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New Pennsylvania Policy to Address Spills and Releases from Oil and Gas Wells and Related Operations

The Bureau of Oil and Gas Management (BOGM), within the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, has drafted a new policy, Addressing Spills and Releases from Oil and Gas Wells and Related Operations (Policy). The Policy is notable because it provides guidance regarding the manner in which...

Babst Calland: New Horizontal Well Location Restrictions and Setback Requirements in West Virginia

Oil and natural gas operators should be aware that new horizontal well location restrictions and setback requirements, that are included in the recently adopted Horizontal Well Act (the Act), may significantly affect well drilling plans in West Virginia. Any well work permit application filed with the...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Clarifies Standard for Producing ‘In Paying Quantities’ Under Oil and Gas Lease

In a long-awaited decision issued Monday, March 26, 2012, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that a court must consider an operator's good-faith judgment in continuing to operate a well in determining whether a well is producing "in paying quantities" under the terms of an oil and gas...

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...

Babst Calland: Plain Meaning Prevails - 6th Circuit Overturns EPA's Single Source Determination. What's EPA's Next Step?

On August 7, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit published a decision that appears to be a victory in terms of how permitting authorities must decide which air permitting requirements apply to the oil and gas industry. However, a closer look at the Sixth Circuit's decision suggests...

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: 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...

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...

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: National Transportation Safety Board Identifies Pipeline Safety as Key Issue

By Jonathan E. Dan The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has included “enhancing pipeline safety” on its 2014 Most Wanted List , which identifies its top 10 priorities for the year. The NTSB warns that although “[p]ipelines remain one of the safest and most efficient means...

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...

Babst Calland: Pa. House Panel Approves Bill To Reform Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act

By Elena L. Rorabaugh As reported by legal news website Law360 , a Pennsylvania bill was approved by the House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee that would amend the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act of 1979 (GMRA) and will move to the House floor. House Bill 1684 would amend the GMRA to clarify...

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...

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...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument in Dormant Mineral Act Cases

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court scheduled oral argument in two significant Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) cases. Oral argument has been scheduled on Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. for May 6, 2015. As previously reported on ShaleEnergyLawBlog, the Corban case is likely...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania High Court Prohibits Tolling of Oil and Gas Leases During Litigation

By Steven B. Silverman [On Feb. 17], the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued Harrison v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. , a significant opinion in which the Court refused to apply equitable tolling principles that other oil and gas jurisdictions have adopted [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers...

Babst Calland: First Installment of Quadrennial Energy Review Recommends Investment in Energy Infrastructure

By Holly A. Pisanelli The White House recently released a report from the first Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) , focusing on U.S. energy transmission, storage and distribution infrastructure. In January 2014, President Obama directed the administration to conduct the QER as part of his Climate Action...

Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Oil And Gas Regulatory Changes In Its Biennial Budget Legislation

By David E. Northrop Ohio’s biennial budget legislation, House Bill 64 , signed by the Governor on June 30, 2015, includes changes and additions to Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory program appearing in Chapter 1509 of the Revised Code. The changes and additions take effect on September 29...

Babst Calland: Gov. Tomblin Forms The West Virginia Commission On Oil And Natural Gas Industry Safety

By Briana J. Marino On July 9, 2015, Governor Tomblin announced the formation and appointment of members to the West Virginia Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety. Publicized during Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address in early 2015, the Commission is charged with “reviewing...