally printed in the ABA Litigation News) The state of Ohio has the exclusive authority to regulate oil and gas drilling, according to an Ohio appellate court that rejected attempts by a city to impose additional requirements as a matter of “home...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Implied Covenant to Develop in Ohio Negated by Express Language in Lease: Bilbaran Farm Inc. v. Bakerwell Inc., et al.

By Timothy M. McKeen and Jason Lucas On June 12, 2013, Ohio's Fifth District Court of Appeals held that a general waiver of implied covenants in an oil and gas lease negates the lessee’s duty to develop other formations and acreage ( Bilbaran Farm, Inc. v. Bakerwell, Inc., et al. , No. 12...

Babst Calland: Ohio Considers New Rules for Oil, Gas Wastewater Storage

State officials are considering new rules to regulate storage of wastewater used to stimulate wells for the production of oil and gas. The new rules would potentially create new options for shale well producers to store millions of gallons of water in lagoons so that it can be cleaned and re-used in...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: PUC of Ohio Finalizes Rules Implementing SB 315’s New Requirements For Gas Gathering

By Kathy Milenkovski. On October 30, 2013, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (“PUCO”) finalized rules proposed late last year to implement new requirements brought about by the enactment of Senate Bill 315 and to clarify the applicability of the existing rules, in particular to gas...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Legislative Changes to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act and Lease Forfeiture Statute

By Timothy M. McKeen and Jason Lucas | Ohio House Bill 72 (“ HB 72 ”), effective January 29, 2014, outlines important changes to filing for lease forfeiture or mineral abandonment under Ohio's Dormant Mineral Act by making an individual who seeks to forfeit a lease or abandon minerals...

Babst Calland: ODNR Releases 2012 Ohio Oil And Gas Summary

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Department of Natural Resources released its annual oil and gas summary for 2012. The summary provides a comprehensive review of oil and gas permitting, drilling and production activity across the entire state of Ohio. The report can be accessed here . Copyright...

Babst Calland: Ohio House Of Representatives Proposes Increase In Severance Tax

By Benjamin J. Bolinger A bill to increase the severance tax on oil and gas drilling has been proposed in the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 375 would increase the severance tax for horizontal shale wells to 1% for the first five years of production, and to 2% after five years, if production...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Pipeline Safety Rules Under Review

By Katerina E. Milenkovski and Kurt L. rieger The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) kicked off its 5-year review process of the Pipeline Safety Rules in Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4901:1-16 by holding a public workshop on January 16, 2014 to take input from the regulated community about...

Babst Calland: Ohio Trial Courts Issue Additional Rulings on the Dormant Mineral Act

By Michael T. Altvater | Two Ohio trial courts issued new decisions on Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) addressing an unsettled issue of law concerning whether the 1989 or 2006 version of the DMA should apply to current disputes over the ownership of severed mineral rights. Both...

Babst Calland: Updates to Ohio’s Proposed Increase of Severance Tax on Natural Resources

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio House Ways and Means Committee updated House Bill 375, which proposes changes to the severance tax on natural resources. Among the updates are an increase in the proposed severance tax to 2.25% from 2% for horizontal wells, a reduction in the period of time for the...

Babst Calland: Advocates From Pa., Ohio, West Virginia Urge Common Approach To Shale Gas Taxation

By Joshua F. Hall As reported by Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station, 90.5 WESA, three advocacy groups, Leaders of Policy Matters Ohio, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, sent a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction in Dormant Mineral Act Case

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court has accepted jurisdiction of a discretionary appeal in Dodd v. Croskey , which involves Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). Under the DMA there are several “savings events” which may occur in the previous twenty years that...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Court Ruling a Victory for Kentucky Pipeline Eminent Domain Opponents

By J. Kevin West On March 25, 2014, a Circuit Court in Kentucky ruled in favor of those opposed to an interstate natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) pipeline’s potential use of eminent domain under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The interstate pipeline is not subject to regulation...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Court Favors Surface Owner in Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

Walker v. Noon was recently decided by the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals. Walker is noteworthy because it is the first appellate level decision addressing the automatic reversion provision under the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com...

Babst Calland: Ohio Decision Results in Victory for Oil and Gas Producers

By Jason M. Zoeller An Ohio trial court issued a decision in Marshall v. Beekay Company . The case involved an action seeking declaratory judgment as to leasehold rights for formations below the Germantown Sand Formation. The court ruled that there was no breach of the implied covenant to reasonably...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appellate Court Enforces Change In Ownership Clause in Lease

By Jessica L. Henry The Fifth District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision in Trico Land Company, LLC v. Kenoil Producing LLC , upholding the right to have and enforce a change of ownership clause in an oil and gas lease. The case involved a property subject to a 2008 oil and...

Babst Calland: Ohio Trial Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Decision

By Michael T. Altvater A Harrison County trial court issued a decision in a Dormant Mineral Act case addressing the issue of whether a release of an oil and gas lease is a title transaction affecting and preserving a severed mineral interest from being abandoned. The trial court in Schucht v. Bedway...

Babst Calland: Ohio Oil and Gas Production Soars

By Michael T. Altvater Oil and gas production increased by 640% from 2012 to 2013 according to a report published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The one year increase was the largest in Ohio history and is the most natural gas that Ohio has produced since 1982. Much of the increase is...