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Fracking Shale Gas Drilling

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Babst Calland: New York Attorney General Seeks Dismissal of Fracking Lawsuits

By Michael C. Murphy The New York Attorney General’s office has filed motions to dismiss two lawsuits that seek to force Governor Cuomo to end a delay in deciding the future of shale drilling within the State. The two lawsuits, filed separately by a group of landowners and the bankruptcy trustee...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appeals Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

By Michael T. Altvater The Seventh District Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning application of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act. In Walker v. Noon , the appeals court upheld the ruling of a Noble County trial court finding that the 1989 version of the Dormant Mineral Act applied and that a severed...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Judge Denies Requests To Intervene In Act 13 Case

By Matthew L. Lambach On April 9, 2014, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini denied the petition to intervene of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association , Marcellus Shale Coalition and American Petroleum Institute in the Act 13 litigation, which was remanded...

Babst Calland: Legislation Proposed to Strengthen Penalties for Oil and Gas Violations in Ohio

By Benjamin J. Bolinger Ohio House Bill 490 , which would strengthen penalties for violating Ohio’s oil and gas regulations, is now pending before the Ohio House agriculture committee. The bill was introduced in response to illegal dumping of oil field waste. Industry officials have so far indicated...

State Net Capitol Journal: Slashed Oil Estimate Threatens Fracking In California

In 2011, an energy firm hired by the state of California estimated that a 1,750-square-mile rock formation extending from Sacramento to Los Angeles could yield 13.7 billion barrels of oil, based on existing extraction technologies. That projection spurred hopes of an energy boom in the state like those...

Split New York High Court: Municipalities May Pass Laws Banning Fracking

ALBANY, N.Y. — (Mealey’s) A divided New York Court of Appeals on June 30 ruled that local municipalities may pass bans on the oil and gas extraction procedure that uses hydraulic fracturing because the supersession clause in the statewide Oil, Gas Solution Mining Law (OGSML) does not preempt...

Health Professionals Call For Reform On Response To Pennsylvania Fracking Concerns

HARRISBURG, Pa. – (Mealey’s) A group of 405 health professionals on Aug. 19 sent a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and other state officials calling for reform at the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) based on allegations that the employees of the DOH were instructed not to...

Babst Calland: New York High Court Asked to Re-hear Arguments in Case Banning Oil and Gas Activities

By Michael C. Murphy Citing a recently decided case in Colorado, the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy filed a motion in early August urging the New York Court of Appeals to re-hear arguments in the case. In June, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion which affirmed local zoning laws adopted by...

Babst Calland: Ohio DNR Opens Comment Period for Draft Rules on Well Pad Construction

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has opened the comment period on its draft rules for the construction of horizontal well sites. All interested parties may submit comments in writing by the close-of-business on Monday, October 06, 2014 to dogrm.rules@dnr.ohio.gov . ...

State Net Capitol Journal: Fracking Local Ballot Issue In Several States This Year

Local initiatives aimed at banning, regulating or suspending the controversial method of oil and gas extraction known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will be on the ballot in three states in November, according to Ballotpedia. The initiatives include measures J, P and S in CALIFORNIA's San...

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: Southwestern Energy to Acquire 413,000 Acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy

By Scott K. McKernan Southwestern Energy Co. announced that it has signed a deal to acquire 413,000 net acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $5.375 billion, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times . This acquisition includes 256 producing and 179 unoperated or nonproducing...

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: 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: Labor and Employment Professor’s Study Shows that the Marcellus Shale has Boosted the Construction Industry

By Marc J. Felezzola According to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times , Robert Bruno , a labor and employment relations professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has determined that the shale fields in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia are a strong...

New York Bans Hydraulic Fracturing Statewide

ALBANY, N.Y. — (Mealey's) The commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Dec. 17 announced at a meeting of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cabinet that he will “issue a legally binding findings statement” that will prohibit high-volume horizontal...