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Tag Archives: Oil and Gas

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

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

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

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