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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...

Babst Calland: 3 Oil and Gas Bills Pass Pennsylvania Senate Panel

By Elena L. Rorabaugh | A Pennsylvania senate committee recently unanimously approved two bills regarding oil and gas royalty calculations. StateImpact Pennsylvania reported that Senate Bills 147 and 148 were approved by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee on Wednesday, January...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Bans New Gas Leases For Commonwealth-Owned Lands

By Nicholas J. Habursky [On Jan. 29], Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order banning new oil and gas leases on public land owned by the Commonwealth. This order ended the efforts of former Governor Tom Corbett to expand oil and gas drilling below...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument in Dormant Mineral Act Cases

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court scheduled oral argument in two significant Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) cases. Oral argument has been scheduled on Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. for May 6, 2015. As previously reported on ShaleEnergyLawBlog, the Corban case is likely...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania High Court Prohibits Tolling of Oil and Gas Leases During Litigation

By Steven B. Silverman [On Feb. 17], the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued Harrison v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. , a significant opinion in which the Court refused to apply equitable tolling principles that other oil and gas jurisdictions have adopted [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers...

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...

New Federal Fracking Rules Require Chemical Disclosure, Groundwater Protection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on March 20 announced new regulations for hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands that will require companies to disclose the chemicals they use and mandate procedures for storing fracking fluid wastewater. U...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ongoing Political And Legal Developments Impact Marcellus Operations In Pennsylvania

While some jurisdictions (Maryland, New Jersey; municipalities in California and Colorado) are still considering whether to permit or ban hydraulic fracturing, operators in Pennsylvania need not be too concerned about a statewide moratorium anytime soon. However, operators should be aware of ongoing...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia DOL May Require PEs Working Shale Gas Development To Obtain Contractor License

By Paul A. Konstanty What does this mean to you? If you are currently a Professional Engineer (PE) working in the Marcellus shale, you may now also need to be licensed as a Contractor in the State of West Virginia. Failure to comply means you could be faced with a Cease and Desist Order from the Department...