For the second time in six months, an environmental group in Pennsylvania has made an appeal to the state’s Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) to challenge a permit issued to a subsidiary of Anadarko Petroleum Corp. for a well in Lycoming County.
Articles from Appeal
A federal district judge last Saturday rejected a bid by SandRidge Energy Inc. to dismiss an investor lawsuit that claims the Oklahoma City operator provided misleading information regarding natural gas drilling programs.
An appeals court in Ohio upheld a local court’s ruling that an operator is not required to fully develop leased property, and disagreed with a landowner’s demand that the undeveloped portion be surrendered and subsequently leased to other oil and gas companies.
Norse Energy Corp. USA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, just days after a New York judge ruled the cash-strapped company had to deposit millions into an escrow account for a legal dispute with a drilling company.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments this week in a controversial mineral rights case that could have enormous implications over ownership rights in the Marcellus Shale.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Monday would not say whether it plans to appeal the appellate court decision tossing out the agency’s rule on limiting speculative trading, but some in industry are keeping their fingers crossed that the CFTC will take another route: start all over again on the rule.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is warning Pittsburgh officials that several portions of the city’s drilling ordinance are incompatible with Act 13, the state’s omnibus Marcellus Shale law.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has intervened in former Amaranth gas trader Brian Hunter’s appeal of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) order fining him $30 million for allegedly manipulating the gas futures market. In the briefing filed in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the CFTC said it intervened in the case because “FERC’s assertion of jurisdiction directly conflicts with the express statutory grant of exclusive jurisdiction to the CFTC over futures trading on futures exchanges.” The two federal regulatory agencies have butted heads over the issue of whether FERC has jurisdiction in cases where the manipulation of natural gas futures trades subsequently influences the price of physical gas transactions (see NGI, Sept. 17, 2007). Both Hunter and the CFTC argue that FERC lacks jurisdiction in these cases. However in intervening in the case, the CFTC is not defending Hunter’s alleged activities in the futures market. In mid-2007, the CFTC brought its own action against Amaranth and Hunter for attempted gas futures market manipulation one day before FERC brought its enforcement action (see NGI, July 30, 2007). The Amaranth hedge fund was liquidated in late 2006 after losing $6 billion on natural gas trades. FERC fined Hunter $30 million in April 2011.
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected without comment former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling’s appeal to overturn his 19 convictions for fraud. Two years ago the high court ruled that federal prosecutors had used an improper legal theory to convict Skilling in 2006, saying Skilling couldn’t be convicted under a federal statute outlawing fraudulent schemes to withhold “honest services” (see NGI, June 28, 2010). Although the Supreme Court invalidated the prosecution’s honest services theory, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans last year found the federal government’s evidence of conspiracy sufficient to uphold his convictions (see NGI, April 11, 2011). The Fifth Circuit said the verdict would have been the same because there was “overwhelming evidence that Skilling conspired to commit securities fraud and thus we conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the verdict would have been the same absent the alternative-theory error.”