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...

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: Kiskiminetas Township, Pa., Approves Oil and Gas Ordinance

By Matthew L. Lambach The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Kiskiminetas Township supervisors unanimously enacted an ordinance that will allow for oil and natural gas exploration. The ordinance allows for “reasonable development of land for oil and gas drilling while providing adequate...

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 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 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 . ...

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...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Appeals Court Overturns Ruling That Held Certain Oil And Gas Leases Were Void

In Hupp v. Beck , Ohio’s 7th District Court of Appeals overturned the trial court’s decision that certain oil and gas leases were void ab initio (i.e. at their inception) because the trial court considered them to be a “no term or perpetual lease” due to the delay rental provisions...

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: 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: 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...