The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said a proposed rule that would, among other things, increase public involvement in the way it formulates Resource Management Plans (RMP), would not directly affect the decisions it makes but conceded that it could impact the oil and gas industry.
Articles from Land
Efforts that began last year to lease state-owned land on the Ohio River and elsewhere in West Virginia have practically stalled with the sharp decline in oil and natural gas prices, compounding the downturn’s impact on state revenues as severance tax collections have fallen this year, too.
The Michigan attorney general’s (AG) office has begun mailing claim forms to about 700 residents in Northern Michigan who may have been affected by a racketeering and bid-rigging scheme involving Chesapeake Energy Corp. in 2010 that caused lease prices on their land to plummet. In April, Chesapeake agreed to create the fund to settle multiple antitrust, fraud and racketeering charges brought by AG Bill Schutte (see Daily GPI,April 24;June 25, 2014;June 5, 2014). Landowners had claimed they were notified by Chesapeake land representatives in 2010 concerning leasing their land, but nearly all of the leases were later canceled. Chesapeake also was charged with colluding with Encana Corp. during a 2010 state oil and gas leasing auction to suppress prices (see Daily GPI, March 19, 2014;June 26, 2012). Encana settled in 2014 and agreed to pay $5 million. Chesapeake pleaded no contest to one misdemeanor charge each for attempted antitrust violation and false pretenses. If Chesapeake abides by the settlement terms, the misdemeanor charges would be dismissed in March and all other criminal charges would be dismissed by the state. The claims period ends Feb. 25. Questions should be directed to the AG’s Division of Corporate Oversight at (517) 373-1160.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is considering leasing 31,900 acres of the Wayne National Forest in Southern Ohio, some of it for horizontal hydraulic fracturing, after oil and gas companies recently filed expressions of interest for the land with the agency.
The trough in the U.S. land rig count had appeared to be approaching, but as prices continue to stagnate, assertions that the market already has touched bottom “could soon prove to be false,” Helmerich & Payne Inc. (H&P) CEO John Lindsay said last week.
Antero Resources Corp. is laying off about half of its land broker workforce, spread across Ohio, western West Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas, to move more money to Appalachia development, a top executive said Tuesday.
Another company has purchased a chunk of land in the Appalachian Basin for hydrocarbon storage and terminal operations.
With production continuing to outpace takeaway infrastructure in the Bakken oil/gas boom, the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) has launched an easement information resource for landowners and land agents, hoping to streamline the rights-of-way process for pipeline permitting (see Shale Daily, Oct. 2).
Oil and natural gas exploration and production (E&P) companies are not maximizing the value of their growing land organization as they rush into the shale production boom, a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) has concluded.