Environmental Alert: The Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board’s Second Analysis of the Environmental Rights Amendment

On November 13, 2017, the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board issued its second opinion analyzing Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, commonly known as the Environmental Rights Amendment, in light of the Pennsylvania Supreme C(…)

The 2017 Babst Calland Report Focuses on the Resurgence of the Appalachian Shale Gas Industry

On June 20, 2017, Babst Calland released its seventh annual energy industry report entitled The 2017 Babst Calland Report – Upstream, Midstream and Downstream: Resurgence of the Appalachian Shale Industry; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producer(…)

SB 576: Revised Co-Tenancy and Lease Integration Legislation Introduced in West Virginia

On March 10, 2017, Senate Bill 576 (SB 576) was introduced in the West Virginia Senate to take the place of SB 244, which addressed the oil and natural gas industry’s effort to efficiently develop production of natural resources. Similar to SB 244, SB(…)

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Vacates Denial of Class Certification of Lessors to Oil and Gas Leases in Clearfield County

On January 17, 2017, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania vacated a trial court’s order denying class certification of two classes of lessors to oil and gas leases covering property in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania in Cardinale v. R.E. Gas Dev., 2017(…)

Court Declares Pennsylvania DEP’s Calculation of Continuing Penalties for “Seemingly Endless” Violations Unlawful under the Clean Streams Law

On January 11, 2017, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held Section 301 of the Clean Streams Law “is a provision that prohibits acts or omissions resulting in the initial active discharge or entry of industrial waste into waters of the Commonwealth(…)

Shell Officially Announces it will Build Ethane Cracker Plant in Beaver County, PA

After first acquiring an option agreement in 2012 for a 340-acre site, and then purchasing the site in 2014, Shell Chemical Appalachia has officially announced that it will build a multi-billion dollar ethane cracker plant on the site of the former Ho(…)

Governor Wolf Tries Again for PA Severance Tax

StateImpact Pennsylvania reports that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf wants natural gas drillers to pay a 6.5% severance tax on natural gas production, which he estimates will bring in $217.8 million dollars for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, a fraction of(…)

Court Requires $5.69 Million Bond For Objector To Well Pad To Move Forward With Appeal

Babst Calland represents an oil and gas operator in Lycoming County, PA, where a recent court order requires an objector to a well pad to post a $5.69 million bond in order to move forward with a land use appeal.  The basic facts of the case are descr(…)

Pa. Commonwealth Court Reverses Controversial Lycoming County Decision

Earlier today, 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. In reversing(…)

Energy Transfer Partners to Invest $1.5 Billion for Marcellus Shale Midstream Project in Pennsylvania

Energy Transfer Partners LP announced that it will invest $1.5 billion for a new pipeline system and processing facilities to serve the Marcellus Shale in and around Butler County, Pennsylvania.  The new facilities are expected to be operational by mi(…)

CONSOL Energy Earns CSSD Certification For Appalachian Basin Operations

The Center for Sustainable Shale Development (CSSD), a collaborative of environmental organizations and energy companies that encourages responsible practices in development of shale gas resources in the Appalachian region, and CONSOL Energy, Inc. eac(…)

Constitution Pipeline Can Be Built Across Holdout Properties

FuelFix.com reports that the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania recently ruled that the Constitution Pipeline can be built across seven northeastern Pennsylvania properties despite the fact that the respective landowners had n(…)

Third Circuit Affirms Decision to Dismiss Doctor's Act 13 Challenge

In a recent non-precedential opinion, the Third Circuit affirmed a decision of the Middle District of Pennsylvania dismissing an action on the basis that a doctor lacked standing to challenge what he refers to as the “Medical Gag Rules” of Act 13.  In(…)

Pennsylvania High Court Prohibits Tolling of Oil and Gas Leases During Litigation

Yesterday, 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.  Such principles prevent(…)

American Energy Partners, LP Affiliates Combining to Streamline E&P

American Energy Partners, LP (“AEP”) announced yesterday that its affiliates, American Energy-Utica, LLC (“AEU”) and American Energy – Marcellus, LLC (“AEM”) are combining in an all-stock transaction to form American Energy Appalachian Holdings, LLC ((…)

