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Category Archives: Energy

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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

U.S. E.P.A. Agrees to Review Drilling Waste Regulations to Settle Suit

Posted in Energy, Environment
In May of 2016, environmental groups sued the U.S. E.P.A., alleging that the agency failed to review and revise its regulations and state waste management plan guidelines regarding waste materials from oil and gas production as required by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6901 et seq.  On December 28, 2016, the court… Continue Reading

New Pipelines to Increase Ohio Natural Gas Takeaway Capacity

Posted in Energy
Ohio producers will soon be able to transport more natural gas out of the state.  In a recent article, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) summarized several pipeline projects that are in various stages of development.  According to the EIA, these projects could add an additional 6.8 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d) of takeaway… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Dismisses Oil and Gas Leasing Complaint against MWCD

Posted in Energy
In a recent decision, Harper v. Muskingum Watershed Conservancy Dist., the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a qui tam action brought under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. 3729, against the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD).  MWCD received property through a deed from the United States government.  The deed contained restrictions providing that the… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Ohio Declines to Answer Certified Questions on Whether Ohio Follows the ‘At The Well’ Rule for Post-Production Costs

Posted in Energy
On November 2nd, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued its decision in Lutz v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C.   In its opinion, the Court declined to answer a certified question from the Northern District of Ohio regarding whether Ohio follows the “at the well” rule or the “marketable product” theory with respect to post-production costs, leaving it up to… Continue Reading

Pressure Grows to Amend Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act

Posted in Energy
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently upheld a lower court decision finding that Atlas Resources, LLC (“Atlas”) qualified as a statutory employer under Section 302(a) of the Workers Compensation Act (the “Act”).  As a statutory employer, Atlas is entitled to immunity from the wrongful death suit brought by the estate of a rig worker who… Continue Reading

Ohio Appellate Court Rejects Landowner’s Challenge to Pipeline

Posted in Energy
In Sunoco Pipeline L.P. v. Teter, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals rejected a landowner challenge to Sunoco’s acquisition of an easement through eminent domain to construct its Mariner East 2 Pipeline.  The landowner contested Sunoco’s exercise of eminent domain on the basis that pure propane and pure butane (i.e., the liquids to be transported… Continue Reading