Fulbright & Jaworski LLP: Shale & Hydraulic Fracturing Litigation

Analysis of Litigation Involving Shale & Hydraulic Fracturing

By Barclay Richard Nicholson, Stephen C. Dillard and Kadian Blanson

Since August 2009, at least twenty-three (23) lawsuits complaining of alleged groundwater contamination have been filed by landowners in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia against oil & gas and drilling companies. Nearly all the plaintiffs in these suits are either landowners who leased oil and gas rights to the defendants, or landowners who reside in close proximity to where hydraulic fracturing operations were conducted. This paper discusses many of the recent lawsuits filed that implicate hydraulic fracturing and the claims made in those cases. Most of the cases are still in the early stages of litigation; in fact, the authors have not located any judgment to date against a well operator, drilling contractor, or service company for contamination of groundwater resulting from hydraulic fracturing.

Click here to download this comprehensive analysis of hydraulic fracturing and shale drilling litigation.

This article was prepared by Barclay R. Nicholson ( or 713 651 3662), Stephen C. Dillard ( or 713 651 5507) and Kadian Blanson ( or 713 651 5386) of Fulbright's Shale and Hydraulic Fracturing Task Force.


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