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: EPA Accepting Data Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing Study

By Armando F. Benincasa In an update on its study of the potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it would be accepting data and analyses from the public to supplement data which it is already collecting and...

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...

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: 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: 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: 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...

West Virginia State University Designs Energy Management Concentration to Support West Virginia’s Growing Natural Gas Industry

By Briana J. Marino West Virginia State University has developed a new academic program designed to educate the next generation of oil and gas employees, developers, and industrialists in the Appalachian region. WVSU now offers a Concentration in Energy Management associated with its Bachelor of Science...

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: 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: 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: 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...

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...

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: 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: New York’s Highest Court Upholds Right of Municipalities to Ban Oil and Gas Activities

By Michael C. Murphy Today the New York Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming local zoning laws adopted by two upstate towns that prohibited oil and gas-related activities within their borders. Specifically, the Court ruled that there was nothing within the plain language, statutory scheme...

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...