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Babst Calland: New York Attorney General Seeks Dismissal of Fracking Lawsuits

By Michael C. Murphy The New York Attorney General’s office has filed motions to dismiss two lawsuits that seek to force Governor Cuomo to end a delay in deciding the future of shale drilling within the State. The two lawsuits, filed separately by a group of landowners and the bankruptcy trustee...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appeals Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

By Michael T. Altvater The Seventh District Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning application of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act. In Walker v. Noon , the appeals court upheld the ruling of a Noble County trial court finding that the 1989 version of the Dormant Mineral Act applied and that a severed...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Judge Denies Requests To Intervene In Act 13 Case

By Matthew L. Lambach On April 9, 2014, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court President Judge Dan Pellegrini denied the petition to intervene of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association , Marcellus Shale Coalition and American Petroleum Institute in the Act 13 litigation, which was remanded...

Babst Calland: Legislation Proposed to Strengthen Penalties for Oil and Gas Violations in Ohio

By Benjamin J. Bolinger Ohio House Bill 490 , which would strengthen penalties for violating Ohio’s oil and gas regulations, is now pending before the Ohio House agriculture committee. The bill was introduced in response to illegal dumping of oil field waste. Industry officials have so far indicated...

Babst Calland: Pa. Zoning Hearing Board Erred When It Denied Application for Natural Gas Compressor Station

By Alana E. Fortna On September 26, 2014, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion in favor of MarkWest Liberty Midstream & Resources, LLC [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ]. MarkWest had purchased a 71.5 acre parcel of undeveloped land in Cecil Township, Pennsylvania...

Babst Calland: Mountaineer Keystone LLC Finalizes Acquisition of PDC Mountaineer LLC

By W. Brian Nickerson As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times on October 15, 2014, Wexford-based Marcellus driller Mountaineer Keystone LLC has finalized its acquisition of joint-venture partner PDC Mountaineer LLC for a reported sale price of $500 million. PDC Mountaineer was created in 2009...

Babst Calland: Bills Affecting Production Reporting And Lease Termination Pass Pennsylvania House and Senate

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Two bills primarily sponsored by PA Representative Tina Pickett (Republican, Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) have recently passed the State House and Senate. House Bill (HB) 2278 , Unconventional Well Report Act, would require the operator of an unconventional well to file a monthly...

Babst Calland: Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act Signed Into Law

By Matthew L. Lambach On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 402, also known as the Recording of Surrender Documents from Oil and Natural Gas Lease Act, into law. The Act imposes a duty on a lessee to deliver a surrender document to a lessor within 30 days of the...

Babst Calland: Unconventional Well Report Act Signed Into Law in Pennsylvania

By Michael K. Reer On October 22, 2014, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed House Bill 2278, The Unconventional Well Report Act, into law. The Act requires operators of unconventional wells to submit monthly production reports to the Department of Environmental Protection. The change is to revise...

Babst Calland: Sunoco Moves Forward With Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

By Elena L. Rorabaugh Fox Business reported that Sunoco Logistics Partners will invest $2.5 billion in the Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will carry natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica Shale plays to an East Coast port. Mariner East 2 will connect processing plants in Pennsylvania, West...

Babst Calland: West Virginia University Announces Launch of Field Laboratory for the Long-Term Study of Shale Gas Production Operations

By Christopher "Kip" Power West Virginia University recently announced that it will be establishing the “Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory,” at a site in the Morgantown Industrial Park near the WVU campus. The laboratory is being funded as part of a five-year...

Babst Calland: Labor and Employment Professor’s Study Shows that the Marcellus Shale has Boosted the Construction Industry

By Marc J. Felezzola According to a report in the Pittsburgh Business Times , Robert Bruno , a labor and employment relations professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has determined that the shale fields in Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio and Northern West Virginia are a strong...

Babst Calland: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf Bans New Gas Leases For Commonwealth-Owned Lands

By Nicholas J. Habursky [On Jan. 29], Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order banning new oil and gas leases on public land owned by the Commonwealth. This order ended the efforts of former Governor Tom Corbett to expand oil and gas drilling below...

Babst Calland: EIA Reports on Natural Gas Storage Capacity

By Holly A. Pisanelli The U. S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently released a report indicating that the overall natural gas storage capacity in the lower 48 states was relatively unchanged between November 2013 and November 2014. The EIA measures natural gas storage capacity in November...

New Federal Fracking Rules Require Chemical Disclosure, Groundwater Protection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell on March 20 announced new regulations for hydraulic fracturing operations on federal lands that will require companies to disclose the chemicals they use and mandate procedures for storing fracking fluid wastewater. U...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appeals Court Reaffirms Decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp.

By Michael T. Altvater The Seventh District Court of Appeals has reaffirmed its prior decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp . [ enhanced opinion available to lexis subscribers ]. In Belmont Hills Country Club v. Beck Energy Corp. [ enhanced opinion ] and Bentley v. Beck Energy Corp [ enhanced opinion...

Babst Calland: New York Issues Final Environmental Review on High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing

By Michael C. Murphy | On May 13, 2015, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) released its Final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (SGEIS) on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program, signaling the completion of its environmental review of...

Texas Governor Signs Law Preempting Local Fracking Regulations

AUSTIN, Texas — (Mealey’s) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on May 18 signed a bill that preempts regulation of hydraulic fracturing at the city level, overriding the fracking ban that was passed last year in a referendum that was approved in the City of Denton. Property Rights In a statement...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: EPA Proposes Zero Discharge Rule For Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater

On April 7, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed regulations which would create pretreatment standards of performance for existing and new sources of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing operations. EPA is proposing to establish a “zero discharge”...

Oklahoma Governor Signs Law Prohibiting Fracking Bans

OKLAHOMA CITY — (Mealey’s) Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin on June 1 signed a law that establishes the Oklahoma Corporation Commission as the “sole regulator” of the state’s oil and gas industry and prohibits local municipalities from passing bans on hydraulic fracturing operations...

DLA Piper: EPA Report Finds No Evidence Fracking Causes Widespread Impacts On Drinking Water

By: Robert J. Alessi and Jeffrey D. Kuhn | This client alert is part of an ongoing series by DLA Piper attorneys on the legal, regulatory and policy issues related to hydraulic fracturing and shale gas production in the US and internationally. The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a...

Ballard Spahr LLP: Penn Study Unlikely To Result In Flood Of Fracking Lawsuits

By Harry Weiss and Philip N. Yannella | A recently released study from scientists at the University of Pennsylvania suggests a link between hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for gas and oil and cardiac and neurological illnesses. Whether the report triggers a rash of lawsuits is an open...

Babst Calland: Ohio Adopts Horizontal Well Site Construction Rules

By David E. Northrop The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has adopted rules requiring the approval of plans for horizontal well sites prior to the construction or material modification of the sites. The rules, codified at OAC 1501:9-2-01, 1501...

Troutman Sanders LLP: FERC Issues Order Addressing Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rate Applications for Natural Gas Storage

On October 15, 2015, FERC issued Opinion No. 538 denying ANR Storage Company’s (“ANRS”) application for market-based rates (“MBR”) for natural gas storage service. FERC noted that the matter was the first fully-litigated proceeding where a gas storage provider has sought...