The 2021 Babst Calland Report Highlights Legal and Regulatory Perspectives at a Transformational Time for the U.S. Energy Industry

A Recent Conversation with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin Featured in this Report Law firm Babst Calland today published its 11th annual energy industry report: The 2021 Babst Calland Report – Legal & Regulatory Perspectives for the U.S. Energy Industry(…)

The Babst Calland Report Highlights Legal and Regulatory Challenges for the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry

The law firm of Babst Calland published its 10th annual energy industry report: The 2020 Babst Calland Report – The U.S. Oil & Gas Industry: Federal, State, Local Challenges & Opportunities; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and M(…)

West Virginia Supreme Court Affirms Approach in Oil and Gas Title Memorandum Decision

The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia recently issued a memorandum opinion interpreting a reservation of oil and gas “royalty.” The result of the Court’s holding is consistent with long standing West Virginia case law regarding oil and gas sev(…)

Legislative Update: House Bill No. 4615 Regarding Criminal Offense of Trespass Upon Critical Infrastructure Facility Awaiting West Virginia Governor’s Signature

A bill establishing the West Virginia Critical Infrastructure Protection Act is now awaiting Governor Jim Justice’s signature after completing legislative action. If signed by West Virginia’s Governor, the bill will be effective June 5, 2020. The bill(…)

Legislative Update: Senate Bill 554 Regarding Release of Oil and Gas Leases Awaiting West Virginia Governor’s Signature

The West Virginia Legislature has passed a bill requiring that a lessee deliver to the lessor, at no cost to the lessor, a properly executed and notarized release of a terminated, expired, or cancelled lease in recordable form within 60 days after the(…)

Ohio Supreme Court to Tackle Whether Marketable Title Act Applies to Severed Oil and Gas Interests

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted the appeal of the owners of a severed royalty interest in West v. Bode, Case No. No. 18 MO 0017, 2019-Ohio-4092. The sole issue before the Court is whether the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act supersedes and controls over the O(…)

Ohio’s Statutory Unitization Amended to Clarify Inclusion of Partially Leased Tracts

Ohio recently passed HB 166, effective October 17, 2019, amending Section §1509.28 of Ohio’s statutory unitization statute.  The prior version of Section §1509.28 did not specify whether all mineral owners in a tract must be leased to be included in t(…)

Ohio Supreme Court to Address Whether the Dormant Mineral Act Requires Internet Search

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted mineral owner Timothy Gerrity’s appeal in Gerrity v. Chervenak, a Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) case from Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals. The Fifth District upheld the summary judgment granted by the Guernsey Coun(…)

Ohio’s Marketable Title Act Quickly Becoming Preferred Method for Surface Owners Seeking Ownership of Severed Mineral Interests

Since the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision in Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al, 149 Ohio St.3d 512, 2016-Ohio-5796, many have questioned the interplay and availability of the Ohio Marketable Title Act (“MTA”) and the Ohio Dormant Mineral A(…)

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals Clarifies Past Holdings, Confirms Marketable Title Act Available to Surface Owners Seeking to Extinguish Severed Mineral Interests

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently ruled that Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”) does not conflict with the Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”), and that both statutes can be utilized by a surface owner to claim ownership of severed minera(…)

The 2019 Babst Calland Report Highlights Federal, State and Local Challenges and Opportunities for the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry

The law firm of Babst Calland today released its annual energy industry report: The 2019 Babst Calland Report – The U.S. Oil and Gas Industry: Federal, State and Local Challenges & Opportunities; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and(…)

Alert: West Virginia Supreme Court Opinion Limits Use of Surface Tract for Production of Gas from Neighboring/Unitized Tracts

On June 5, 2019, the West Virginia Supreme Court issued its opinion in EQT Production Company v. Crowder affirming a decision of the circuit court of Doddridge County, holding that a surface tract cannot be used to produce minerals from neighboring la(…)

Sixth District Court of Appeals Analyzes Date Marketability Determined under Ohio Marketable Title Act

Ohio’s Sixth District Court of Appeals recently ruled that Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”) extinguished restrictive covenants on a parcel located in a residential subdivision due to a gap in excess of 40 years without being identified in the p(…)

