LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Pennsylvania’s Landlord and Tenant Act Is not Applicable to Oil and Gas Leases

By Alana E. Fortna In a recent opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed whether Pennsylvania’s Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 (the “Act”), and the applicable statute of frauds contained therein, applies to oil and gas leases.  In Nolt v. TS Calkins & Associates, LP...

Babst Calland: New York Court Dismisses Suits Seeking to Compel State’s Environmental Impact Statement

By Holly A. Pisanelli On July 11, 2014, a New York state trial court dismissed two similar cases in which the plaintiffs sought to compel the State to finalize a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (“SGEIS”) pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”...

Babst Calland: U.S. EPA Proposes Amendments to Air Rules Affecting Oil and Gas Industry

By Meredith Odato Graham [On July 17] the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published proposed amendments to federal air regulations at 40 C.F.R. 60, Subpart OOOO (Standards of Performance for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution). Subpart OOOO was first promulgated...

Babst Calland: Commonwealth Court Issues Decision On Remaining Issues In Act 13 Case

By Lawrence H. Baumiller In its far-reaching decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ], which was issued on December 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated several critical provisions of Act 13. Additionally, the Supreme Court remanded...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Dormant Mineral Act Case

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court will review a key question of state law concerning application of the Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). In Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC , the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified the following questions...

Babst Calland: Proposed Pa. Legislation Seeks to Require Use of Steel Products Produced in U.S.

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Two pieces of proposed legislation were introduced to the Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday, July 31. Each has been referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Senate Bill 1458 , if passed, would amend Title 58 by requiring that steel casings (or other...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania’s Natural Gas Production Hits New High in First Half of Year

By Elena L. Rorabaugh As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Times , Pennsylvania’s reported natural gas production in the first six months of 2014 reached 1.9 trillion cubic feet. Production is up from 1.7 trillion cubic feet reported over the second half of 2013 and 1.4 trillion over the first...

Babst Calland: Public Utility Commission Appeals Pennsylvania Act 13 Ruling

By Lawrence H. Baumiller ‘ The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission appealed the Commonwealth Court’s July 17, 2014 Opinion and Order in the Act 13 case, which resolved a number of issues remanded by the Supreme Court [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subwscribers ]. Review...

Babst Calland: Ohio Governor Vows to Hike Drilling Tax

By Michael T. Altvater Ohio Governor John Kasich increased his rhetoric regarding a new severance tax on shale oil and gas production. So far, the legislature has opposed any additional increase in the severance tax that was passed in House Bill 375 in May of this year. Governor Kasich describes the...

Babst Calland: Colleges in Western Pennsylvania Offer Programs Geared Toward Energy Industry

By Matthew L. Lambach The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that colleges located in Western Pennsylvania are creating programs to prepare students for jobs in the energy industry. For example, Kennedy Township’s Rosedale Technical Institute (soon to be re-named Rosedale Technical College) currently...

Babst Calland: Drilling Severance Tax Bill Proposed In The Pennsylvania House

By Elena L. Rorabaugh A bill that would amend taxation on oil and gas drilling was referred to the Pennsylvania House Committee on Environmental Resources and Energy on Monday. House Bill 2508, which was introduced by Margo Davidson (Democrat, Delaware County) and others, seeks to impose a severance...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appeals Court Overturns Trial Court in Perpetual Lease Case

By Michael T. Altvater The Seventh District Court of Appeals overturned the Monroe County trial court’s decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corporation finding that a standard oil and gas lease form was void as against public policy [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. The appeals...

Babst Calland: Magnum Hunter’s West Virginia 'Monster Well' the Largest Utica Well Drilled to Date

By Sarah Carter As reported by Columbus Business First and NGI’s Shale Daily , Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation’s first Utica well in West Virginia has reported production of 46.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, thereby rendering the Stewart Winland 1300U well in Tyler County...

Babst Calland: Pa. Zoning Hearing Board Erred When It Denied Application for Natural Gas Compressor Station

By Alana E. Fortna On September 26, 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion in favor of MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, LLC [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. MarkWest had purchased a 71.5 acre parcel of undeveloped land in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania...

Babst Calland: Mountaineer Keystone LLC Finalizes Acquisition of PDC Mountaineer LLC

By W. Brian Nickerson As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times on October 15, 2014, Wexford-based Marcellus driller Mountaineer Keystone LLC has finalized its acquisition of joint-venture partner PDC Mountaineer LLC for a reported sale price of $500 million. PDC Mountaineer was created in 2009...

Babst Calland: Bills Affecting Production Reporting And Lease Termination Pass Pennsylvania House and Senate

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Two bills primarily sponsored by PA Representative Tina Pickett (Republican, Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) have recently passed the State House and Senate. House Bill (HB) 2278 , Unconventional Well Report Act, would require the operator of an unconventional well to file a monthly...

Babst Calland: Ohio’s 5th District Court of Appeals Weighs in on Dormant Mineral Act Issue

By Michael T. Altvater Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently held that the 1989 version of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act applies to current disputes concerning ownership of severed mineral estates. The court in Wendt v. Dickerson followed previous rulings from the Seventh District...

Babst Calland: EPA Inspector General Continues Review of Fracking Rules Over Objections from Senate

By Holly A. Pisanelli The Inspector General (IG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Arthur Elkins, has vowed to continue to evaluate the effectiveness of state and federal regulations of hydraulic fracturing. The IG recently responded by letter to early October correspondence from...

Babst Calland: New York Court Declines to Re-Hear Land Use Case as Governor Anticipates Health Report by End of 2014

By Michael C. Murphy On October 16, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals denied a request by the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy to re-hear arguments in the landmark case affirming local zoning laws adopted by two upstate towns that prohibited oil and gas-related activities within their borders...

Babst Calland: Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act Signed Into Law

By Matthew L. Lambach On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 402, also known as the Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act, into law. The Act imposes a duty on a lessee to deliver a surrender document to a lessor within 30 days of the...

Babst Calland: Unconventional Well Report Act Signed Into Law in Pennsylvania

By Michael K. Reer On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 2278, The Unconventional Well Report Act, into law. The Act requires operators of unconventional wells to submit monthly production reports to the Department of Environmental Protection. The change is to revise...

Babst Calland: Sunoco Moves Forward With Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Fox Business reported that Sunoco Logistics Partners will invest $2.5 billion in the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays to an East Coast port. Mariner East 2 will connect processing plants in Pennsylvania, West...

Babst Calland: West Virginia University Announces Launch of Field Laboratory for the Long-Term Study of Shale Gas Production Operations

By Christopher "Kip" Power West Virginia University recently announced that it will be establishing the “Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory,” at a site in the Morgantown Industrial Park near the WVU campus. The laboratory is being funded as part of a five-year...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Natural Gas Operator Prevails in Air Aggregation Case

By Meredith Odato Graham {On Feb. 23}, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted a motion for summary judgment in favor of a natural gas operator in a closely-watched case involving air aggregation issues [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In 2011...

Babst Calland: EIA Reports on Natural Gas Storage Capacity

By Holly A. Pisanelli The U. S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released a report indicating that the overall natural gas storage capacity in the lower 48 states was relatively unchanged between November 2013 and November 2014. The EIA measures natural gas storage capacity in November...