FERC Approves Additional Pipeline Expansion to Transport Marcellus Gas

StateImpact reported that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently approved an addition to the interstate Transco pipeline that will transport Marcellus shale gas to New Jersey, where there is a high demand.  The approval comes after several(…)

Southwestern And DTE Energy Sign Deal To Expand Bluestone Gathering System

Southwestern Energy Company and Detroit-based DTE Energy Company have made a deal to expand DTE’s natural gas gathering system in Susquehanna County, PA by 50%. The Bluestone Gathering System delivers gas from the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania throu(…)

UGI Utilities Connects a Utica Well to its Distribution System

According to a report published by Pennsylvania Business Daily, Reading-based UGI Utilities, Inc. recently became Pennsylvania’s first natural gas utility to connect one of its pipelines to a Utica Shale well, thereby increasing the supply of natural(…)

Sunoco Moves Forward With Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

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 p(…)

Unconventional Well Report Act Signed Into Law

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 Pro(…)

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

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 les(…)

Mountaineer Keystone LLC finalizes acquisition of PDC Mountaineer LLC

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 Mounta(…)

Southwestern Energy to Acquire 413,000 Acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy

Southwestern Energy Co. announced that it has signed a deal to acquire 413,000 net acres in West Virginia and Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Corp. for $5.375 billion, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times.  This acquisition includes 256 producing(…)

FERC Gives Approval for East Coast LNG Export Project

The Economic Times and other news sources are reporting that the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a permit for Dominion Resources to operate the first natural gas liquefaction plant on the east coast.  Dominion’s Cove Point plan(…)

Natural Gas Liquids Provide Economic Opportunities

PowerSource of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette provided commentary discussing future economic opportunities regarding natural gas liquids (NGLs).  Olefins plants or cracker facilities transform NGLs into products that are used in many industrial and consu(…)

Spectra Energy Corporation and Northeast Utilities Propose $3 Billion “Access Northeast” Pipeline Expansion Project

As reported on Bloomberg.com, Spectra Energy Corporation, a Houston-based pipeline operator, and Northeast Utilities, a Connecticut-based utility provider, have partnered in proposing a $3 billion pipeline expansion that will increase natural gas supp(…)

Colleges in Western PA Offer Programs Geared Toward Energy Industry

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that colleges located in Western Pennsylvania are creating programs to prepare students for jobs in the energy industry.  For example, Kennedy Township’s Rosedale Technical Institute (soon to be re-named Rosedale(…)

West Virginia Officials Seeking Bids to Drill Under Ohio River

As reported by the West Virginia Press Association, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (“DNR”) is seeking bids for natural gas drilling on state-owned land under the Ohio River. A legal notice published on Friday, August 22 indicates that(…)

Oil And Gas Bringing People And Jobs To The Region

Thanks in large part to the oil and gas industry, western Pennsylvania is experiencing a boom in job growth which is bringing young and talented individuals to the region.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania’s oil and natur(…)

Indian Firm Plans To Export Ethane From Marcellus Shale Fields

According to the Tribune Review, Reliance Industries, an Indian conglomerate with ties to the Marcellus Shale, plans to ship 1.5 million tons of ethane annually from the United States. Reliance has invested with Carrizo Oil and Gas Inc. and Chevron in(…)

Four Veteran West Virginia Attorneys Join Babst Calland's Charleston Office as Shareholders

Veteran attorneys Timothy Miller from Robinson & McElwee, and Christopher ‘Kip” Power, Mychal Schulz and Robert Stonestreet from the Charleston office of Dinsmore & Shohl have joined forces with Babst Calland in providing senior-level legal co(…)

Rice Energy to Acquire Wells and Acreage in Greene County

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Rice Energy Inc. is acquiring 12 wells and 22,000 net acres in Greene County, Pennsylvania from Chesapeake Energy Inc.  Seven of the wells are currently producing and the five other wells are being developed,(…)

Warren Resources to Acquire Marcellus Assets

Warren Resources has executed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire Marcellus shale assets from Citrus Energy Corporation and two other working interest owners, reports Shale Energy Insider.  The acquired assets, located in Wyoming County, Pennsylv(…)

Energy Transfer Partners Approves Construction of New Marcellus/Utica Pipeline

Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.’s board of directors has approved the construction of a new pipeline to transport gas to markets in the United States and Canada. The pipeline’s capacity is proposed to transport 2.2 billion cubic feet per day and may be(…)

