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(…)

Leggett v. EQT Production Company Case Rejects Tawney Reasoning, Opens Door for Further Challenges to Imposed System of Post-Production Cost Calculations in WV

On May 26, 2017, in a suit styled Leggett v EQT Production Company, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issued majority and concurring (links to PDFs) opinions finding 4-1 that the use of the language “at the wellhead” in the Flat Rate Royalty(…)

Revised SB 576: Co-Tenancy and Lease Integration Bill Fails in West Virginia

Senate Bill 576 (SB 576), introduced in the West Virginia Senate to address the oil and natural gas industry’s effort to efficiently develop production of natural resources, died in the last week of the regular session of the West Virginia Legislature(…)

Revised SB 576: Yet Another Version of the Co-Tenancy and Lease Integration Bill Introduced in West Virginia

On March 23, 2017, a Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 576 (SB 576) was introduced to the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee that substantially rewrote the original version of the bill, which addressed the oil and natural gas industry’s effor(…)

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(…)

SB 244: Co-Tenancy and Joint Development Legislation Introduced in West Virginia

On February 10, 2017, Senate Bill 244 (SB 244) was introduced in the West Virginia Senate to address the oil and natural gas industry’s effort to efficiently develop production of natural resources. Sponsored by, among others, Senate President Mitch C(…)

West Virginia Supreme Court Ruling Potentially Impacts Use of Partition Statute

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently emphasized that a party seeking a partition of property by allotment or by sale under W. Va. Code §37-4-3 must strictly follow the prerequisites in the statute — but only those prerequisites. In B(…)

Court Invalidates Fayette County (W.Va.) Ordinance Banning Underground Injection Well

On June 10, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order invalidating those parts of a Fayette County (W.Va.) ordinance that prohibit the use of underground injection wells for the disp(…)

New WV Law Regarding Decedents’ Real Estate

On May 13, 2016, West Virginia Governor Early Ray Tomblin signed into law Senate Bill No. 702 which amends §44-8-1 of the Code of West Virginia dealing with the real estate of decedents.  Under this amended law, if a decedent devises the proceeds of t(…)

TransCanada to Buy Columbia Pipeline Group

According to a report by the Charleston Gazette-Mail, TransCanada will be purchasing Columbia Pipeline Group for $13 billion. TransCanada had previously proposed the Keystone XL pipeline, and owns more than 42,000 miles of pipeline in North America. (…)

Forced Pooling Bill Introduced in West Virginia

As reported by the Wheeling Intelligencer, for the fifth year out of the last six, pooling legislation has been introduced in the West Virginia House of Delegates (HB 4426). A similar measure failed to pass in 2015 after a 49-49 vote on the final day(…)

West Virginia Senate Bill Would Eliminate Some Taxes for Natural Gas Producers

As reported by the Charleston Gazette-Mail  and Natural Gas Intelligence, the West Virginia Senate recently passed SB 419, which, if enacted, would eliminate certain volumetric fees that natural gas producers pay in addition to the state’s severance t(…)

Application for Mountain Valley Pipeline Filed with FERC

According to the Washington Observer-Reporter, a formal application for the Mountain Valley Pipeline was filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) last week.  The pipeline will extend 301 miles and connect the shale gas fields of no(…)

Gov. Tomblin Forms the WV Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety

On July 9, 2015, Governor Tomblin announced the formation and appointment of members to the West Virginia Commission on Oil and Natural Gas Industry Safety.  Publicized during Governor Tomblin’s State of the State address in early 2015, the Commission(…)

Intrastate Pipeline Under Construction in West Virginia

Marcellus.com reports that an intrastate pipeline is under construction in northern West Virginia. The Stonewall Gas Gathering pipeline will connect Doddridge and Harrison counties to the Columbia Transmission interstate pipeline that runs through Bra(…)

West Virginia Fair Pooling Bill Defeated on Last Day of Legislative Session

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, the last day of the West Virginia legislative session, the Fair Pooling bill (H.B. 2688) was defeated by a tie vote in the West Virginia House of Delegates.  The Fair Pooling bill, which we first discussed two weeks ago, w(…)

West Virginia House Approves Fair Pooling Bill

The West Virginia Fair Pooling bill, which we first described last week, has been approved in the West Virginia House of Delegates by a vote of 60-40.  In order to become law, the bill must be approved by the State Senate before March 14, when the leg(…)

West Virginia Fair Pooling Bill Making Headway in Legislature

A bill, HB2688, designed to allow oil and gas operators to create oil and gas production units without the express authority of all oil and gas owners within the unit boundary, is currently pending before the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee. (…)

W. Va. Permit Transfer Legislation Becomes Effective Law

As reported by the Charleston Gazette on February 4, 2015, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has signed legislation originally known as Senate Bill 280, which streamlines the transfer process of well work permits to eliminate a requirement that(…)

West Virginia DEP to Host and Livestream Meeting to Discuss Division of Air Quality’s New General Permit for Natural Gas Activities

The West Virginia Division of Air Quality will release a new general air quality permit, the G80-A, which will regulate air quality in regard to natural gas production, compressor and dehydration facilities.  On February 5, 2014, the DEP will host a m(…)

New Bids Submitted to Drill Under State Lands in West Virginia

As reported by Marcellus Drilling News and the Daily Reporter, the WV Department of Commerce, which is tasked with overseeing the state’s leasing program, opened another round of bids on Friday to lease state-owned lands for oil and gas operations.  J(…)