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals Rules on Marketable Title Act and Dormant Mineral Act Claims

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently issued three separate opinions involving Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”) and Dormant Mineral Act (the “DMA”): Miller v. Mellott, 2019-Ohio-504 (Ct. App.); Soucik v. Gulfport Energy Corp., 2019—(…)

Newly Amended Ohio Law Exempts Landmen From Real Estate Broker’s License Requirement

On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, Governor Kasich signed SB 263 into law, which amends O.R.C. §4735 to specifically exclude oil and gas land professionals (landmen) from having to be a licensed real estate broker to negotiate oil and gas leases in Ohio(…)

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals Rules on Dormant Mineral Act’s Requirement of Reasonable Due Diligence Prior To Notice by Publication

On November 26, 2018, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals in Sharp v. Miller, 7th Dist. Jefferson No. 17 JE 0022, 2018-Ohio-4740, affirmed the abandonment of oil and gas interests pursuant to the Dormant Mineral Act (O.R.C. §5301.56) (the “DMA”).(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Holds that Independent Landmen Must Have Real Estate Brokers Licenses

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled in Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corporation, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-3826 (September 25, 2018), that independent landmen (third parties who negotiate oil and gas leases on behalf of E&P companies) must be licensed(…)

The 2018 Babst Calland Report Focuses on the Appalachian Basin Oil & Gas Industry Forging Ahead Despite Obstacles

Babst Calland today released its annual energy industry report: The 2018 Babst Calland Report – Appalachian Basin Oil & Gas Industry: Forging Ahead Despite Obstacles; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and Midstream Operators.  This an(…)

Federal Court Upholds Constitutionality of Ohio’s Unitization Statute

A federal district court in Ohio recently upheld the constitutionality of Ohio’s forced pooling statute (R.C. § 1509.28) in Kerns v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, et al., N.D. Ohio No. 5:18 CV 389 (June 13, 2018). R.C. § 1509.28 establishes the procedu(…)

Challenge to Constitutionality of Ohio’s Forced Pooling Statute Rejected on Procedural Grounds

The Ohio Supreme Court recently rejected a constitutional challenge to Ohio’s forced pooling statute in State ex rel. Kerns v. Simmers, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-256. A group of landowners (the “Landowners”) sought a writ of mandamus compelling the C(…)

Pennsylvania Superior Court Upholds “Title Washing”

In Woodhouse Hunting Club, Inc. v. Hoyt, an unpublished opinion filed February 2, 2018, the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld the practice of “title washing” of unseated land in Pennsylvania. Prior to January 1, 1948, title washing occurred through a(…)

Environmental Legal Perspective: The Underground Reach of the Clean Water Act: It’s Not Just for Surface Water

Since its enactment in 1972, the federal agencies who administer the Clean Water Act (the Act), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps), have taken the position that the definition of “waters(…)

Pennsylvania legislature attempts to inject new life into expired oil and gas leases

On October 30, Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 74, which amended the Pennsylvania Fiscal Code. The 90-page bill included Section 1610-E, entitled “Temporary Cessation of Oil and Gas Wells,” which codified certain rights of oil and gas lessors and(…)

Environmental Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Decision Revives Multiple Federal District Court Lawsuits Challenging the Clean Water Rule

On January 22, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that lawsuits challenging the Obama administration’s 2015 Clean Water Rule (Rule) – a landmark revision to the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) that arguably expanded the(…)

Ohio Supreme Court does not Recognize Implied Covenant to Further Explore

The Supreme Court of Ohio recently ruled in Alford v. Collins-McGregor Operating Company, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-8, that Ohio does not recognize an implied covenant to further explore, separate and apart from the implied covenant of reasonable dev(…)

Oil and Gas Severance Tax Bill Fails to Reach House Floor

Pennsylvania House Bill No. 1401, which would create a severance tax and significantly change oil and gas royalty payments, recently failed to pass an important legislative hurdle. The bill imposes a 3.2% severance tax, or drilling tax, on unconventio(…)

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(…)

Environmental Alert: The DEP Releases a Trio of Draft Technical Guidance Documents

On October 14, 2017, the DEP published notices of availability for a trio of draft Technical Guidance Documents (TGD) in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Each of these TGDs proposes policy departures from current practices in both the form and substance of(…)

