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BP Gulf Spill Costs Hit $2 Billion, No End Yet

ON THE GULF OF MEXICO - (AP ) BP said Monday it has spent $2 billion in two months fighting its Gulf of Mexico oil spill and compensating victims, with no end in sight. The British oil giant released its latest tally of response costs, including $105 million paid out so far to 32,000 claimants. Full...

Judge Grills Feds On Pulling Utah Drilling Leases

SALT LAKE CITY - (AP) A federal judge on Wednesday questioned Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's justification for canceling 77 drilling leases sold by the Bush administration around national parks in Utah. A U.S. Justice Department lawyer maintained Salazar had good reason to cancel the leases and...

BP Report Blames Itself, Others For Oil Spill

NEW ORLEANS - (AP) In an internal report released Wednesday, BP blames itself, other companies' workers and a complex series of failures for the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the drilling rig explosion that preceded it. The 193-page report was posted on the company's website even though...

Oil, Gas Trade Groups Join Defendants In NEPA Exclusion Suit

MOBILE, Ala. - Oil and gas trade associations who stand to lose drilling rights have been allowed to intervene as defendants in an environmental group's effort to halt drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico under an exclusion to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In Defenders of Wildlife...

Feds Sued For Backing Off Fast-Track Drilling

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - (AP) A petroleum industry group has filed a lawsuit saying federal land managers lacked authority to stop fast-track approval of oil and gas drilling on public land in the West. The Western Energy Alliance filed the lawsuit on Oct. 21 in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne, alleging the...

Protecting Surface Land by Internalizing the Cost of Oil and Gas Development: Wyoming's Surface Owner Accommodation Act Strikes a More Sustainable Balance

By Jennifer A. C. Richardson* *J.D. Candidate 2011, University of California, Hastings College of the Law; B.A., cum laude, 2006, University of California, Los Angeles. Excerpt from Protecting Surface Land by Internalizing the Cost of Oil and Gas Development: Wyoming's Surface Owner Accommodation...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: PA Marcellus Commission Issues Report, Recommendations

By Kristian E. White On July 22nd, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission released its report, setting forth 96 recommendations designed to ensure the responsible development of the Commonwealth's natural gas resources. The Commission suggested: ...

Environment Groups File Lawsuit Over Natural Gas Drilling Regulations

NEW YORK - (AP) Environmental groups filed a lawsuit Thursday in New York City to force federal officials to conduct an environmental review before issuing final regulations on natural gas drilling in the Delaware River Basin because of concerns over the method used to remove the gas. The lawsuit asks...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: WV DEP Files Horizontal Drilling Well Rule-Making

By Armando F. Benincasa Pursuant to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's July 12, 2011 Executive Order , the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection late yesterday filed an emergency rule that will apply to horizontal wells in West Virginia, as well as pad sites in excess of three acres...

Fulbright & Jaworski: West Virginia Issues New Gas Fracking Rules

By Jeremy A. Mercer and Cecil C. Kuhne, III On August 22, 2011, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection ("WVDEP")-pursuant to Governor Ray Tomblin's Executive Order 4-11, issued July 12, 2011- promulgated emergency rules related to horizontal drilling...

Pennsylvania Landowners Settle Groundwater Contamination Suit Against Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $1.6 Million

DALLAS - Attorneys with Allen Stewart, P.C. announced June 25 that a group of Pennsylvania landowners represented by the Dallas-based law firm have settled their claims against oil and gas giant Chesapeake Energy Corporation for $1.6 million. The settlement was reached immediately after attorneys...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: District Court Grants Summary Judgment to Mineral Owners Against the U.S. Forest Service

In Minard Run Oil Co. v. United States Forest Serv . , C.A. No. 09-125 Erie (W.D. Pa. September 6, 2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Judge Sean J. McLaughlin of the Western District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment to plaintiff mineral owners in the ongoing litigation...

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...

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...

K&L Gates LLP: SEC Adopts New Rules Requiring Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers to Governments

By James O. Green, P. Gregory Hidalgo and Lynwood E. Reinhardt Excerpt: On August 22, 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") adopted new rules relating to disclosure of payments by so-called "resource extraction issuers" (the "Final Rules") pursuant...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia House Judiciary Amends Horizontal Well Legislative Rule

By Armando F. Benincasa and G. Kurt Dettinger On April 9, 2013, the House Judiciary Committee amended SB 243, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection ("WVDEP") rules bill which includes the promulgation of permanent legislative rules, 35 Code of State Rules, Series 8, regarding...

State Net Capitol Journal Spotlight : Cuomo In No Rush To Join Other Dems In Endorsing Fracking

By Rich Ehisen Arkansas has embraced it. So has Illinois. West Virginia and Colorado have too. Maryland is strongly considering it. And now California has become the latest state led by a Democratic governor to sign off on the controversial oil and natural gas drilling practice known as hydraulic...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Energy Employers Face Increased Enforcement Activities

By C. David Morrison and Rodney L. Bean Representatives of the West Virginia Department of Labor (WVDOL) have begun visiting drilling sites in the state to make sure that all people receiving 1099 income are registered to do business in West Virginia, as required by law. If not registered, businesses...

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....

fracking Shale gas schematic geology

New York High Court Asked to Re-hear Arguments in Local Zoning Ban Case

By Michael C. Murphy Citing a recently decided case in Colorado, the bankruptcy trustee for Norse Energy filed a motion in early August urging the New York Court of Appeals to re-hear arguments in the case, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In June, the Court of Appeals issued...

Pennsylvania’s TENORM Study is Released – What are the Conclusions?

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) is found in virtually all soil and rock on the earth’s surface. NORM can also be found in groundwater as the result of its contact with NORM bearing geologic formations. When human related activities disturb the soil, rock or groundwater and change...

Oil Rig Sea accident

Public Comment Period on PA Department of Environmental Protection's Oil and Gas Rulemaking Closes May 19

Environmental Client Alert The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP’s) rulemaking regarding surface activities for oil and gas wells, Environmental Protection Performance Standards at Oil and Gas Well Sites (Chapters 78 and 78a), has received a significant amount...

New Jersey Assembly Unanimously Passes Bill Broadly Allocating Liability and Damages for Hazardous Substance Discharges from Offshore Drilling Platforms

The New Jersey Assembly has unanimously passed a bill, A4258, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this bill: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], which is notably broad in its language on allocating liability and damages for releases of hazardous substances from offshore drilling platforms. The bill...