Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Final NSPS for Oil and Gas Industry Published in Federal Register

By Armando F. Benincasa The final New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for the oil and natural gas sector was published in the Federal Register and will become effective on October 15, 2012. The key component of the final rules is a requirement to use "reduced emissions completion"...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Natural Gas Storage Field Boundary Extension vs. Production Interests

Do you produce gas or oil near a gas storage field? Do you intend to do so? Do you have an operating agreement with the storage field operator? What if storage field gas migrates into your production field or strata? What happens if your production operations threaten the integrity of the storage field...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Allows Pipeline to Prohibit Backhaul Shippers From Nominating Forward Haul Service

By Kurt Krieger Shippers with firm transportation capacity on interstate pipelines often nominate their contracts to move gas in numerous directions on the pipeline on a secondary point basis, subject to the pipeline's tariff scheduling priorities. Those with firm primary forward haul capacity...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: W. Va. DEP Issues Modified Oil and Gas Horizontal Well Rule

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection filed a modified version of 35 CSR , Series 8, the agency's new oil and gas horizontal well legislative rule, with the Secretary of State on September 14, 2012. The modified rule includes a response to comments previously filed by various industry...

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP: New EPA Report Again Ties Wyoming Water Pollution To Fracking

On October 10, 2012, as a follow-up to its December 2011 draft report concerning allegations of groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming, the EPA released the methodology and results for additional water samples collected from two monitoring wells by the U.S. Geological Society, in cooperation...

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...

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP Fracking Blog: Federal vs. State Regulation

On September 10, 2012, members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Natural Resources wrote to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, requesting that the Bureau of Land Management's proposed regulations governing hydraulic fracturing on federal land be made stronger. The group...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pa. PUC Decides Local Ordinance Violates Act 13

[Recently], the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) ruled that the South Fayette Township's ordinance governing oil and gas well development and processing violates provisions of Title 58 (Oil and Gas) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes ( Act 13 ), Pennsylvania's primary law regulating...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pa. Law Opens More State Lands for Energy Development

On October 8, 2012, the Indigenous Mineral Resources Incentives Development Act ("Act") was enacted into the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Act expands the state-owned lands available for resource extraction activities by conferring power to the Department of General Services...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: DOJ Ramps Up Interest in Oil and Gas Industry

By Gordon H. Copland, Russell D. Jessee and Nathaniel I. Holland Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division reached an agreement with two natural gas producers who each paid fines of over one-half million dollars to settle claims of anticompetitive collaboration in lease purchasing...

Mediation in Oil and Gas Law Disputes

By Lisa C. McManus, Esq. [1] | Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise wherever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There...

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: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Hear Appeal In Caldwell v. Kriebel

By Lawrence H. Baumiller On November 26, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the Superior Court’s decision in Caldwell v. Kriebel Resources Co. [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], which held that an oil and gas lease does not contain an implied...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Allows Non-public Information Sharing Between Gas Pipelines, Electric Utilities

By Troutman Sanders LLP On November 15, 2013, FERC issued Order No. 787, authorizing interstate natural gas pipelines and electric transmission operators to voluntarily share non-public, operational information with each other to promote grid reliability and operational planning. In doing so, FERC...

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...

Babst Calland: Department of the Interior Releases Semiannual Statement Of Regulatory Priorities

By Jonathan E. Dan The Department of the Interior has released its Statement of Regulatory Priorities , a subsection of which highlights the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)’s priorities on energy issues including hydraulic fracturing. BLM’s stated highest regulatory priorities include...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FMLA Misstep Proves Costly to Energy Employer

By Lindsay M. Bouffard An oil and gas support services company recently paid more than $43,000 in back wages and agreed to reinstate a terminated employee after a Department of Labor (DOL) investigation revealed the company terminated an employee in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: OSHA: Coming to a Drilling Site Near You

By Lindsay M. Bouffard and David E. Dick In an effort to reduce fatalities in the oil and gas industry, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) created an Oil and Gas Regional Emphasis Program . This program, implemented in 2012, applies to all worksites in Texas, among other states....

Norton Rose Fulbright: UKCS - Offshore Bareboat Chartering – Draft Legislation Published

In the Autumn Statement (5 December 2013), one announcement causing surprise and consternation to the UK North Sea oil and gas sector ( UKCS ) was that a ring fence was to be introduced in relation to certain UKCS profits made by an oil contractor, and that, within that ring fence, a cap was to be imposed...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Mineral Lessees Have Surface Rights Across Non-Producing Pooled Tracts

By Christina A. Denmark, Of Counsel, and Russell L. Schetroma, Member On June 20, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court held that a mineral lessee has the right to use a road to cross the surface of non-producing pooled tracts. This decision is critical for oil and gas producers , as it clarifies the ability...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: New York Court of Appeals Upholds Local Zoning Restrictions on Oil and Gas

On June 30, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that under the “Home Rule” principle, towns may ban oil and gas production activities, including but not limited to hydraulic fracturing, through the use of local zoning laws in the case of Wallach v. Town of Dryden . The Court ruled that...

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...

Norton Rose Fulbright: Commerce Announces Russian Oil Industry Export Controls

By Stephen M. McNabb , Stefan Reisinger , Kimberly Hope Caine and Gwen S. Green On August 1, 2014, the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security ("BIS") issued a final rule imposing a licensing requirement for the export of a wide range of items to Russia that are intended...

Norton Rose Fulbright: U.S. Proposes Stringent Standards For Rail Transport Of Flammable Liquids

By Eva Fromm O'Brien , Bob Greenslade , Jennifer Blair Caplan , Alan Harvie and Jean Piette On July 23, 2014, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration ("PHMSA"), an agency within the US Department of Transportation ("DOT"), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking...

DLA Piper: Mongolia’s New Petroleum Law Now In Effect – Key Points Of Its Investor-Friendly Incentives

By Stewart K. Diana and Battushig Batsuren* In the latest effort by the Government of Mongolia (GoM) to increase foreign investment and accelerate economic activity, the Great Khural, or Parliament, has adopted the Law of Mongolia on Petroleum. The law is already in effect. The new Petroleum Law...