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(…)

Oil and Gas Lease Did Not Terminate for Failure to Pay Minimum Rental/Royalty Payments

On June 1, 2017, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a provision in an oil and gas lease requiring the lessee to pay a minimum rental/royalty does not automatically invoke a termination provision in an unrelated delay rental clause and is not void as ag(…)

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(…)

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Affirms Trial Court’s Order To Terminate A Portion Of An Oil And Gas Lease And Eject Operator

On March 17, 2017, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed a trial court’s 2015 order that severed and terminated a portion of an oil and gas lease.  The subject lease covered 240 acres located in Venango County, Pennsylvania, which was subsequent(…)

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(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Interpretation of Ohio Dormant Mineral Act

Today, the Ohio Supreme Court issued three written opinions interpreting the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (O.R.C. §5301.56) (the “ODMA”) and decided 10 related cases based upon its decisions set forth in the written opinions. Notably, in Corban v. Chesape(…)

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(…)

Statement from Environmental Regulatory Attorney Jean Mosites Who Testified at Yesterday’s Chapter 78 Hearing in Harrisburg

The following statement is from Babst Calland environmental regulatory attorney Jean Mosites who provided testimony at yesterday’s daylong public hearing on the subject of proposed revisions to 25 Pa. Code Chapter 78 submitted by the Department of Env(…)

Pennsylvania IRRC Approves Chapter 78/78a Regulations

On April 21, 2016, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) approved the Environmental Quality Board’s Chapter 78 (conventional wells) and Chapter 78a (unconventional wells) regulations by a vote of 3-2.  Vice Chairman Mizner, in making a m(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Resolves Hupp v. Beck Energy Once and For All

The Ohio Supreme Court definitively decided a case that at one time threatened the validity of thousands of Ohio oil and gas leases. As previously reported in April of 2014, the Seventh District Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the Monroe C(…)

Ohio Oil and Gas Commission Issues First Decision on Forced Pooling

The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission issued its first decision under R.C. 1509.28 to provide for the compulsory pooling of property for oil and gas unit operations. In Gary L. Teeter Revocable Trust v. Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management, the Oh(…)

Court Holds 1961 Dual Purpose Lease Still In Effect

In the case titled Mason v. Range Res.-Appalachia LLC (2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97471), the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania recently held that a 1961 oil and gas lease remained in effect pursuant to the terms of the(…)

Ohio Adopts Oil And Gas Regulatory Changes In Its Biennial Budget Legislation

Ohio’s biennial budget legislation, House Bill 64, signed by the Governor on June 30, 2015, includes changes and additions to Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory program appearing in Chapter 1509 of the Revised Code.  The changes and additions take effect o(…)

PA Governor Tom Wolf Bans New Gas Leases For Commonwealth-Owned Lands

Today, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order banning new oil and gas leases on public land owned by the Commonwealth.  This order ended the efforts of former Governor Tom Corbett to expand oil and ga(…)

Court Rules That Search For Heirs Of Oil And Gas Estate Deficient

On January 27, 2015, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed an order by the Court of Common Pleas of Susquehanna County in Sisson, et al. v. Stanley, et al.   The trial court’s order allowed the heirs of Joseph Stanley, who previously reserved all t(…)

Proposed Bill Would Provide Public Utility Commission With Power To Order Unitization In Some Circumstances

On January 23, 2015, Pennsylvania Senator Gene Yaw introduced Senate Bill 313 (SB 313), which would provide a process for persons actively engaged in the business of extracting oil or gas, who own or leased at least 65% of the working interests in a p(…)

Three Oil and Gas Bills Pass Pennsylvania Senate Panel

A Pennsylvania senate committee recently unanimously approved two bills regarding oil and gas royalty calculations.  StateImpact Pennsylvania reported that Senate Bills 147 and 148 were approved by the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committ(…)

Ohio EPA, Ohio Division Of Oil And Gas Resources Management, And Ohio Department Of Health Issue A Joint Guidance Letter On Landfill Disposal Of Oil And Gas Production Waste

Ohio EPA, the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, and the Ohio Department of Health, on November 17, 2014, jointly issued a four-page guidance letter on how Ohio regulates the landfill disposal of oil and gas production waste.  The lett(…)

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(…)

Proposed PA Legislation Seeks to Require Use of Steel Products Produced in U.S.

