Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Energy & Environmental Law Blog

VORYS Helping Clients With Their Energy and Environmental Needs

Monthly Archives: March 2010

“New” Skeptics on Global Warming?

Posted in Environment
The NYT has an interesting article on the apparent schism between many "meteorologists" and "climate scientists" on global warming issues.  The take away:  Increasing public skepticism regarding anthropogenic global warming is due in part to the public’s interaction with meteorologists, "who predict short-term weather patterns," who "dominate communications channels to the public," and who are often … Continue Reading

New Offshore Drilling

Posted in Energy, Environment
It is being reported that President Obama today will announce plans to allow drilling for oil and natural gas off much of the U.S.’s Atlantic coast, but will continue to restrict drilling off the California, Washington, and Oregon coasts, as well as in Alaska’s Bristol Bay.  See here, for example (LA Times); and here (NY … Continue Reading

PA Governor Pushes E&P Industry

Posted in Energy
Pennsylvania Governor Rendell has taken a more strident tone regarding taxation of natural gas production in the state, according to this article at philly.com.  "In a talk before an energy conference in Dallas, Rendell said the natural-gas business was following ‘some bad advice’ in resisting a Pennsylvania tax on production, and it could face a … Continue Reading

CAA Permits for GHGs Delayed

Posted in Energy
U.S. EPA has announced that stationary sources will not be required to get permits under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for greenhouse gases (GHGs) until at least January 2011.  "Today’s action determines that Clean Air Act construction and operating permit requirements for the largest emitting facilities will begin when the first national rule controlling GHGs … Continue Reading

Association Merger

Posted in Energy
The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that the Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Association is merging with the Independent Oil and Gas Association of Pennsylvania.  For a copy of the new association’s press release [Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA)], see here.  Congratulations!… Continue Reading

New Marathon Refinery

Posted in Energy
The Houston Chronicle is also reporting on Marathon’s recent expansion of its Garyville facility, in effect the first new refinery built in the U.S. in the last 30 years.  "The new ultra-efficient behemoth is now processing its full nominal capacity 436,000 barrels of oil per day, producing 19.5 million gallons of fuel."  Nice… Continue Reading

Oil Companies Looking to the Shales

Posted in Energy
The Houston Chronicle is reporting on several large oil companies taking positions in natural gas shale basins.  Regarding Shell, for example:  "He [i.e., Marvin Odum, president of Houston-based Shell Oil Co.] now considers the holdings [in the Eagle Ford shale] a key piece of a North American gas portfolio the company has spent the last … Continue Reading

Wyoming Frac Rules

Posted in Energy
Wyoming is considering changes to its oil and gas regulations that may impact how hydraulic fracturing is done in the state, according to this article in the Billings Gazette.  "The commission is considering several detailed rules for fracking, including requiring companies to disclose ‘proprietary chemical component detail’ of fracking fluids."… Continue Reading

Enbridge Liquids Pipeline

Posted in Energy
Enbridge, Inc., has announced plans to develop a natural gas liquids (NGL) pipeline from the Marcellus Shale in southern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia to Midwestern markets in the Chicago area… Continue Reading

Limits Proposed for Federal Frac Regulation

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell Oil Co., have proposed language for climate change legislation that would prohibit federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, which is currently regulated by the states.  Among other things, "[t]he document recommends that states adopt standards for disclosing the contents of hydraulic fracturing chemicals ‘to health professionals … Continue Reading

PA Royalty Decision

Posted in Energy
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently upheld the lower court’s decision in Kilmer v. Elexco Land Services, Inc., Docket No. 63-MAP-2009, which found that the net-back method for calculating natural gas royalties did not violate the state’s Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act (GMRA) (which requires that leases guarantee a landowner-lessor at least a 1/8th royalty).  See here … Continue Reading

Ohio Wind Farm Applications Approved

Posted in Energy, Environment
The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) approved several large-scale wind farm projects yesterday, according to these press releases (Buckeye Wind Project, JW Great Lakes Wind, and Hardin Wind Energy Project).  Copies of the decisions in these cases can be found here. Congratulations to all! [Disclosure:  Vorys represented Buckeye Wind … Continue Reading

FERC Form 552

Posted in Energy
We mentioned previously that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would be holding a technical conference to address certain issues identified by the FERC Staff regarding Form 552 (Transparency Provisions of Section 23 of the Natural Gas Act).  The Staff recently posted an agenda (including industry panelists), noting that the issues to be addressed include:  … Continue Reading

US Rig Count

Posted in Energy
Baker Hughes is reporting that the U.S. rig count increased by 20 last week to 1,427.  Horizontal rigs have increased to 711, more than the previous peak… Continue Reading

FERC Penalty Guidelines

Posted in Energy
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has announced a new policy statement on civil penalty guidelines to enhance its enforcement program.  From the news release:  "This approach promotes consistency by basing the penalty calculations on a set of uniform factors that are weighted similarly for similar types of violations and similar types of violators. The … Continue Reading

EPA Hydraulic Frac Study

Posted in Energy, Environment
U.S. EPA has announced that it intends to conduct a comprehensive study of hydraulic fracturing and its potential adverse impacts on the environment.  From the news release:  "The agency is proposing the process begin with (1) defining research questions and identifying data gaps; (2) conducting a robust process for stakeholder input and research prioritization; (3) … Continue Reading

More Marcellus Gathering

Posted in Energy
Penn Virginia Resources Partners, L.P., has announced that it has entered into an agreement with a Marcellus producer to construct gathering and compression facilities in Wyoming County, PA.  "PVR Midstream will construct a 12-inch gathering pipeline and compression facilities with 25 million cubic feet (MMcf) per day of throughput capacity. This system is expected to … Continue Reading

Dominion Selling Appalachian Assets

Posted in Energy
The Richmond Times-Dispatch is reporting that Dominion Resources, Inc., is selling its Appalachian oil and gas E&P operations to Consol Energy, Inc., for just under $3.5 billion.  It includes more than 9,000 wells, 1.46 million acres, and 1 Tcf of proven natural gas reserves.  For a copy of the Dominion news release, see here… Continue Reading

Marcellus Drilling

Posted in Energy
The Philadelphia Inquirer has an interesting article on drilling in the Marcellus Shale.  It ranks, for example, the players in the region by number of wells drilled in the shale since 2008.  The results … well, take a look for yourselves… Continue Reading

NGV’s

Posted in Energy
The Dallas Morning News has an interesting article on the views of Exxon Mobil Corp.’s CEO regarding natural gas vehicles.  In sum – He has doubts about the wide-spread adoption of natural gas vehicles.  He sees, however, significant potential for natural gas for power generation… Continue Reading

Storage Report

Posted in Energy
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is reporting a draw of 111 Bcf from storage last week, leaving 1,626 Bcf as of Friday, March 5, 2010.  This is well within the 5-year range: For more, see here… Continue Reading

CERAWeek

Posted in Energy
This has been CERAWeek in Houston, one of the largest industry conferences of the year.  The NYT has a good article on how much of the conference seemed to focus on the opportunities presented by shale gas for the country.  For other articles, see here at the Houston Chronicle… Continue Reading

Short-Term Energy Outlook

Posted in Energy
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for March, 2010.  Regarding natural gas prices: EIA expects this year’s annual average natural gas Henry Hub spot price to be $5.17 per million Btu (MMBtu), a $1.22-per-MMBtu increase over the 2009 average. EIA projects price increases to continue in 2011, averaging $5.65 per … Continue Reading