Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

Reviewing Courts' Approaches to State or Local Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

While many debates over hydraulic fracturing continue throughout the oil and gas industry, a growing number of state courts are addressing the "home rule" argument, or in this case, whether local governments within the state...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

U.S.-Mexico Agreement Update on the Transboundary Hydrocarbon Reservoirs

The current moratorium on oil exploration and production in the Western Gap portion of the Gulf of Mexico will end shortly. This development will help to kick start cooperative agreements between countries as well as spur...more

Which Ground for Federal Jurisdiction is the Safest in Dredging Cases?: Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood...

The Eastern District of Louisiana recently denied the Board of Commissioners of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East’s (Plaintiff) Motion to Remand its suit against 92 oil and gas companies back to state...more

EPA Is Holding Flare Users’ Feet To The Fire

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has warned industry using flaring for pollution control that it is targeting flaring violations nationwide to reduce the release of hazardous air pollutants. Originally...more

BLM Agrees to Complete Hydraulic Fracturing EIS for Leases in California

A recent agreement between environmentalists and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) may open the floodgates to challenges of the sufficiency of Environmental Assessments (EA) or Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) for oil...more

Joint Development Trends in Oil & Gas Transactions

The development of shale plays continues to be the focus of the energy industry. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, almost a quarter of the estimated natural gas resources in the U.S. and approximately...more

DOT Proposes Increased Safety Measures for the Transportation of Crude Oil, Ethanol and Other Flammable Materials

In response to several recent high profile incidents involving crude by rail, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a comprehensive rulemaking proposal on July 23, 2014, related to...more

Levick Monthly: Keystone XL: All Lobbied Up With No Place To Go - June 2014, Edition 11

In This Issue: - Keystone - XL: All Lobbied Up With No Place To Go - CRISIS - The 5 Apology rules that Sterling broke - DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT - Abramson Gets The Axe, But It's Sulzberger Who Lost His Head -...more

Regulation – a help or a hindrance to the UK shale industry?

DESPITE significant public opposition in the UK to hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and shale gas development, there has been a upswing of activity and announcements in the first half of 2014. In May, the British...more

How Untimely Service Can Be Deadly To Your Takings Claim

If you ask ten attorneys what keeps them up at night, at least six of them will recount nightmares about missing a filing deadline. I know what you're thinking. How hard can it be? You just look in the Code, find the...more

Shots Fired: PA Auditor General Releases Oil and Gas Audit

On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s Office released a report criticizing the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for failing to adequately track and respond to public complaints concerning water quality...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

Industry Group Sues Compton for Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing

The City of Compton is being sued for its ordinance banning hydraulic fracturing, effective on April 22, 2014. (Western States Petroleum Association v. City of Compton, et al., Case No.BC552272.) Although Compton is not...more

Courts Address Important Questions About Allocation Wells in Texas

The relatively recent drilling of horizontal wells continues to challenge settled Texas oil and gas law in several significant respects. Most recently, Texas courts have been faced with two important issues: (1) the legality...more

Africa Update - July 2014 #4

In This Issue: - Leading the News - United States – Africa Relations - North Africa - East Africa - West Africa - Sub-Saharan Africa - General Africa News - Excerpt from...more

USDOT Proposes New Rules for Rail Transport of Fossil Fuels

On Wednesday, July 23, 2014 the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“Administration”), an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation (“USDOT”), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) for...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

Reality Check on the Auditor General’s Report on DEP’s Oversight of Oil and Gas Operations

The expected chorus of politically driven indignation is raining down in response to the Auditor General’s report released this Tuesday on the DEP’s performance in monitoring potential impacts to water quality from shale gas...more

Secretary Foxx and PHMSA Release Much-Anticipated Proposed Rule On Crude By Rail Tank Car Standards

The U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) recenlty released a much-anticipated Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to improve the safe...more

Benesch Shale Industry Report Quarterly Summary - Q2 2014

In This Report: - Top Issues and Considerations - Shale Industry Moves - Ohio Shale Infrastructure - Government - Excerpt from Shale Industry Moves: E&P – Overview for Ohio: • As...more

ML Strategies’ Energy & Environment Update: July 2014 #3

The House Appropriations Committee approved July 15 a fiscal year 2015 spending bill for the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies after Republicans opposed Democratic attempts to...more

Denver Shale Symposium Attracts Large Attendance from Major Oil and Gas Companies

Addressing recent developments affecting the oil and gas industry in the Rockies, theShale Symposium in Denver drew close to 300 industry professionals, making it one of the highest attended of the six symposiums hosted by...more

State and Local Communities Respond to Crude-by-Rail Safety Issue

July 6 marked the one year anniversary of the crude oil derailment in Lac Megantic Quebec, which significantly heightened throughout North America the awareness about safety issues surrounding crude by rail. This heightened...more

Greater Energy Efficiency Could Be An Unlikely Outcome of the Ukrainian Crisis

“Fuel switching”—changing power plants over to natural gas from coal—is one of the compliance paths for achieving the carbon emission reductions in the EPA’s proposed existing power plant carbon emissions reduction rule. ...more

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