Babst Calland Releases Fourth Annual Energy Industry Report

“The 2014 Babst Calland Report – Appalachian Shale Industry in Transition: Evolving Challenges for Producers and Midstream Operators” comments on key issues facing producers and midstream operators from a legal and regulatory perspective, including: G(…)

Industry Experts See No Ceiling For Appalachian Production

As reported by NGI’s Shale Daily on June 4, many descended upon Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday for the first day of Hart Energy’s Developing Unconventional Gas (DUG) East Conference, where representatives from industry leaders discussed recent(…)

Volume 1 of Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook Released

PRWeb announced that Marcellus Drilling News and ShaleNavigator have released the first volume of a three part series of the 2014 Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook, an in-depth research report geared towards those with a stake in oil and natural gas(…)

Winners Of Shale Gas Innovation Contest Chosen

As reported by The Times-Tribune in Scranton, four winners were chosen in the 3rd Annual Shale Gas Innovation Contest.  The winners were KCF Technologies, Inc., NG Innovations, Inc., OPTIMUM Pumping Technology, and TM Industrial Supply, and each recei(…)

Natural Gas Fueled Powerplant Planned for Marshall County, West Virginia

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(…)

Utica and Marcellus to Provide Gas to TransCanada's ANR Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation’s ANR Pipeline system has secured nearly 2.0 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas transportation commitments for the movement of oil and gas produced from the Utica and Marcellus formations through its Southeast Main Line.(…)

Allegheny County May Lease Rights Under Deer Lakes Park

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that Allegheny County has reached a deal with Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley as to leasing the oil and gas under Deer Lakes Park in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzg(…)

WVU College of Law Introduces Energy Law LL.M. Program to Begin Fall Semester

The West Virginia University College of Law is now offering a Master of Laws in Energy and Sustainable Development Law set to begin during the Fall Semester 2014.  With the addition of the one-year LL.M. program, the College of Law is focusing on West(…)

Pennsylvania Proposed Legislation Encourages Re-Use Of Mine Influenced Water

On January 13th, the Pennsylvania Senate Appropriations Committee voted in favor of a senate bill that encourages oil and gas operators to re-use mine-influenced water for hydraulic fracturing.  Senator Kasunic (D-Fayette/Somerset) re-introduced the b(…)

Draft New York State Energy Plan Does Not Include Marcellus Shale Drilling

The New York State Energy Planning Board released its Draft 2014 State Energy Plan on January 7, 2014.  Although one of the draft plan’s key initiatives includes expanding access to natural gas as an alternative to petroleum products for heating and p(…)

CONSOL Will Utilize Electric Engines For Airport Drilling

The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that CONSOL Energy Inc. will use electric engines when it drills at the Pittsburgh International Airport.  On Tuesday December 17, the Findlay Township Planning Commission gave an affirmative recommendation to app(…)

Rice Energy Takes Steps Towards Initial Public Offering

The Pittsburgh Business Times reported yesterday that Rice Energy Inc. is planning for an initial public offering sometime during the first quarter of 2014.  Rice confirmed that it filed a Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Pipelin(…)

U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill Limiting Federal Regulations on Hydraulic Fracturing

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting the Interior Department from enforcing regulations on hydraulic fracturing in any state that already has regulations in place. The bill recognizes the states’ authority to regulate hydraulic(…)

MarkWest Energy and Kinder Morgan Inc. Plan to Transport Marcellus and Utica Shale Gas to Gulf Coast

As reported by The Intelligencer, MarkWest Energy and Kinder Morgan Inc. are planning to convert 1,000 miles of pipeline connecting Pennsylvania and Louisiana to allow Marcellus and Utica Shale gas to be transported to the Gulf Coast.  The project is(…)

Barge Waste Transportation Proposal Open for Public Comment

The United States Coast Guard is accepting public comments on a proposal that would allow wastewater from hydraulic fracturing to be transported on barges using the Ohio River.  According to the Coast Guard there is commercial interest in transporting(…)

Workforce West Virginia Investment Council Reports Rise in Oil and Gas Employment

Workforce West Virginia Investment Council has released findings that cite a 20 percent jump in oil and gas industry employment last year, the West Virginia Gazette reports. During the same period, the average wage for workers in the industry has also(…)