Two pieces of proposed legislation were introduced to the Pennsylvania Senate on Thursday, July 31. Each has been referred to the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee. Senate Bill 1458, if passed, would amend Title 58 by requiring that(…)

Commonwealth Court Issues Decision On Remaining Issues In Act 13 Case

In its far-reaching decision in Robinson v. Commonwealth, which was issued on December 19, 2013, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court invalidated several critical provisions of Act 13.  Additionally, the Supreme Court remanded to the Commonwealth Court to a(…)

Pennsylvania’s Landlord and Tenant Act Is not Applicable to Oil and Gas Leases

In a recent opinion, the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed whether Pennsylvania’s Landlord and Tenant Act of 1951 (the “Act”), and the applicable statute of frauds contained therein, applies to oil and gas leases.  In Nolt v. TS Calkins & Asso(…)

PA House and Senate Pass Budget Without Severance Tax

Marcellus Drilling News reports that the Pennsylvania House and Senate passed a budget that did not include a Marcellus Shale severance tax.  Governor Tom Corbett withheld his signature while he continues to work with lawmakers on pension reform.

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(…)

Findlay Township Approves Drill Sites At Pittsburgh International Airport

On April 23, 2014, the Findlay Township Board of Supervisors approved the conditional use application of CONSOL Energy, Inc.’s affiliate, CNX Gas Company LLC, to construct on the property of the Pittsburgh International Airport 6 well pads, up to 60 u(…)

Ohio EPA Issues Revised General Air Permits For Horizontal Drilling Sites Requiring More Aggressive Methane Leak Detection and Repair

As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal Online on April 4, 2014, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued revised general permits for the installation and operation of air contaminant sources at oil and gas horizontal well sites to address meth(…)

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(…)

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,(…)

West Virginia One Step Closer to Seeing a Cracker Plant Constructed

West Virginia’s Ohio River region is one step closer to seeing construction begin on a cracker plant in the Wood County area.  According to the Charleston Gazette, Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise, owned by Brazilian based Odebrecht, purchased the(…)

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(…)

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Decides Act 13 Case

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that several critical provisions of Act 13, the General Assembly’s 2012 comprehensive update to the former Oil and Gas Act, are unconstitutional.  In addition to invalidating a key section of Act 13 placing lim(…)

Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board Dismisses Request To Establish Well Spacing And Drilling Units

On August 26, 2013, Hilcorp Energy Company (Hilcorp) filed a complaint and application requesting that the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (PAEHB) issue an order to establish well spacing and drilling units pursuant to the Oil and Gas Conserv(…)

Third Circuit Rules In Favor Of Shell Because Of Lease Unitization Clause

On November 18, 2013, the Third Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling out of the Middle District of Pennsylvania in favor of Shell Western Exploration and Production, LP (Shell) in a case captioned as George W. Linder, et al. v. SWEPI, LP, a/k/a(…)

Allegheny County Council Rejects Proposal To Ban Drilling In County Parks

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Allegheny County Council rejected a proposed three-year moratorium on natural gas drilling within county parks.  The measure failed 2-9, with four council members abstaining because of conflicts of interest.  T(…)

Federal District Court Denies Request To Use Eminent Domain Authority To Relocate Interstate Gas Pipeline

On October 24, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania denied Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC’s (Columbia) request to use the eminent domain authority provided in the Natural Gas Act to acquire new pipeline easements from(…)

Royalty Reduction Lawsuit Moves Forward With Class Certification

The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania has accepted in part the recommendations of a magistrate judge, and has granted the motion to certify two classes of plaintiffs in Pollock v. Energy Corp. of America. A third cl(…)

STRONGER Issues Final Report Regarding its Follow-up Review Of Pennsylvania Oil And Gas Regulatory Program

As we reported back in May of this year, a review team assembled by the State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (“STRONGER”) completed an in-state review of Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Program.  STRONGER’s review team(…)

