Prompted by the boom in the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania, a 136-year-old legal publishing firm on Monday has issued the first resource for the state’s oil and gas legal reference. Its publisher characterizes the book as a resource for landowners, lawyers, judges and producers alike.

“Pennsylvania Oil and Gas Law and Practice” has attempted to organize and summarize Pennsylvania’s oil industry body of law, dating back to 1856 when Col. Drake made the nation’s first oil discovery in Titusville, PA.

Philadelphia-based George T. Bisel Co. Inc. is touting the resource as the “first comprehensive Pennsylvania-specific oil/gas legal book, according to Chief Editor Tony DiGioia, a lawyer.

A local attorney who has seen his practice grow to specialize in energy since 2006 when the Marcellus began to take off, Jay Wilkinson co-authored the tome. He said in the time he has been involved in reviewing oil/gas leases, the pricing involved has jumped from $100/acre to more than $6,000/acre in some cases.

In this short time, oil and gas titles “became the focus of my practice,” Wilkinson said. “The increased monetary value of the lease transactions forced the transactional focus to confirmation of title.”

Wilkinson said Pennsylvania has several references for other branches of the law, but he could not find an up-to-date resources on the state’s oil/gas law. Thus, three years ago he began talking to DiGioia and eventually received the publisher’s approval to proceed with the reference book.

Co-authors with Wilkinson include Harry Weiss of Ballard Spahr LLP in Philadelphia and James Adams Jr. of Houston.