Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: New Study Says Methane Leakage from Shale Gas Lower Than Alleged

By Armando F. Benincasa Initial findings from a new comprehensive study released Monday undertaken by the Environmental Defense Fund and the University of Texas found that methane leakage rates from natural gas systems were far below estimates of previous studies. In 2011, a study released from Cornell...

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight : Cuomo In No Rush To Join Other Dems In Endorsing Fracking

By Rich Ehisen Arkansas has embraced it. So has Illinois. West Virginia and Colorado have too. Maryland is strongly considering it. And now California has become the latest state led by a Democratic governor to sign off on the controversial oil and natural gas drilling practice known as hydraulic...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pa. Environmental Hearing Board Tosses First Utica Conservation Act Applications

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland | Hilcorp Energy Company filed the first application for spacing orders under Pennsylvania's 1960s vintage Oil and Gas Conservation Law affecting Utica shale operations with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) on July...

Norton Rose Fulbright Fracking Blog: House Democrats Request Hearing On Induced Seismicity

By Barclay Nicholson Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, issued a letter to their Republican counterparts requesting a joint hearing on the issue of seismic...

Babst Calland: Utica Shale Gas Production Surges in Quarterly Update

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Department of Natural Resources released its first quarterly production update thanks to a new law that requires production to be reported on a quarterly versus annual basis. The report showed that Ohio’s 245 horizontal wells produced a total of 1,332,477 barrels...

William A. Ruskin: Environmentalists Support Fracking But With Important Reservations

By William A. Ruskin It is necessary that natural gas be substituted for coal and oil as an energy source if the world is to have any chance of avoiding runaway greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, particularly from the developing world. At present, it is unrealistic to expect renewable...

Babst Calland: Permitting for Using Diesel in Hydraulic Fracturing Revised by EPA

By Scott McKernan The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released revised permitting guidance for underground injection control (UIC) under the Safe Drinking Water Act for wells using diesel fuels during hydraulic fracturing activities, reports The State Journal . EPA has...

Babst Calland: Proposed Bill to Allow Unlimited Drilling Waste in West Virginia Landfills

By W. Brian Nickerson As reported in the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper, Senate Bill 474 , introduced in the West Virginia Senate on Monday, February 3, would amend W. Va. Code § 22-15-8 to allow commercial waste facilities to accept drill cuttings and associated hydraulic fracturing waste above...

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Babst Calland: Utica and Marcellus Formations to Provide Gas to TransCanada’s ANR Pipeline

By Leah R. LaFramboise TransCanada Corporation’s ANR Pipeline system has secured nearly 2.0 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas transportation commitments for the movement of oil and gas produced from the Utica and Marcellus formations through its Southeast Main Line. These contracts involve...

Babst Calland: Pa. DEP Releases 2012 Emissions Data

By Meredith Odato Graham This week the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) announced the availability of emissions data from oil and gas operations in the Commonwealth. According to the PADEP press release , the data represents “2012 emissions levels from Marcellus Shale...

Babst Calland: Ohio EPA Issues Revised General Air Permits For Horizontal Drilling Sites Requiring More Aggressive Methane Leak Detection and Repair

By Joshua F. Hall As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal Online on April 4, 2014, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued revised general permits for the installation and operation of air contaminant sources at oil and gas horizontal well sites to address methane gas released from valves...

2013 Pa. Act 13 Well Fees Expected To Generate $224.5 Million

By Nicholas J. Habursky Governor Tom Corbett announced on Friday that the state of Pennsylvania expects to collect $224.5 million in 2014 through Act 13’s well fee assessed on unconventional wells. This figure represents an 11% increase over the previous year. Since Act 13 became law in 2012...

McNees Insights: Post-Production Issues and Oil & Gas Leases

By J. Corey Reeder So your oil and gas lease has now converted from the primary term to the secondary term – now what? There are several issues that a landowner or mineral interest owner should be aware of at this stage of the lease. Specifically, you should analyze the Declaration of Pooling...

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...

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: 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...