Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Lease Act Signed Into Law, Addresses Joint Development

On July 9, 2013, Governor Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 259, also known as the Oil and Gas Lease Act (Act), amending the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act. In addition to providing new rights and requirements as to payments resulting from the production under oil and gas leases, the Act authorizes...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: DOE Study: Fracking Didn't Contaminate Water

By Brian J. Pulito A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a Western Pennsylvania drilling site. Richard Hammack, a geologist with the Department of Energy’s...

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...

Land Owner Concedes Strict Liability Claim in Compressor Station Case

Penn State Marcellus Shale Law Blog reports that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently granted in part and denied in part Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P.’s motion to dismiss and or strike a personal injury complaint by a neighboring land owner. In Koziel v....

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Court Rules Seneca Has Rights On Game Land

By Matthew L. Lambach On January 27 th , 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania overruled in part and sustained in part the preliminary objections of Seneca Resources Corporation (Seneca) to a complaint filed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (Commission) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis...

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: EPA Issues Advisory Concerning Design of Newly Constructed Natural Gas Processing Plants

By Jonathan E. Dan The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued an Interim Chemical Accident Prevention Advisory concerning the design of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) installations at natural gas processing plants. EPA has found that some existing plants were constructed in accordance...

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....

Babst Calland: West Virginia Senate Passes Future Fund Bill

By Ben Milleville The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 461 , known as The Future Fund Bill, on February 21 st . The Bill, as described in an Associated Press story published in the Charleston Gazette, would create a new fund that would be financed by 25 percent of the severance...

Babst Calland: EPA Proposes Amendments to Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule for Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems

By Meredith Odato Graham This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a proposal to amend Subpart W of the greenhouse gas reporting program rules, which affects the Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems source category. According to EPA’s fact sheet , “[t]he proposal...

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: Natural Gas Fueled Powerplant Planned for Marshall County, West Virginia

By Morgan Condra Plans by Moundsville Power LLC to build a natural gas power plant were approved by members of the Marshall County Commission on April 22, 2014. The proposed 549 megawatt natural gas power plant is considered the first “downstream” project of its kind in West Virginia,...

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...

DLA Piper Climate Change Alert: EPA Announces Carbon Regulations For Existing Power Plants

By Deborah E. Jennings , Andrew B. Schatz and Catherine B. Campbell The Environmental Protection Agency has announced long-awaited regulations to reduce carbon-dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from existing power plants pursuant to the Clean Air Act. EPA's Clean Power Plan would for the first time establish...

Babst Calland: Energy Transfer Partners Approves Construction of New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Michael T. Altvater Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.’s board of directors has approved the construction of a new pipeline to transport gas to markets in the United States and Canada. The pipeline’s capacity is proposed to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet per day and may be expanded up...

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...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania House and Senate Pass Budget Without Marcellus Gas Severance Tax

By Matthew L. Lambach Marcellus Drilling News reports that the Pennsylvania House and Senate passed a budget that did not include a Marcellus Shale severance tax. Governor Tom Corbett withheld his signature while he continues to work with lawmakers on pension reform. Copyright 2014 • Babst...

Duane Morris LLP: D.C. Circuit Ruling Has Potential Implications for Natural Gas Pipeline and LNG Projects Under FERC Environmental Review

A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rejected certain portions of an environmental analysis conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or "Commission"). This turn of events is likely to cause anyone with, or planning to have, a...