LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Appeals Act 13 Decision

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland On Friday, July 27, the Commonwealth appealed the July 26, 2012 4/3 decision of the Commonwealth Court that struck down the provisions of Act 13 of 2012 that attempted to assure statewide uniformity in local land use regulation of oil and gas development...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Water Service to Marcellus Natural Gas Wells for Fracturing - PSC Provides Further Guidance

By Kurt Krieger and Todd Swanson Earlier this year an administrative law judge (ALJ) for the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) ruled that a public service district (PSD) violated various state laws and regulations by refusing to provide water service to a natural gas producer (PSC Case...

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: Opportunities in International Shale Gas Development

By Philip D. Vasquez In a recent white paper, I have outlined how India has proposed lucrative terms for foreign companies to come into India to help with shale gas development. As gas prices fall domestically, gas demands in countries such as India, China and Japan are at an all time high. The prolific...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: W.Va. Supreme Court to Decide Rights of Surface Owners

By Bridget Furbee The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will decide a certified question sent by the Doddridge County Circuit Court. On September 25, 2012, oral argument was held before the Court in the case of James Martin, Director DEP and EQT Production Co. v. Matthew Hamblet . The surface...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia House Judiciary Amends Horizontal Well Legislative Rule

By Armando F. Benincasa and G. Kurt Dettinger On April 9, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee amended SB 243, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection ("WVDEP") rules bill which includes the promulgation of permanent legislative rules, 35 Code of State Rules, Series 8, regarding...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Mechanical Integrity Assessment in Pennsylvania

By Stephen C. Smith Well operators in Pennsylvania must inspect each operating well at least quarterly to ensure it is in compliance with the well construction and operating requirements as required by Pa. Code title 25, § 78.88 . At a minimum, inspections must determine: (1) The well-head...

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....

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Takes Further Action to Promote Gas and Electric Industry Coordination

B y Kurt L. Krieger On March 20, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) issued three separate but related items as part of FERC’s ongoing efforts to address gas and electric industry coordination issues arising from the increased reliance on natural gas for electricity...

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...

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...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania DEP Repurposes Rules for Oil and Gas Wells – Industry Concerns Increase

By Gary E. Slagel | As was previously noted on this blog site, the PA Department of Environmental Protection embarked on an effort several years ago to revise its Chapter 78 rules pertaining to the permitting and environmental issues associated with oil and gas operations. These proposed rules were...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Kentucky Oil and Gas Modernization Act of 2015 Will Become Effective June 24

By Sarah M. Lange and J. Kevin West e | The Kentucky Oil and Gas Modernization Act of 2015 was enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2015 Legislative Session and will take effect on June 24, 2015. The legislation provides regulatory certainty to the Commonwealth’s oil and gas industry...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Releases Clean Power Plan

By Stephen L. Miller On August 3, 2015, President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy released the agency’s Clean Power Plan , regulations designed to significantly reduce CO 2 emissions from power plants, as well as promoting low-emitting power sources and energy efficiency. These sweeping...