LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
AP Enterprise: Lowball Natural Gas Drilling Leases Haunt Pennsylvania

FORKSVILLE, Pa. - (AP) A few short years after agreeing to lease their land to a natural gas company for $2 an acre, Dave and Karen Beinlich could do little but watch, and wait, as an overnight drilling boom turned fellow Pennsylvania landowners into millionaires. While other landowners were striking...

USGS Boosts Amount Of Marcellus Shale Gas Reserves

PITTSBURGH - (AP) The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday that the Marcellus Shale region contains some 84 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, recoverable natural gas, far more than thought nearly a decade ago. Tuesday's figure is much higher than the last government assessment in 2002, which suggested...

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 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...

William A. Ruskin on State Fracking Disclosure Requirements

By William A. Ruskin Opponents of fracking argue that it is necessary for the public, and health and safety professionals, to have full access to information on the constituents of hydraulic fracturing fluids and waste. In a report released on July 26, 2012 titled, " State Hydraulic Fracturing...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Invalidates Act 13 Local Ordinance Limitations

In a 4-3 decision, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court struck down portions of Act 13 of 2012, which had placed limits on the authority of local governments to regulate oil and gas industry activities. In its July 26, 2012 ruling on a legal challenge brought by seven municipalities and others, the Court...

Fulbright Briefing: Pa. Commonwealth Court Overturns Significant Portions of Act 13; Appeal Filed Next Day

By Kenneth S. Komoroski , Matthew H. Sepp and Michael P. Gaetani The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the Oil and Gas Act ("Act 13"), which substantially revises the Oil and Gas Act of 1984, 58 P.S. § 601.101 et seq., and was signed into law by Governor Tom Corbett on February...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Pennsylvania DEP Finds No Link Between Hydraulic Fracturing and Methane Contamination

By Armando F. Benincasa, Brian J. Pulito and Thomas J. Sengewalt After a 16-month investigation, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection announced Monday that hydraulic fracturing for natural gas by WPX Energy, Inc. was not responsible for methane contamination in three private water...

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...

Land Owner Concedes Strict Liability Claim in Compressor Station Case

Penn State Marcellus Shale Law Blog reports that the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently granted in part and denied in part Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P.’s motion to dismiss and or strike a personal injury complaint by a neighboring land owner. In Koziel v....

Transco Asks FERC to Authorize Leidy Southeast Pipeline Project

Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company, LLC (“Transco”) recently filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) for authorization to construct and operate the Leidy Southeast Project. According to the application, the Leidy Southeast Project would...

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...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Court Rules Seneca Has Rights On Game Land

By Matthew L. Lambach On January 27 th , 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania overruled in part and sustained in part the preliminary objections of Seneca Resources Corporation (Seneca) to a complaint filed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission (Commission) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: OSHA: Coming to a Drilling Site Near You

By Lindsay M. Bouffard and David E. Dick In an effort to reduce fatalities in the oil and gas industry, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) created an Oil and Gas Regional Emphasis Program . This program, implemented in 2012, applies to all worksites in Texas, among other states....

Babst Calland: Advocates From Pa., Ohio, West Virginia Urge Common Approach To Shale Gas Taxation

By Joshua F. Hall As reported by Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station, 90.5 WESA, three advocacy groups, Leaders of Policy Matters Ohio, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, sent a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia...

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: 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: 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 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 Federal Court Holds 1961 Dual Purpose Lease Still In Effect

By Matthew L. Lambach | In the case titled Mason v. Range Res.-Appalachia LLC (2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97471), the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently held that a 1961 oil and gas lease remained in effect pursuant to the terms of the lease [ enhanced opinion...

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...

Babst Calland: Pa. Court Upholds Zoning Ordinance Permitting Oil and Gas Well Development In Agricultural/Residential Zoning District

By Lawrence H. Baumiller | On October 21, 2015, Judge Richard McCormick, President Judge of the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas, issued a decision and order upholding the validity of Allegheny Township’s zoning ordinance, which permits oil and gas well development in the Township’s...