Underground Injection Wells

News & Analysis as of

BLM Has No Authority To Regulate Fracking, At Least For Now

Yesterday, Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District of Wyoming held that the Bureau of Land Management did not have authority to regulate the environmental impacts of fracking. I think Judge Skavdahl probably got it right, but I...more

Updated Status of Oil-and Gas-Related Bills Proposed in California’s 2015-2016 Legislative Session

June 3, 2016 was the final deadline for oil- and gas-related bills introduced in the 2015-2016 legislative session to move through their house of origin. Below is a summary of those bills, many of which relate to natural gas...more

Environmental Groups File Suit Seeking Revision of E&P Waste Regulations

On May 4, 2016, the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), National Resources Defense Council (NRDC); Earthworks; Center for Health, Environment and Justice; and three other environmental groups (hereinafter collectively...more

Pennsylvania Independent Regulatory Review Commission Approves Oil and Gas Rulemaking

The purpose of the rulemaking is to modify and update existing requirements related to surface activities associated with the development of conventional and unconventional oil and gas wells....more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (April 2016)

The new year brought with it several noteworthy developments in the fracking world. These include: a new lawsuit in connection with the Keystone Pipeline; legal action against the Department of Interior (“DOI”) Federal Bureau...more

Gas Company May Challenge Local Ordinance Prohibiting Deposit of Flowback Water into Underground Injection Wells

A Federal Magistrate Judge in Pennsylvania has ruled that an oil and gas exploration company may challenge a township ordinance that makes it unlawful to deposit flowback water into underground injection wells within the...more

Options to Help Oklahoma Alleviate Its Emerging Oilfield Water Crisis

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has restricted injection well activity over a combined zone of nearly 10,000 square miles—approximately the size of Massachusetts (Exhibit 1). In Central Oklahoma, the OCC seeks to reduce...more

Sierra Club Sues Over Oklahoma Earthquakes

The Sierra Club has filed suit against three oil and gas companies operating in Oklahoma, alleging that the companies’ wastewater injection practices were behind the recent uptick in earthquake activity in the state. The...more

EQT Wins a Temporary Victory, but the Future of Oil and Gas Operations in Fayette County, West Virginia, Is Still Undecided

EQT Corp. won a temporary victory in its continuing effort to defend against the potential shutdown of its 200 oil and gas wells and one wastewater injection well in Fayette County, West Virginia, after the District Court for...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (January 2016)

With most state legislative sessions in recess and federal legislative action unlikely until after the November 2016 election, it was no surprise that there were only a handful of new developments in the fracking world during...more

Infrared Video Shows Natural Gas Plume in Porter Ranch

PaylessImages © 123RF.com A new infrared video released on YouTube by the Environmental Defense Fund shows a steady plume of natural gas emanating from a damaged injection well in Porter Ranch.  The damaged well taps into a...more

SoCalGas Sued in Class Action over Porter Ranch Gas Leak

The lawsuits relating to a leaking injection well at the Alison Canyon natural gas storage reservoir near the community of Porter Ranch have begun. On December 2, 2015, the R. Rex Parris Law Firm filed a purported class...more

UPDATE: Texas RRC Agrees Earthquakes Not Caused by EnerVest, XTO Injection Wells

In a November 3 decision, the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) agreed with an administrative law judge (ALJ) that two wastewater injection wells, one operated by EnerVest Operating LLC and the other by Exxon Mobil Corp....more

Do You Dare to Flare? A North Dakota Field Office Provides a View Into the Federal Regulatory Future

While high-profile regulatory efforts focused on hydraulic fracturing, waters of the United States, sage grouse, and greenhouse gas emissions have grabbed media headlines over the last several months, a potent stew of...more

Sierra Club Issues Notice of Intent to Sue over Frackquakes in Oklahoma

On Monday, November 2, the Sierra Club issued a Notice of Intent to Sue (“Notice”) four oil companies, alleging ongoing violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”). Specifically, the Notice states that...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - October 2015 #3

Environmental and Policy Focus - CalPERS set to divest from thermal-coal companies: Los Angeles Times - Oct 18: The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Investment Committee will have a new task at...more

Fracking-Related Earthquake Litigation Gains Momentum

On June 30, 2015, the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a decision that opened the courthouse doors to lawsuits for property damage and personal injuries caused by earthquakes purportedly related to fracking activities. See Ladra...more

Oh My! Oklahoma Court Allows Earthquake Case to Proceed

What should we make of the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s order sending a suit alleging injuries from an earthquake back to the trial court for further action?  Did the court unleash the lions, tigers and bears of the litigation...more

Commenters Weigh in on Proposed Regulations for Determining MLP Qualifying Income

IRS’ proposed MLP regulations generate flurry of specific industry-related comments and spur public hearing. “I’m mad as Hell, and, frankly, I’m not going to take it anymore.” — Paraphrase of concerned citizen and...more

Operating a Well in California May Automatically Put You At Risk for a Prop 65 Lawsuit

California's Proposition 65 is notorious for its duty-to-warn requirement, which states that a business must give a clear and reasonable warning prior to exposing people to certain levels of any listed chemical. The warning...more

Texas Railroad Commission Finds Earthquakes in North Texas Not Caused by Drilling Operations

Update: On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission concluded that these small earthquakes that occurred near Azle, Texas likely were not caused by drilling operations conducted by EnerVest Operating LLC. The Texas...more

Second Railroad Commission Decision Agrees Injection Well Not Likely Contributor to Earthquakes

Texas Railroad Commission examiners have determined that a well operated by EnerVest Operating LLC likely did not contribute to a series of earthquakes in the state, mirroring a similar determination made on August 31 in a...more

Texas Wastewater Injection Wells Off the Hook for Causing Earthquakes

On September 10, the Texas Railroad Commission absolved a second oil and gas company of causing a series of earthquakes in northern Texas finding that the seismic activity was due to “natural tectonic processes.” The...more

Railroad Commission Examiners Find Injection Well Not Likely Contributor to Earthquakes

The controversy around whether wastewater injection wells cause earthquakes was finally put to legal scrutiny in a recent proceeding before administrative hearing examiners (Examiners) with the Texas Railroad Commission,...more

Where There Is A Well There Is A Way - Out Tract Title Issues Regarding Horizontal Wells

Oh for the days of simplicity when a wellbore tract meant just that—a piece of property upon which a well has been located, drilled, and touched down all within the same tract. Vertical wells were so simple for title...more

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