Shale Energy Law Blog
Articles, News and Regulatory Information on Shale Energy Law from Babst Calland
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Our Shale Energy Law Blog provides timely legal and business information on issues impacting the energy industry and specifically natural gas development, as well as articles published by the attorneys of Babst Calland.
- Long-term, U.S. energy production appears poised to continue to outstrip domestic consumption due in some measure to increased consumption efficiency, along with the obvious ramifications from the natural gas revolution.
- The regulatory environment is focused on climate change, reducing emissions, water quality developments, and enforcement. Increased volumes of written agency guidance, enforcement, and penalties continue to challenge the industry.
- Citizens groups continue to actively challenge federal and state initiatives designed to expand natural gas and oil development, creating delays and uncertainties.
- Land use and zoning challenges continue at the local level. Increasing industry headwinds have resulted in a slowdown of new permitting activity amid ongoing challenges and ordinance restrictions.
- Public interest in pipeline safety has grown amid opposition and new rules from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in response to increased public and congressional pressure to initiate and finalize new or revised pipeline safety regulations. Operators seek to install new or replace existing pipelines throughout the U.S. while advocacy groups aggressively oppose many pipeline projects.
- Title legislation and court decisions vary by state and basin. In Pennsylvania, for example, Act 85 took effect in January 2020 and defines the conditions in which oil and gas producers may drill a lateral wellbore that crosses between two or more pooled units.
- Although 2019 saw renewed claims of adverse health effects allegedly related to oil and gas development, support for such claims continues to be limited, as now noted by numerous publications.
- Unmanned aircraft systems take hold in the energy sector. Despite the pandemic and its impacts, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have emerged as essential tools for the energy industry for conducting complex inspection and monitoring of difficult to access infrastructure and locations.
- From a workforce standpoint, COVID-19 conditions and other wage and hour regulations, amendments to the Family Medical Leave Act, and expanded unemployment benefits under the CARES Act have had an impact on companies across the country.
Tagged: Appalachian Basin, Gas drilling, Law, Marcellus Shale, Midstream, Natural gas, Ohio, Oil and gas, Pennsylvania, Regulatory, Utica Shale, West Virginia
(1) Such share of production is not chargeable with any of the costs of discovery and production; (2) the owner has no right to do any act or thing to discover and produce the oil and gas; (3) the owner has no right to grant leases; and (4) the owner has no right to receive bonuses or delay rentals. Conversely, the distinguishing characteristics of an interest in minerals in place are: (1) Such interest is not free of costs of discovery and production; (2) the owner has the right to do any and all acts necessary to discover and produce oil and gas; (3) the owner has the right to grant leases, and (4) the owner has the right to receive bonuses and delay rentals.The Court indicated that the intent of the parties as expressed in the deed was clear when read in light of these characteristics. The Davis deed specifically conveyed all rights to lease and receive bonuses or “carrying” (delay) rentals. A conveyance of such rights is directly contradictory to an in place reservation. The Davis court relied heavily on these characteristics and the deed’s specific conveyance of leasing and bonus rights in its analysis. Although the Davis court observed that a reservation of oil and gas “when produced” supported an NPRI reservation, its analysis did not focus on this language as implied by the Court in Haught. The Court in Haught Family Tr. v. Williamson issued only a memorandum opinion due to the lack of novel issues of law. Although the opinion does not identically mirror the analysis in Davis v. Hardman, it remains valid law as to this particular case. The reservation language analyzed in Haught is typical of NPRI reservation language used throughout West Virginia from the 19th century to present. The result of the Court’s holding remains in line with prior West Virginia cases, and generally follows typical interpretation practices of title examiners.
Tagged: Land and Leasing, Litigation, Marcellus Shale, Oil and gas, Title, West Virginia
Tagged: Cessation of Production, Land and Leasing, Lease Abandonment, Lease Termination, Litigation, Marcellus Shale, Natural gas, Oil and gas drilling, Payment of Royalties, Pennsylvania, Shale gas
Tagged: COVID-19, Legislation, Ohio
Tagged: LNG terminal, Natural gas, Oil and gas, West Virginia, compressor station, critical infrastructure facility, distribution, facility, gas processing plant, refinery, storage, trespass
Tagged: Lease, Oil and gas, West Virginia, lessee, lessor
Tagged: Legislation, Marcellus, Natural gas, Permitting, Regulatory, Utica, West Virginia, drilling
Tagged: PHMSA, UNGS, underground natural gas storage facilities
Tagged: compressor station, gas well, injury, nuisance claims, well pad
Tagged: Dormant Mineral Act, Leasing, Litigation, Marketable Title Act, Natural gas, Ohio, Oil and gas, Title