LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Court Favors Surface Owner in Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

Walker v. Noon was recently decided by the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals. Walker is noteworthy because it is the first appellate level decision addressing the automatic reversion provision under the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania House and Senate Pass Budget Without Marcellus Gas Severance Tax

By Matthew L. Lambach Marcellus Drilling News reports that the Pennsylvania House and Senate passed a budget that did not include a Marcellus Shale severance tax. Governor Tom Corbett withheld his signature while he continues to work with lawmakers on pension reform. Copyright 2014 • Babst...

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: 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: 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: Environmental Advocacy Groups Call for National Methane Emission Standards

By Holly A. Pisanelli On September 18, 2014, sixteen of the nation’s largest environmental advocacy groups joined forces in a letter to President Barack Obama calling for national standards aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas operations. The letter urged the U.S. Environmental...

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: 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: 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...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: The Impacts of the 2014 Elections on Colorado’s Energy Industry

By Lori A. Dawkins, Member, and Devin C. Daines, Associate The results and impacts of Colorado’s recent elections were widely regarded as positive by those in the energy industry. By narrowly winning a second term, Governor John Hickenlooper will be able to keep intact his oil and gas task force...

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...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Trial Lawyers Targeting Oil and Gas Industry Layoffs

There have already been social media campaigns targeting laid off oil and gas workers. Trial lawyers are looking for claims to bring against companies that make mistakes in laying off workers. On its face, the WARN Act appears to be simple and straightforward. However, there are several traps in that...

This Is Real Law: Collateral Damage: Falling Energy Prices Pose New Risks for Lenders

Where energy prices are going in 2015 is anyone’s guess. According to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. , Barclays and the Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp. , for example, the price of crude oil could soon plummet to $30 per barrel. Other predictions are even more extreme. Oil as cheap as $20 a barrel could be...

Babst Calland: Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Major Oil and Gas Lease Busting Case for Review

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction over Hupp v. Beck Energy , an important Ohio case involving the interpretation of oil and gas leases. The case involves a challenge by landowners in Monroe County to a standard form oil and gas lease. The landowners argued that the...

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 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...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania DEP Repurposes Rules for Oil and Gas Wells – Industry Concerns Increase

By Gary E. Slagel | As was previously noted on this blog site, the PA Department of Environmental Protection embarked on an effort several years ago to revise its Chapter 78 rules pertaining to the permitting and environmental issues associated with oil and gas operations. These proposed rules were...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Kentucky Oil and Gas Modernization Act of 2015 Will Become Effective June 24

By Sarah M. Lange and J. Kevin West e | The Kentucky Oil and Gas Modernization Act of 2015 was enacted by the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2015 Legislative Session and will take effect on June 24, 2015. The legislation provides regulatory certainty to the Commonwealth’s oil and gas industry...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Proposes Zero Discharge Rule For Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater

On April 7, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed regulations which would create pretreatment standards of performance for existing and new sources of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. EPA is proposing to establish a “zero discharge”...

Babst Calland LLC: Ohio City Will Not Appeal Court Order Overturning Drilling Ban

By Michael T. Altvater The City of Broadview Heights will not appeal the ruling of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court overturning the city’s voter-approved ban on new oil and gas drilling. The trial court relied on a recent decision from the Ohio Supreme Court in State ex rel. Morrison v...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Fayette County, W. Va., Commission Amends Code to Require Local Approval for UIC Wells

Operators of future underground injection wells in Fayette County, West Virginia will be required to obtain a permit from the county approving the placement of the well. The County Commission amended the development code to require permits for underground injection control (UIC) wells. A public hearing...

Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Oil And Gas Regulatory Changes In Its Biennial Budget Legislation

By David E. Northrop Ohio’s biennial budget legislation, House Bill 64 , signed by the Governor on June 30, 2015, includes changes and additions to Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory program appearing in Chapter 1509 of the Revised Code. The changes and additions take effect on September 29...

Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Horizontal Well Site Construction Rules

By David E. Northrop The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has adopted rules requiring the approval of plans for horizontal well sites prior to the construction or material modification of the sites. The rules, codified at OAC 1501:9-2-01, 1501...