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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: WVDEP Issues New Storm Water Construction General Permit for Oil and Gas Projects

By Armando F. Benincasa The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) issued its long-delayed Storm Water Construction General Permit for Oil and Gas projects this past Monday. The permit which will impact greatly oil and gas industry support activities, such as pipeline construction...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Production 'Irrelevant' Under Flat-Rate Leases

By Bridget D. Furbee A good outcome for oil and gas operators in West Virginia was provided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on May 7, 2013. Referencing "... longstanding West Virginia law," the Court affirmed the validity of a 1933 lease finding "... the quantity...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Ohio Attorney General Rules Counties May Sell Water to Oil and Gas Operators

The Ohio Attorney General's office was recently asked to give its opinion on a county's authority to sell water that is available to oil and gas drillers in need of large quantities of water for hydraulic fracturing purposes. Specifically, Harrison County had inquired about the legality of entering...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning of 'Surface' Deeds

By Ryan J. Morgan Yesterday the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, in Faith United Methodist Church v. Morgan , No. 12-0080, 2013 W. Va. LEXIS 691 (June 13, 2013) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] issued an important opinion for title practitioners clarifying the meaning...