Smaller Companies Using Marcellus Technology In Shallow Well Drilling

Utilizing technologies that created the Marcellus Shale boom in Western Pennsylvania, smaller operators in the region are beginning to rework their shallow wells, as well as drill new ones, to explore and produce shallower formations. Rather than dril(…)

EPA Revises SPCC Guidance to Promote National Consistency

U.S. EPA recently revised its oil spill prevention, control, and countermeasure (SPCC) program guidance to help promote consistency in the way SPCC rules are administered by different EPA regions.  The SPCC rules mandate the implementation of professi(…)

Shale Gas Activity Increases Household Incomes

Last week, global research firm IHS released a report regarding the economic impact of U.S. unconventional oil and gas production, Bloomberg reported.   According to the IHS report entitled America’s New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas R(…)

Pennsylvania Rulemaking Body to Consider Revisions to Oil and Gas Regulations

The Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board, the Commonwealth’s environmental rulemaking body, will consider proposed rulemaking to Subchapter C to Chapter 78 of Pennsylvania’s oil and gas regulations during its next meeting on August 27, 2013.

Shale Exploration And Production Causes Major Job Boom In The United States

As expected, the recent increase in shale production and exploration has caused a major increase in job creation in the oil and gas industry, recent reports show. According to data released by the Energy Information Administration and the U.S. Departm(…)

PA Representative Wants Pooling Provisions Repealed

As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times, Pennsylvania Representative Michele Brooks (R-Crawford) issued a memorandum on August 12, 2013 to all House members regarding her intent to introduce two pieces of legislation regarding pooling in the near(…)

Beaver County Creates Tax-Exempt Zone For Proposed Ethane Cracker Plant

The Beaver County Commissioners have approved the creation of a 325-acre tax-exempt zone aimed at enticing Shell to proceed with the construction of an ethane cracker plant in the region.  According to one commissioner, “It’s an important piece of the(…)

Superior Court Upholds Right Of Operator To Construct An Impoundment And To Utilize Hydraulic Fracturing Under Terms Of Lease

The Superior Court of Pennsylvania upheld the trial court’s decision in Humberston v. Chevron U.S.A. to grant preliminary objections in favor of Chevron U.S.A., Inc. and Keystone Vacuum, Inc., holding that Chevron and Keysone had the right under the o(…)

Indefinite Moratorium Leads To Termination Of Leases In Northeastern Pennsylvania

Hess Corporation and Newfield Exploration Company recently terminated lease agreements with about 1,300 property owners in Wayne County, Pennsylvania, where the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has imposed a moratorium on gas drilling since May(…)

Governor Signs Legislation Permitting Pooling Of Gas Drilling Units

Senate Bill Number 259, which amends the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act by allowing drillers to pool land into gas-drilling units, was signed by Governor Corbett today after fast-track approval by the Senate on June 30th.  The bill allows joint develo(…)

XTO Opens NGL Treatment Facility in Butler County, Pennsylvania

MarketWatch reports that XTO Energy Inc., a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, announced on June 17th the startup of a natural gas liquids recovery facility in Butler County, Pennsylvania.  Located on 340 acres, the facility is the first of its kind for XTO in(…)

EQT Requires Contractors To Be Part Of ISN

EQT now requires its contractors to join ISNetWorld (ISN), a platform that gathers, organizes, and verifies pre-qualification safety data and other information.  EQT will continue to make safety requirements and approvals in-house utilizing ISN data,(…)

Court Clarifies What Constitutes "Commencement Of Drilling"

Last week, in Good Will Hunting Club, Inc. v. Range Resources-Appalachia, LLC, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that a landowner (Good Will) was bound by a five-year extension clause in an oil and gas lease that it(…)

Appeals Court Clarifies Definition Of "Adjacent" Under The Federal Clean Air Act

In Summit Petroleum Corp. v. US EPA, 690 F.3d 733 (6th Cir. 2012), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit overturned the US EPA’s finding that a natural gas sweetening plant and approximately 100 gas wells scattered across a 43-square-mile ar(…)

STRONGER Completes Follow-up Review Of Pennsylvania Oil And Gas Regulatory Program

Over this past week (May 28th through 31st), a review team assembled by the State Review of Oil & Natural Gas Environmental Regulations (“STRONGER”) has conducted an in-state review of Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Program.  The six person(…)