News & Analysis as of

Fracking Hearings Set to Begin in North Carolina

This Wednesday in Raleigh will see the first of four upcoming public hearings in North Carolina over the state’s proposed fracking rules. The hearings are part of the final phase of rule making, coming after two years of...more

SB 1281 (Pavley): Oil & Gas Production; Water Use Reporting

SB-1281 was amended in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations on August 4, 2014. A scheduled hearing on August 6 was postponed and held on suspense under Joint Rule 62(a). As of this writing, a hearing has not yet been...more

Governor Christie Vetoes New Jersey Fracking Ban

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have banned the treatment, discharge, and disposal of fracking wastewater in the state, arguing that the bill violated the United States...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - August 2014 #2

Environmental and Policy Focus - Appellate court upholds environmental work for high-speed rail via Pacheco Pass: Fresno Bee - Jul 24 -- State appeals justices on Thursday upheld a lower court's approval of an...more

A Focus on Energy: M&A Trends in the Energy Sector [Video]

Houston-based Latham & Watkins partner Robin Fredrickson talks about M&A trends in the energy sector....more

Report Recommends Update of USEPA UIC Program Citing Hydraulic Fracturing Concerns

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) released a report yesterday, July 28, 2014, that presents a need for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) to update the Underground Injection Control class II...more

The EPA, H20, and Fracking: An EPA study of drinking water and hydraulic fracturing could have far-reaching implications for...

As many who work in the oil and gas industry are aware, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is pressing forward with a multiyear Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water Resources. On...more

Analysts and Industry Leaders Bullish on North American Fracking Demand

Upon review of second quarter earnings reports from industry participants, analysts are rather bullish on future demand for hydraulic fracturing in North America. Halliburton in particular is looking to take advantage...more

New York Court of Appeals Upholds Local Fracking Bans

The New York Court of Appeals, in a 5-2 decision, held that the New York State Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Law (“OGSML”) does not preempt municipal zoning authority. The Court explained that land use regulation is among the...more

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Calls Proposed Denton Fracking Ban ‘Extremely Misguided’; Asks City Council to Reject Measure

On July 11th, Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman sent a letter to the mayor and city council members for Denton, Texas asking that the council reject a proposal to ban hydraulic fracturing in Denton. Chairman...more

North Carolina Legislators Look to Criminalize Disclosure of Fracking Fluids

As many states and the federal government look towards calling for greater disclosure and regulation of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, state senators in North Carolina appear to be pushing against the tide in...more

Environmental and Energy: Hydraulic Fracturing: Courts and Localities Act Where New York State Fears To Tread (7/14)

In an opinion issued on June 24, 2014, the New York Court of Appeals upheld the zoning laws adopted by the Towns of Dryden and Middlefield to ban oil and gas production activities, including hydraulic fracturing, within their...more

Water Issues Reframe State Fracking Debate

The debate over fracking continues nationwide, but in California there is an increasing focus on one major issue: water supply. With the state facing one of the most severe droughts on record and water regulators tightening...more

The American Petroleum Institute Pens “Good Neighbor” Standards for Fracking

In a press release Wednesday, the American Petroleum Institute (“API”) published a first-of-its-kind industry standard for community engagement in shale-rich areas where oil and gas can be extracted using horizontal drilling...more

U.S. Surpasses Russia and Saudi Arabia as World’s Leading Producer of Oil

With an output exceeding 11 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2014, the United States has surpassed Saudi Arabia and Russia to become the largest producer of crude oil and liquids separated from natural gas in...more

New York's Highest Court Holds that Zoning Laws of New York Towns Banning Fracking Are Enforceable — A Brief Analysis of the Oral...

A non-profit, Food & Water Watch, reports that 421 measures against fracking have been passed by state and local governments and that communities across the nation are lobbying their local and state elected officials because...more

New York Court of Appeals Sustains Anti-hydrofracking Zoning Regulations as Permissible Exercise of Municipal Authority Under Home...

In a closely watched decision, a majority of the New York Court of Appeals has held that local anti-hydrofracking zoning rules can trump the state’s pro-energy development oil and gas law. The Court’s decision came in a pair...more

Energy Newsletter - July 2014

In This Issue: - Russia's Second Renewable Energy Auction Gives Both Glimmer of Hope and Cause for Concern - Tanzania Publishes First Draft of a Long-Awaited Local Content Policy - New York's Highest...more

Are Oil and Gas Producers Protecting the Environment?

In their search for Utopia, some opponents of oil and gas drilling ignore innovation … What’s harmful now will forever be that way....more

$2.9 Million Jury Award For Texas Fracking Claim: Lessons for Energy Company Risk Managers

A jury in Dallas recently awarded $2.9 million to a Texas family in one of the first trials involving allegations that hydraulic fracturing caused nearby residents to suffer health problems and property damage. Although...more

California Issues Proposed Fracking Rules

On June 13, the California Department of Conservation released proposed regulations for oil and gas production activities in the state. The draft rules are being issued pursuant to legislation passed last year. They would...more

Department of Conservation Issues Revised, Proposed Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations

On June 13, 2014, the Department of Conservation (“Department”) issued a public notice and posted the latest version of the proposed regulations for the use of well stimulation in oil and gas production (“Revised Proposed...more

Aubrey McClendon’s American Energy Partners LP Announces Agreements to Purchase over $4 Billion of Shale Acreage in Utica,...

In two press releases Monday, American Energy Partners LP announced agreements to purchase shale acreage in the Utica and Marcellus shale for $1.75 billion, and acreage in the Permian Basin in Texas for $2.5 billion. The...more

Underground Drilling: Consultation on Proposal for Underground Access for the Extraction of Gas, Oil or Geothermal Energy

The UK government are currently inviting responses to the consultation paper issued in May into their proposals to introduce a statutory right of access to underground land (at a depth of 300 metres or below) in England in...more

Hydraulic Fracturing Continues to Produce More Legislation and Oversight

As U.S. oil and gas production has dramatically increased due to the more frequent use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to release tight oil and gas, new state legislation and rules around oil and gas drilling...more

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