LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: FERC Issues 2011 State of the Market Report

By Kurt Krieger On April 19, 2012, the Office of Enforcement of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its 2011 State of the Markets Report, assessing the progress and status of the natural gas, electric, and other energy markets over the past year. In general, the report indicated...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Court Throws Out Zoning Provisions Governing Marcellus Shale Activities

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland In a 4-3 decision [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court struck down portions of the state's new law - dubbed Act 13 - governing Marcellus shale activities as unconstitutional. In their decision...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Appeals Act 13 Decision

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland On Friday, July 27, the Commonwealth appealed the July 26, 2012 4/3 decision of the Commonwealth Court that struck down the provisions of Act 13 of 2012 that attempted to assure statewide uniformity in local land use regulation of oil and gas development...

Arnold & Porter's Regulatory Chart and Case Chart Provide Monthly Updates On Hydraulic Fracturing

By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP Hydraulic fracturing (fracking), a process used by the oil and gas industry for more than 60 years, has attracted the national spotlight. By injecting fluids and other materials into existing wells, fracking extends oil and natural...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Water Service to Marcellus Natural Gas Wells for Fracturing - PSC Provides Further Guidance

By Kurt Krieger and Todd Swanson Earlier this year an administrative law judge (ALJ) for the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) ruled that a public service district (PSD) violated various state laws and regulations by refusing to provide water service to a natural gas producer (PSC Case...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pa. PUC Releases Shale Impact Fee Data

By Russell L. Schetroma and Adam Curtis The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) released its first report on Monday on the impact fees resulting from the state's new Marcellus shale law, dubbed Act 13 . The PUC is the agency in charge of collecting and disseminating the fees. According...

McNees Wallace & Nurick: Who Pays for Road Damage in Pennsylvania After Act 13?

By Jim Franklin The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania continues to experience dramatic increases in heavy-truck transportation activity associated with Marcellus Shale. So much so that approximately one-quarter of all PA-state routes are now posted with weight restrictions. Typically, any hauler who wants...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: W.Va. Supreme Court to Decide Rights of Surface Owners

By Bridget Furbee The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia will decide a certified question sent by the Doddridge County Circuit Court. On September 25, 2012, oral argument was held before the Court in the case of James Martin, Director DEP and EQT Production Co. v. Matthew Hamblet . The surface...

William A. Ruskin: Hydrofracking and The Battle Over Water in South Texas

By William A. Ruskin In an article titled, " Introduction to Hydraulic Fracturing Natural Gas Exploration ," Rebecca Jo Reser , an IADC member and partner at the San Antonio, Texas law firm of Davidson Troilo Ream & Garza, discusses the potential burden that hydraulic fracturing imposes...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia Supreme Court Rules Surface Owners Have No Right to Appeal Well Work Permits

By Armando Benincasa and Bridget Furbee [On Nov. 21] the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issued an important decision regarding whether surface owners have a right to appeal well work permits issued by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in the state's circuit courts...

McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC: Department Issues Timely Guidance on Oil and Natural Gas Interests

By Randy L. Varner On October 10, 2012, the Department of Revenue issued Informational Notice 2012-04, dealing with the Realty Transfer and Personal Income Tax treatment associated with the division and transfer of interests in oil and natural gas. While the Department does not break any new ground...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Regulatory Lead Time an Important Consideration in Development of Ohio Drilling Units

By Kathy Milenkovski and Neal Pierce During the past year, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has conducted hearings on three applications for unitized operation under Ohio Revised Code 1509.28. Additional hearings are on the schedule for January 2013. This statutory provision, part of the oil...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Judge Orders Marcellus Development Settlement Unsealed

By Brian Pulito and Jamie Little On March 20, 2013, in a 32-page opinion, President Judge Debbie O'Dell-Seneca of the Court of Common Pleas for Washington County, Pennsylvania ordered that a sealed, court-approved settlement between Plaintiffs, Stephanie and Chris Hallowich, and Defendants, Range...

DLA Piper Energy Alert: Thinking Strategically on Pipe Build-out for the Shale Boom

By Lee A. Alexander, Stefan M. Krantz and Zachary S. Launer Recent developments in horizontal drilling techniques have propelled natural gas production from shale formations to the forefront of domestic oil and gas production today. This rapid expansion is presenting opportunities and challenges for...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Reaffirms Dunham Rule

By Russell L. Schetroma and Nathaniel I. Holland In a unanimous opinion ( Butler v. Charles Power Estate , No. 27 MAP 2012) by Justice Baer issued April 24, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed the Dunham Rule, holding that a reservation of minerals in a deed does not reserve the gas in...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: DOE Study: Fracking Didn't Contaminate Water

By Brian J. Pulito A landmark federal study on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) shows no evidence that chemicals from the natural gas drilling process moved up to contaminate drinking water aquifers at a Western Pennsylvania drilling site. Richard Hammack, a geologist with the Department of Energy’s...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Mechanical Integrity Assessment in Pennsylvania

By Stephen C. Smith Well operators in Pennsylvania must inspect each operating well at least quarterly to ensure it is in compliance with the well construction and operating requirements as required by Pa. Code title 25, § 78.88 . At a minimum, inspections must determine: (1) The well-head...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Court Ruling a Victory for Kentucky Pipeline Eminent Domain Opponents

By J. Kevin West On March 25, 2014, a Circuit Court in Kentucky ruled in favor of those opposed to an interstate natural gas liquids (“NGLs”) pipeline’s potential use of eminent domain under the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The interstate pipeline is not subject to regulation...

Babst Calland: Natural Gas Fueled Powerplant Planned for Marshall County, West Virginia

By Morgan Condra Plans by Moundsville Power LLC to build a natural gas power plant were approved by members of the Marshall County Commission on April 22, 2014. The proposed 549 megawatt natural gas power plant is considered the first “downstream” project of its kind in West Virginia,...

Babst Calland: Energy Transfer Partners Approves Construction of New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Michael T. Altvater Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.’s board of directors has approved the construction of a new pipeline to transport gas to markets in the United States and Canada. The pipeline’s capacity is proposed to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet per day and may be expanded up...

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...

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...

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...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Court Rules That Gas Lease Was Not Forfeited

By Elena L. Rorabaugh The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled on Friday that an oil and gas lease was not forfeited by the failure of the operators to pay delay rentals lexis.com subscribers may view the enhanced opinion | Lexis Advance ] . In Dewing v. Abarta Oil & Gas Co. , the landowners (the...

Babst Calland: Pa. Commonwealth Court Reverses Controversial Lycoming County Decision

By Robert Max Junker Earlier [Sept. 14], the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued a unanimous decision in the much-anticipated case of Gorsline v. Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township , reversing the decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Lycoming County [ lexis.com subscribers may view...