LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Judge Rejects $21M Securities America Class Action Settlement

DALLAS - (AP) A federal judge in Dallas has rejected a deal that would have allowed brokerage Securities America Inc. to pay $21 million to settle a class action lawsuit alleging that the company didn't do proper due diligence on millions of dollars in investments it sold that later proved worthless...

Fracking in the Spotlight: What Regulatory Developments Can Be Expected and How Companies Can Best Position Themselves

By Jim Rubin, SNR Denton US LLP and Jennifer Morrissey, SNR Denton US LLP Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is increasingly making natural gas a major part of the nation's energy portfolio. But the process does not come without risk, impact or controversy. Regulations apply and...

Natural gas development poses a risk of enhancing GHG emissions due to "leakage", note new studies

Several prior posts have noted the greenhouse impact of methane (aka natural gas); it has many times the warming effect as carbon dioxide (CO2), which seems to be the focus of so much discussion about global warming. The posts have focused on the numerous "natural" sources of methane emissions...

Troutman Sanders LLP: New York Moves To Allow, While New Jersey May Ban, Shale Fracking

On Friday, July 1, 2011, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") released its draft supplemental generic environmental impact statement ("SGEIS"), a proposal that would grant access to more than 80% of the shale formations within the state of New York. Notably...

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: ...

New Mexico Oil And Gas Group Proposes Fracking Rule

ALBUQUERQUE N.M. - (AP) Looking to avoid the criticism that has dogged energy producers in other states, a New Mexico industry group introduced a proposal Monday that would require drilling companies to be more transparent when it comes to using hydraulic fracturing fluids to extract oil and gas. The...

DiNapoli Proposes New York Gas Drilling Protection Fund

ALBANY N.Y. - (AP) New York Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli proposed Tuesday establishing a fund supported by fees from drillers to clean up environmental damage from natural gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The program, which would require legislation and also apply to current drilling...

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP: Analysis of Litigation Involving Shale & Hydraulic Fracturing

By Barclay Richard Nicholson , Stephen C. Dillard and Kadian Blanson Since August 2009, at least twenty-three (23) lawsuits complaining of alleged groundwater contamination have been filed by landowners in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia...

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP: Shale & Hydraulic Fracturing Litigation

Analysis of Litigation Involving Shale & Hydraulic Fracturing By Barclay Richard Nicholson , Stephen C. Dillard and Kadian Blanson Since August 2009, at least twenty-three (23) lawsuits complaining of alleged groundwater contamination have been filed by landowners in Arkansas,...

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Planning Key to Success with Ohio Oil & Gas Rules

By R. Neal Pierce As the pace of exploration and development in Ohio's shale play increases and horizontal wells become more common, operators want to be aware of the interplay of Ohio's oil and gas conservation law with their plans and development schedule. Effective use of the conservation...

Comment: Fracing the Environment?: An Examination of the Effects and Regulation of Hydraulic Fracturing

By Brian J. Smith, J.D., Texas Wesleyan School of Law I. Introduction "Fracing is now essential to economic production of oil and gas and commonly used throughout Texas, the United States, and the world," and as worldwide demand for fossil fuel rises, it will become an increasingly...

Fulbright & Jaworski LLP: Analysis of Litigation Involving Shale & Hydraulic Fracturing

By Barclay Richard Nicholson , Stephen C. Dillard and Kadian Blanson Since August 2009, at least twenty-three (23) lawsuits complaining of alleged groundwater contamination have been filed by landowners in Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia against oil &...

Prominent Energy and Private Equity Lawyer to Join Sidley in Houston

HOUSTON -- Sidley Austin LLP has announced that Cliff W. Vrielink will join the firm as a partner in the recently opened Houston office. Before joining Sidley, Vrielink was a partner at Vinson & Elkins, where his practice focused on mergers, acquisitions and private equity. Vrielink has a broad...

Study Concludes Hydraulic Fracturing Isn't Contaminating Groundwater; Poor Waste Management, Bore Wells Are

Prior posts have noted groundwater contamination associated with natural gas produced from deep shale deposits by hydraulic fracturing. A study by researchers (with no industry contributions) concludes that such pollution results not from liquids pumped down to the shale deposits to fracture the deep...

DLA Piper Energy Alert: Thinking Strategically on Pipe Build-out for the Shale Boom

By Lee A. Alexander, Stefan M. Krantz and Zachary S. Launer Recent developments in horizontal drilling techniques have propelled natural gas production from shale formations to the forefront of domestic oil and gas production today. This rapid expansion is presenting opportunities and challenges for...

California Energy Group Defends Oil and Gas Leasing

DENVER - A California nonprofit, non-partisan trade association that represents some 450 independent crude oil and natural gas producers, royalty owners, and service and supply companies on Juje 25 filed its brief with a California federal district court defending federal oil and gas leasing in the nation’s...

Babst Calland: Federal Judge Enjoins Hempfield Township, Pa., From Prohibiting Seismic Testing

By Nicholas J. Habursky On April 10, 2014, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction forcing Hempfield Township to permit ION Geophysical of Houston (ION) to perform seismic testing on the Township’s roads. Hempfield Township argued that it does not specifically permit seismic testing...

Ohio Announces Additional Permitting Requirements For Horizontal Drilling

By Michael T. Altvater The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has changed permitting requirements after finding a probable connection between horizontal drilling activity near a previously unknown microfault and recent seismic activity in the Mahoning County area. Moving forward, any new permits...

Babst Calland: EPA Seeks Comment on Methane and VOC White Papers

By Holly A. Pisanelli On April 15, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released five technical white papers for peer review, each one focusing on a possible source of methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions within the oil and natural gas sector. The papers describe estimated...

Babst Calland: RACT Rulemaking Expected to Impact Major Sources of NOx and VOC Emissions in Pennsylvania

By Meredith Odato Graham Proposed regulatory amendments published on April 19, 2014 are likely to affect hundreds of facilities in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) has estimated that 141 sources will need to install additional pollution control equipment...

Babst Calland: Ohio Decision Results in Victory for Oil and Gas Producers

By Jason M. Zoeller An Ohio trial court issued a decision in Marshall v. Beekay Company . The case involved an action seeking declaratory judgment as to leasehold rights for formations below the Germantown Sand Formation. The court ruled that there was no breach of the implied covenant to reasonably...

Babst Calland: Ohio Appellate Court Enforces Change In Ownership Clause in Lease

By Jessica L. Henry The Fifth District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision in Trico Land Company, LLC v. Kenoil Producing LLC , upholding the right to have and enforce a change of ownership clause in an oil and gas lease. The case involved a property subject to a 2008 oil and...

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: Ohio Trial Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Decision

By Michael T. Altvater A Harrison County trial court issued a decision in a Dormant Mineral Act case addressing the issue of whether a release of an oil and gas lease is a title transaction affecting and preserving a severed mineral interest from being abandoned. The trial court in Schucht v. Bedway...

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...