Energy & Environmental Law Blog

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Tag Archives: Oil and Gas

FLSA Case Highlights the Importance of Wage-Hour Laws

Posted in Energy
A newly filed collective action in Ohio federal court against an oil and gas company highlights the importance of wage-hour law compliance and the potential ramifications for failing to do so. The case, Casarez v. Producers Service Corp., pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, involves the proper calculation of… Continue Reading

Ohio Appellate Court: Oil and Gas Lease Expiration Claims Governed by 15-Year Contract Statute of Limitations

Posted in Energy
In Browne v. Artex (May 31, 2018), Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals held that a claim that an oil and gas lease expired for lack of production is governed by Ohio’s statute of limitation for contract claims—not the state’s longer statute of limitations for recovery of possession of real property. In Browne, the plaintiffs… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Ohio Rules Youngstown Anti-Fracking Measure Must Be Placed on the May 2018 Ballot

Posted in Energy
The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled yesterday that the Mahoning County Board of Elections must place a proposed city charter amendment—the so-called “Youngstown Drinking Water Protection Bill of Rights”—on the May 2018 ballot, which includes several anti-fracking provisions. State ex rel. Khumprakob v. Mahoning Cty. Bd. of Elections, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-1602.  According to the Court, “[t]he… Continue Reading

Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Invites Comments on Revised Well Spacing Rules

Posted in Energy
Today, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management invited comments on a draft rule package that would amend the Division’s existing well spacing rules for conventional and horizontal wells.  As the Division explains in its Statement of Intent: The DOGRM intends to amend the existing well spacing rule by revising… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Addresses Notice Requirement Under 2006 DMA

Posted in Energy
Recently, in Shilts v. Beardmore (2018-Ohio-863), the Seventh District Court of Appeals analyzed whether a surface owner complied with the notice requirement of the 2006 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (Revised Code 5305.56) (the “2006 DMA”). Under the 2006 DMA, in order to abandon a dormant mineral interest, a surface owner must first serve a notice of… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Ohio Takes Up Marketable Title Act

Posted in Energy
On February 28, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ohio announced that it has accepted an appeal of Blackstone v. Moore (2017-Ohio-1639).  Blackstone is a Seventh District Court of Appeals decision that analyzed the Ohio Marketable Title Act (R.C. 5301.47 et seq.) (the “OMTA”) and adopted a four factor test to determine whether a reference to an… Continue Reading

West Virginia Co-Tenancy Bill Signed into Law

Posted in Energy
On Friday, March 9, 2018, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed into law a state statute permitting the leasing of oil and gas interests owned by seven or more “royalty owners,” if at least 75% of the owners agree to the lease.  The law, which takes effect on July 1, 2018, eliminates the need to… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Ohio Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Unitization Order

Posted in Energy
On January 30, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ohio rejected a constitutional challenge to a statutory unitization order issued by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management. In State ex rel. Kerns v. Simmers, the Division issued an order under Ohio’s unitization statute, R.C. 1509.28, that consolidated the relators-landowners’… Continue Reading

PA DEP Halts Mariner East II Pipeline

Posted in Energy
Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection halted construction of Sunoco Logistic LP’s Mariner East II pipeline, citing violations of environmental laws, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Sunoco violated its permits, using unauthorized drilling methods that leaked nontoxic drilling fluid into trout streams and water wells across the state, according to the DEP. The state discovered… Continue Reading

Ohio Appellate Court Finds The Duhig Rule Persuasive

Posted in Energy
In Talbot v. Ward (2017-Ohio-9213), Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals found the Duhig rule “persuasive” in interpreting a deed containing an exception for royalties, bonuses, and rentals. The Duhig rule, first enacted in Texas in 1940, bars a grantor and his successors and assigns from claiming title in a reserved fractional mineral interest when doing so would, in effect,… Continue Reading

Recent Ohio Oil and Gas Decisions

Posted in Energy
Over the last several weeks, Ohio courts issued a few decisions involving oil and gas issues that we wanted to briefly mention: Schillo v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC (Harrison Cty. C.P., Oct. 16, 2017) – Here, the dispute was whether the lessee properly extended an oil and gas lease through the tender of delay rental payments. … Continue Reading

Eclipse Res.—Ohio, LLC v. Madzia

Posted in Energy
Last week, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Eclipse Res.—Ohio, LLC v. Madzia, concerning a dispute between a landowner and a lessee regarding the latter’s drilling rights.  Among other things, the court found: The lease, which conveyed to the lessee a broad grant of rights to use the landowner’s… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Ohio to Hear Landman Licensing Case

Posted in Energy
In March, we posted about Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corp., a decision by Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals ruling that landmen were required to obtain real estate broker’s licenses in order to sue for compensation for brokering deals between landowners and oil and gas companies.  Today, the Supreme Court of Ohio agreed to review… Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Finds Ohio Would Follow the “At the Well” Rule for Post-Production Costs

Posted in Energy
In a decision released yesterday, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio concluded that Ohio would adopt the “at the well” rule regarding the deduction of post-production costs, the first time the issue has been squarely addressed under Ohio law. Lutz v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C., N.D.Ohio No. 4:09-cv-2256 (Oct. 25, 2017).… Continue Reading

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