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Category Archives: Energy

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Ohio Court Holds Deed Reserving “All of the Minerals and Coal” Did Not Reserve Oil and Gas

Posted in Energy
In Sheba v. Kautz, 2017-Ohio-7699, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals held that a deed executed in 1848 reserving “all of the minerals and coal” did not reserve oil and gas. In reaching its decision, the Court applied ordinary principles of contract interpretation, and heavily relied upon the Supreme Court of Ohio’s decision in Detlor… Continue Reading

10th Circuit Court of Appeals Dismisses BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Litigation

Posted in Energy
Last year, we posted about litigation concerning the Bureau of Land Management’s controversial rule purporting to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands.  After a federal court found that the rule exceeded the scope of the BLM’s regulatory authority, appeals were filed with 10th District Court of Appeals.  Earlier this year, the BLM announced… Continue Reading

Federal Appeals Court Affirms Decision Striking Down Fayette County, WV Wastewater Injection Ban

Posted in Energy
On August 30, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court’s decision striking down a Fayette County, WV ordinance prohibiting wastewater injection.  EQT Production Company challenged the ordinance—which restricted “storage, treatment, injection, process or permanent disposal” of wastewater within the county, including specifically, the use of injection wells… Continue Reading

Federal Court Rejects Class Action Alleging Improper Deduction of Post-Production Costs

Posted in Energy
On August 24, 2017, the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia granted summary judgment to producers in a class action lawsuit concerning the deduction of flat-rate post-production costs. In Kinney v. CNX Gas Company, LLC, et al., the parties’ leases provided that the lessors would receive a percentage of the… Continue Reading

Ohio Court Elaborates on Paying Quantities Test

Posted in Energy
On June 16, 2017, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals issued its decision in Paulus v. Beck Energy Corp. 2017-Ohio-5716, which addresses a number of issues concerning Ohio’s standard for determining whether an oil and gas lease is producing in “paying quantities,” a test that must ordinarily be met in order to continue a lease during its… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit Vacates Stay of Oil and Gas Methane Emissions Rule

Posted in Energy, Environment
This post provides an important update to our April 20, 2017 post regarding U.S. EPA’s reconsideration of its rule regulating methane emissions from the oil and gas industry (“NSPS OOOOa”). On June 5, 2017, EPA published a notice of reconsideration and partial stay of NSPS OOOOa. Specifically, EPA stayed the effectiveness of the fugitive emissions… Continue Reading

Court Clarifies which References are “Specific” for Purposes of Applying the Ohio Marketable Title Act

Posted in Energy
Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently interpreted a statutory exception to “marketable record title” under Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (R.C. 5301.47 et seq.) (OMTA). In Blackstone v. Moore, 2017-Ohio-5704, the court held that whether a reference to an interest inherent in the muniments of the chain of record title is “specific” – and thus… Continue Reading

Appellate Court Holds a Recorded Release of an Oil and Gas Lease is a “Savings Event” under the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act

Posted in Energy
In Davis v. Consolidation Coal Company, 2017-Ohio-5703, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals held that a recorded release of an oil and gas lease qualifies as a “savings event” under the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (R.C. 5301.56) (ODMA). One of the six savings events under the ODMA occurs whenever the mineral interest has been the subject… Continue Reading

BLM Postpones Waste Prevention Rule Compliance Date

Posted in Energy, Environment
On June 15, 2017, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued notice that it was postponing compliance date for certain sections of its Waste Prevention, Production Subject to Royalties, and Resource Conservation Rule, 81 Fed. Reg. 83008 (“Waste Prevention Rule”). The Waste Prevention Rule regulates the loss of natural gas through venting, flaring, and leaks… Continue Reading

Bohlen v. Anadarko

Posted in Energy
On June 1, 2017, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued its decision in Bohlen v. Anadarko. We summarized the facts of this case in our earlier post: The Bohlens entered into a lease with Alliance in 2006 for a one year primary term.  Paragraph 3 of the lease contained a delay rental provision: This lease,… Continue Reading

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Holds Certain Lessees May Deduct Post-Production Costs

Posted in Energy
On Friday, May 26, 2017, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals released its decision in Patrick D. Leggett, et al. v. EQT Production Company, et al. and held that lessees subject to West Virginia Code § 22-6-8 may deduct post-production costs actually incurred from the lessor’s royalty.  The reasonableness of post-production expenses, however, is a question of fact.… Continue Reading

Lightning v. Anadarko

Posted in Energy
On May 19, 2017, the Supreme Court of Texas issued its long-awaited decision in Lightning v. Anadarko (see here for our earlier coverage of this case)—holding that when minerals are severed from the surface, the mineral owner’s permission is not required for a producer to drill through the surface tract in order to produce minerals… Continue Reading

Ohio: Updated Statutory Unitization Guidelines

Posted in Energy
On May 3, 2017, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (the Division) issued revised guidelines for statutory unitization applications. The guidance document–largely rewritten from the previous version (issued in May 2014)—contains a number of notable changes, including the following (among others): Unitization applications will now be processed on… Continue Reading

The Dimock Saga Continues – Judge Vacates Award

Posted in Energy
For over six years, individuals living in Dimock Township, Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania, have been asserting claims against Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation related to alleged damage to their water supplies purportedly caused by two unconventional gas wells. On March 10, 2016, a jury rendered a verdict in favor of the individuals, awarding them $4.24 million. … Continue Reading

Any Month is One Month for Strippers

Posted in Energy
In its decision of Snyder Brothers, Inc. v. Public Utility Comm’n, 1175 C.D. 2015 (Mar. 29, 2017), the Commonwealth Court was asked to determine the meaning of the term “any” as it applied to stripper wells and the payment of impact fees.  A stripper well is defined as an “unconventional gas well incapable of producing… Continue Reading

White House Approves Keystone XL Pipeline

Posted in Energy, Environment
The White House issued a permit today approving Keystone XL, “bringing the mammoth oil pipeline a step closer to fruition more than a year after former President Barack Obama blocked its construction,” writes The Wall Street Journal. The paper notes that the pipeline, which will carry up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day once completed,… Continue Reading

Ohio Court Construes the Term “Holder” under the 2006 DMA to include the Heirs and Devisees of the Record Owner

Posted in Energy
Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently interpreted the term “holder” under the 2006 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (R.C. § 5301.56) (“2006 DMA”) and held that the term should be construed broadly to include the heirs and devisees of the record owner of the severed mineral interest that succeed to the severed… Continue Reading

Ohio Court Rules Landmen Need to be Licensed Real Estate Brokers to Receive Compensation

Posted in Energy
Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently held that landmen are subject to the requirements of R.C. Chapter 4735 requiring real estate broker’s licenses in order to be entitled to compensation for brokering deals with landowners on behalf of oil and gas companies. In Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corp., plaintiff landmen alleged that they were… Continue Reading

Bohlen v. Anadarko

Posted in Energy
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of Ohio heard oral arguments in Bohlen v. Anadarko.  The Bohlens entered into a lease with Alliance in 2006 for a one year primary term.  Paragraph 3 of the lease contained a delay rental provision: This lease, however, shall become null and void and all rights of either party… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Holds WOTUS Case Pending Supreme Court Review

Posted in Energy, Environment
On January 25, 2017, the Sixth Circuit granted a motion to hold in abeyance litigation regarding U.S. EPA’s rule defining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) pending the Supreme Court’s review of whether the Sixth Circuit has jurisdiction to hear the case. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to settle the jurisdictional issue on January 13,… Continue Reading