Legal

West Virginia Court Clarifies ‘Surface’ Definition

West Virginia’s legal system continues to struggle with surface rights issues, with the state’s Supreme Court of Appeals finding recently that the term “surface” means just what it says and does not include underground resources.

June 26, 2013

Colorado Springs, CO, Adopts Fracking Rules

On a 6-3 vote after dozens of citizens and business representatives spoke, the Colorado Springs, CO, City Council late Tuesday night approved rules to allow the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in oil and natural gas drilling, mirroring similar statewide rules.

November 29, 2012

Pennsylvania DEP Secretary Blasts Lawmaker Over Water Testing Allegations

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Secretary Michael Krancer took aim at a state lawmaker for accusing his agency of wrongdoing when it tested water supplies allegedly tainted by natural gas drilling.

November 19, 2012

PG&E Still Expecting Settlements of San Bruno Cases

A judge’s pretrial decision this week to allow punitive damages in the consolidated civil legal cases filed against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) following the San Bruno, CA, pipeline explosion two years ago does not lessen the chances of a settlement, a PG&E spokesperson told NGI Thursday.

November 5, 2012

Kennebec Valley Pipeline Battle Moves to Maine Courtroom

A legal battle over a Maine Natural Gas (MNG) proposal to build an 80-mile-long natural gas pipeline to Maine’s state capital and the surrounding Kennebec Valley has taken another turn with a lawsuit filed by MNG, which claims a competitor’s previously successful challenge to the project was filed too late.

October 18, 2012

Act 13 Case Comes Before Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Attorneys on both sides of the legal battle over Act 13, Pennsylvania’s omnibus Marcellus Shale law, spent two hours in a packed Pittsburgh courtroom Wednesday giving oral arguments before the state Supreme Court.

October 18, 2012
GAO: Shale Development Risks ‘Unknown’

GAO: Shale Development Risks ‘Unknown’

The extent of the risks associated with development of shale oil and natural gas is “unknown” because existing studies have not taken into account the potential long-term, cumulative effects of the activity, according to a new report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Tuesday. The agency in a companion report did not make any recommendations to change environmental and public health requirements in light of advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

October 11, 2012

Williams CEO Warns of Sierra Challenge to Gas Pipelines

Williams CEO Alan Armstrong last week called on the natural gas industry to join the fight against the Sierra Club’s legal challenge the issuance of nationwide permits (NWP) to natural gas pipelines to cross streams/wetlands during the construction of projects. A win by the environmental group in federal court would require pipeline companies to go through the onerous process to obtain individual Section 404 permits under the Clean Water Act (CWA) for each water crossing in their project.

July 30, 2012

Pemex Expands Gas Condensate Theft Litigation

Legal action by the exploration and production unit of Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) against companies accused of trafficking in stolen natural gas condensate got bigger Tuesday when the company filed another lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Houston that added defendants Pemex had unsuccessfully sought to add to an existing lawsuit.

April 12, 2012

Alaska, Producers Settle Seven-Year Point Thomson Dispute

The state of Alaska on Friday settled a seven-year legal battle with natural gas and oil producers over the Point Thomson leases, and the operators in turn agreed to develop the huge gas field.

April 2, 2012