LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Superior Court Challenges Dunham Rule for Marcellus Shale

By Russell L. Schetroma In 1882, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court announced a presumption that a reservation of "minerals" does not include oil absent evidence within the four corners of the deed of a contrary intent. Dunham v. Kirkpatick , 101 Pa. 36 (1882) [ enhanced version available...

Aqua America, PVR Partners Announce Joint Venture Private Water Pipeline in Marcellus Shale

Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR) ("Aqua") and Penn Virginia Resource Partners, L.P. (NYSE: PVR) ("PVR") on Sept. 20 announced that certain of their operating subsidiaries have formed a joint venture, Aqua - PVR Water Services, LLC, to construct and operate a private pipeline system to...

Pennsylvania Would Let Counties Set Natural Gas Drilling Fees

PITTSBURGH - (AP) Gov. Tom Corbett released a plan for Pennsylvania's natural gas boom Monday that would allow the state's counties to impose a fee on drilling to help pay to regulate it and fix environmental damage in communities where it is happening. The fee, which could be as high as $160...

Steptoe & Johnson: 3rd Circuit Upholds Private Property Rights

By Russell L. Schetroma In Minard Run Oil Company, et al v. United States Forest Service, et al Nos. 10-265 and 10-2332 the US Court of Appeals for the 3 rd Circuit faced an appeal of a courageous opinion by US District Judge Sean J. McLaughlin preliminarily enjoining efforts of the US Forest Service...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Law and Section 365 of the Bankruptcy Code - Can an Oil and Gas Lease be Rejected in Bankruptcy?

The recent boom in gas drilling in Pennsylvania due to the development of the Marcellus Shale would seem to be a windfall to landowners who have signed leases for the development of gas reserves on their property. When such a landowner becomes a debtor in a bankruptcy case, however, the value of such...

New Pennsylvania Policy to Address Spills and Releases from Oil and Gas Wells and Related Operations

The Bureau of Oil and Gas Management (BOGM), within the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, has drafted a new policy, Addressing Spills and Releases from Oil and Gas Wells and Related Operations (Policy). The Policy is notable because it provides guidance regarding the manner in which...

Steptoe & Johnson: West Virginia House of Delegates Passes Legislation to Lure an Ethane Cracker Facility

By L. Gil White In ongoing attempts to best position the state to attract an ethane cracker facility to the state, the West Virginia House of Delegates passed House Bill 4086 yesterday which grants substantial tax incentives for large investments of capitol in West Virginia aimed at growing manufacturing...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pa. General Assembly Set To Pass Marcellus Impact Fee Regulations

By Russell L. Schetroma Earlier today, the Pennsylvania Senate passed measures to govern the extraction of natural gas from the swath of Marcellus shale underlying the state. The plan now moves to the House of Representatives where it is expected to pass a final vote. The Senate approved H.B...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett Signs Marcellus Legislation

By Russell L. Schetroma Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law yesterday [Feb. 13, 2012] sweeping measures to govern the extraction of natural gas from the swath of Marcellus shale underlying the state. The Governor's signature caps a three-year struggle in the Pennsylvania General...

William A. Ruskin: Hydraulic Fracturing Risks and Opportunities

On April 18, 2012, Winston & Strawn and the Environmental Law Institute co-hosted an informative seminar on, "Hydraulic Fracturing Risks and Opportunities: Regulator, NGO, Industry and Investor Perspectives," in New York City. The meeting was expertly chaired by May Wall , a partner in...

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: 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: 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...