Oil & Gas

News & Analysis as of

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

Options for Obtaining Regulatory Guidance and/or Approval Related to the Export of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products

As previously reported on Speaking Energy (available here), the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has recently indicated that it is willing to work with U.S. energy companies to navigate...more

DOGGR to Review Well Stimulation Regulations to Ensure Compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act

On Friday, July 18, 2014, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) announced that it will review California’s Underground Injection Control (“UIC”) Program to ensure compliance...more

Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Oil and Gas Operations—Q and A

The desire to use unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in commercial operations is steadily building. A wide variety of businesses would like to use these devices to improve efficiency and safety, and reduce costs. One field that...more

Speculation Mounts Over Impending Crude By Rail Rule

As speculation over the federal government’s forthcoming rule on rail shipments of crude oil grows, two items hit the press last week increasing speculation over the details of the reforms. ...more

The Accommodation Doctrine Revisited: A Question of "Fairness to Both Parties"

As Texas holds tight to its position as the nation's number one oil and natural gas producing state, the Texas Supreme Court's decision to revisit the over forty-year-old accommodation doctrine, which requires oil and gas...more

Carbon Tax Repeal Places Spotlight on Price Reductions

After months of delay, the Australian Government has passed legislation to repeal Australia's carbon tax and introduce new sanctions against energy and gas refrigerant entities that do not pass on cost savings arising from...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

DOGGR Well Stimulation Regulations Implementation Extended to July 1, 2015

On Friday, June 20, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed a public resources “trailer bill:” Senate Bill 681 (“SB 681”). Section 5 of the Bill extends the implementation deadline for the Department of Conservation’s Division of...more

FLSA "Per Diem" Claims On The Rise

A recent U.S. Labor Department press release highlights a growing area of scrutiny under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act: Paying "per diem" amounts to non-exempt employees....more

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