Energy & Environmental Law Blog

Energy & Environmental Law Blog

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Tag Archives: Oil and Gas

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 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

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

PA Supreme Court Invalidates More of Act 13

Posted in Energy
With the support of its recently elected justices, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in an opinion issued on September 28, 2016, held four provisions of Pennsylvania’s Oil and Gas Act (also known as Act 13) to be unconstitutional.  In addressing the severability of various provisions of Act 13, and emboldened by its 2014 plurality decision (which… Continue Reading

Ohio Oil Production Falls While Gas Production Rises

Posted in Energy
On September 1st, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) released production totals for the second quarter of 2016. The report shows that natural gas production from shale wells increased by over 50% from the second quarter of 2015, while oil production fell over 18% from that same period. Click here to access ODNR’s second… Continue Reading

Changes Coming to Taxation of Oil and Gas Reserves in Ohio

Posted in Energy
The Ohio Tax Commissioner recently issued a memorandum to county auditors regarding significant changes to the taxation of oil and gas reserves starting in tax year 2016.  These significant changes include: Elimination of filing forms 6 and 6A. Values will now be based upon production volumes reported to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). … Continue Reading

Governor Kasich Signs Executive Order for Implementation of Oil and Gas Emergency Notification System

Posted in Energy, Environment
On August 9, 2016, Governor Kasich signed Executive Order 2016-04K authorizing the immediate adoption of rules creating an emergency notification process for oil and gas related emergencies, such as an uncontrolled fire or the release of natural gas, oil, brine, hazardous substances and other wastes at a production or processing facility. Under the rules, such… Continue Reading

Division Is Issuing State Lands Unitization Orders

Posted in Energy
Recently, Ohio’s Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (Division) has issued several unitization orders that include unleased lands owned by the State of Ohio, including lands owned by the Department of Transportation (see here), the Ohio Rail Development Commission (see here), and the Department of Information Technology (see here).  The orders are on terms… Continue Reading

H.B. 390 Clarifies Ohio Unitization Program

Posted in Energy
On June 28, 2016, Ohio Governor Kasich signed into law House Bill 390, which, among other matters, clarifies the status of pending applications for unit operations concerning mineral rights owned by the Ohio Department of Transportation.  In particular, it requires the chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management to issue unit orders… Continue Reading

Second Try for Post-Production Costs Prohibition

Posted in Energy
On June 27, 2016, the Pennsylvania House Environmental Resources and Energy Committee revived previously introduced legislation designed to clarify that the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act would provide for a minimum unconventional gas royalty of 12.5% even when post-production costs are applied. The committee voted to send House Bill 1391 to the full House for consideration.  [Link… Continue Reading

Ohio’s Utica Oil Production Dips, Gas Production Grows

Posted in Energy
According to quarterly production data released by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, oil production in the state from Utica shale wells dipped since the fourth quarter of 2015, reports the Akron Beacon Journal: The oil data is new evidence of the continuing industry downturn from low commodity prices hitting Ohio. That downturn has forced… Continue Reading

USEPA Sued to Tighten Disposal Regulations

Posted in Energy
A number of environmental groups have filed suit against the USEPA, alleging that the agency failed to update its rules for the disposal of oil and gas drilling waste, and calling on it to issue more stringent regulations, reports the Columbus Dispatch: “Updated rules for oil and gas wastes are almost 30 years overdue, and… Continue Reading

PA: Royalty Dispute Class Action Fails

Posted in Energy
The Superior Court of Pennsylvania recently sided with a lessee in a class action royalty dispute.  In Hall v. CNX Gas Co., LLC, the lease contained a royalty provision providing that royalties were to be calculated on the net amount realized at the point of sale.  The lessors asserted that because the provision did not… Continue Reading