Ohio Announces Additional Permitting Requirements For Horizontal Drilling

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has changed permitting requirements after finding a probable connection between horizontal drilling activity near a previously unknown microfault and recent seismic activity in the Mahoning County area. Moving forward, any new permits...

Babst Calland: EPA Seeks Comment on Methane and VOC White Papers

By Holly A. Pisanelli On April 15, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released five technical white papers for peer review, each one focusing on a possible source of methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions within the oil and natural gas sector. The papers describe estimated...

Babst Calland: RACT Rulemaking Expected to Impact Major Sources of NOx and VOC Emissions in Pennsylvania

By Meredith Odato Graham Proposed regulatory amendments published on April 19, 2014 are likely to affect hundreds of facilities in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has estimated that 141 sources will need to install additional pollution control equipment...

Babst Calland: Warren Resources to Acquire Marcellus Assets

By Scott K. McKernan Warren Resources has executed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire Marcellus shale assets from Citrus Energy Corporation and two other working interest owners, reports Shale Energy Insider. The acquired assets, located in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, are all held by production...

Rice Energy to Acquire Wells and Acreage in Greene County, Pa.

By Scott K. McKernan The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Rice Energy Inc. is acquiring 12 wells and 22,000 net acres in Greene County, Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Inc. Seven of the wells are currently producing and the five other wells are being developed, according to a statement by...

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: 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: 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: 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: 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...