WV Senate Passes Permit Transfer Legislation

As reported by The State Journal, the West Virginia Senate has passed Senate Bill 280 (“SB 280”) which, if it becomes effective, would allow the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to transfer well work permits from o(…)

American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC Completes Executive Leadership Team

The Oil & Gas Financial Journal reported on January 14, 2015 that Jeffrey A. Fisher has been named CEO of newly created American Energy Appalachia Holdings, LLC (“AEA”).  AEA was recently created through the combination of American Energy Partners(…)

Gastar Successfully Defeats Twin Litigation Cases in Pennsylvania and West Virginia

Judge David W. Hummel, Jr. of Marshall County, West Virginia has dismissed the second in a pair of lawsuits aimed to restrict operator Gastar Exploration, Inc.’s ability to hydraulically fracture several wells in Marshall County, West Virginia.  Accor(…)

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 ((…)

New Director of WV Division of Natural Resources Appointed

As reported by The State Journal, Robert A. Fala has been appointed to serve as the director of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (“WVDNR”), effective January 1, 2015.  Fala was appointed by WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and will replace(…)

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

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,(…)

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(…)

Magnum Hunter’s West Virginia “Monster Well” the Largest Utica Well Drilled to Date

As reported by Columbus Business First and NGI’s Shale Daily, Magnum Hunter Resources Corporation’s first Utica well in West Virginia has reported production of 46.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, thereby rendering the Stewart Winland 1300(…)

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(…)

WVDEP Releases Draft Rule Affecting Aboveground Storage Tanks

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) has released a draft “Interpretative Rule” to implement certain inspection, certification, and spill prevention – response plan provisions of the Aboveground Storage Tank Act (AST Act) e(…)

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(…)

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(…)

NGL Transloading Facility Opens in Parkersburg

Natural Gas Intelligence reports that a new truck-to-rail transloading facility owned by Denver-based Concord Energy LLC, has opened in Parkersburg, West Virginia. The facility is capable of handling more than 150,000 bbl of crude oil condensate and n(…)

American Energy Partners LP Acquiring WV Marcellus Acreage

The State Journal reports that American Energy – Marcellus LLC, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City based American Energy Partners LP, has agreed to acquire 48,000 leasehold acres in Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Tyler and Wetzel Counties in West Virginia fr(…)

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(…)

West Virginia Seeing Increased Utica Well Development in 2014

While Marcellus Shale gas continues to be developed in the area, West Virginia is also experiencing a Utica Shale boom in its northern counties. According to Natural Gas Intelligence, multiple operators are investing more capital and manpower into dev(…)

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(…)

Wood County, W. Va. Proposed Cracker Plant Takes Step Forward

As Reported by MetroNews on March 26, the proposed Wood County, West Virginia, petrochemical “Cracker” plant project, called Project Ascent, took a significant step forward on Wednesday with an announcement from Antero Resources that it would contribu(…)

Round Two of “Superload” Arrives at Williams Energy Oak Grove Site

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that a 130-foot, 255 ton de-ethanizer tower was scheduled to arrive at the Williams Energy Oak Grove site in Marshall County on Monday or Tuesday.  The tower is the second of three “Superload” installments being deliv(…)

West Virginia Future Fund Signed Into Law

The Future Fund Bill, which was passed by the House on February 25th, was signed into law by West Virginia governor Earl Ray Tomblin on March 20th, reports the West Virginia Metro News.  As described in an earlier post on this blog, the Future Fund wi(…)

Advocates From PA, Ohio, West Virginia Urge Common Approach To Shale Gas Taxation

As reported by Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station, 90.5 WESA, three advocacy groups, Leaders of Policy Matters Ohio, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, sent a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pen(…)

West Virginia Future Fund Bill Passed by Legislature

As originally described in a post by Ben Milleville on February 25th, amended Senate Bill 461, known as The Future Fund Bill, has passed the Senate and now awaits ratification by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.  As the West Virginia State Journal reports,(…)

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(…)

West Virginia Cracker Plant Could Have Multibillion Dollar Impact on State Economy

As reported in the Pittsburgh Business Times, the proposed ethane cracker plant near Parkersburg, West Virginia, could potentially have a multi-billion dollar positive effect on the state’s economy.  Emeritus Professor of Economics Tom S. Witt of West(…)

Natural Gas “Forced Pooling” Bill Currently Pending in the West Virginia Legislature

As reported in The Wheeling Intelligencer, the West Virginia Legislature continues to consider H.B. 4558 and S.B. 578, which would allow oil and gas producers to create production units through “Forced Pooling.”  If passed, such a law would allow natu(…)

West Virginia Senate Passes Future Fund Bill

The West Virginia Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 461, known as The Future Fund Bill, on February 21st.  The Bill, as described in an Associated Press story published in the Charleston Gazette, would create a new fund that would be financed by 2(…)

Proposed Bill to Allow Unlimited Drilling Waste in West Virginia Landfills

As reported in the Spirit of Jefferson newspaper, Senate Bill 474, introduced in the West Virginia Senate on Monday, February 3, would amend W. Va. Code § 22-15-8 to allow commercial waste facilities to accept drill cuttings and associated hydraulic f(…)

West Virginia State University Designs Energy Management Concentration to Support West Virginia’s Growing Natural Gas Industry

West Virginia State University has developed a new academic program designed to educate the next generation of oil and gas employees, developers, and industrialists in the Appalachian region.  WVSU now offers a Concentration in Energy Management assoc(…)