News & Analysis as of

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

February 27, 2015 was the deadline for lawmakers to introduce legislation to the 2015-2016 California Legislative Session and several bills related to oil and gas activities were introduced.  Below is a summary of those...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: What’s Underground Is Still Up For Grabs in Texas

Since the first oilman drilled the first water disposal well, cases have come through the courts in the U.S. trying to determine what rights each estate owner has, as well as the potential liability attributable to using...more

Proposed Assembly Bill 356 Would Require Additional Groundwater Monitoring by Oil & Gas Operators

California Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) has introduced an oil and gas bill to ensure that the state comes into compliance with the Class II underground injection (“UIC”) requirements under the federal Safe...more

Development Of Brackish Groundwater For Hydraulic Fracturing Operations: Regulatory And Policy Issues

A. The Brackish Groundwater Resource Opportunity. According to the Texas Water Development Board (“TWDB”), more than 2.7 billion acre-feet of brackish groundwater exists within the State of Texas. Texas has numerous...more

DOGGR Letter to USEPA Proposes Rulemaking to Eliminate Oil and Gas Well Injection into Non-exempt Aquifers

On Friday, February 6, California’s Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (“DOGGR”) published a letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (“USEPA”) addressing issues with California’s Class II Oil and Gas...more

California Publishes Two Statutorily Mandated Studies on Fracking and Other Oil and Gas Stimulation Methods

On January 14, 2015, the State of California released two anticipated studies concerning hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” in California pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) enacted in 2013. The California Natural...more

Big Developments for Oil and Well Producers Utilizing Well Stimulation Treatments

Today saw two significant developments for oil and gas operators utilizing well stimulation treatments in California. Pursuant to SB 4, the Department of Conservation’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources...more

Environmental Groups Dust Off NEPA and CEQA in Attempt to Halt Hydraulic Fracturing and Well Acidization

Municipal bans and other legislative measures to halt hydraulic fracturing and related well stimulation techniques have yielded mixed results across the country. In an attempt to halt hydraulic fracturing and acid well...more

“Final” May Be a Misnomer for California’s Final Fracking Regulations

The California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources recently issued a “final” set of rules for regulating hydraulic fracturing in California that replace the interim rules that have been...more

SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Permanent Regulations Finalized

On December 30, 2014, the California Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) approved the Final Permanent Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations (“Permanent Regulations”). The regulations go into effect on July 1, 2015, and the...more

Oil and Gas Restructurings: Exploration and Production Companies Face Unique Issues

The recent drop in oil prices will likely spur a flurry of industry restructurings, governed by a complex set of bankruptcy and state laws. Introduction - At the close of business on December 31, 2014, the...more

Texas Court Holds Professional Liability Exclusion Applicable to Well Blowout

In its recent decision in Nicklos Drilling Co. v. Ace Am. Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156585 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 5, 2014), the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York had occasion to consider the...more

Oil & Gas Law Alert: SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations - Second Revised Text of Proposed Regulations

On Thursday, October 9, 2014, the California Department of Conservation ("Department") issued public notice of the Second Revised Proposed Regulations for SB 4 Well Stimulation Treatment Regulations ("Second Revised...more

Studies Identify Flawed Well Construction (not Fracturing) as Source of Gas Contamination

For the past several years, the rapid growth of oil and natural gas production from shale and other unconventional sources has prompted vocal and often sensationalized concerns regarding the potential for migration of gas...more

Texas Supreme Court to Hear Defamation Case Involving Fracking Claims

On August 21, 2014, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments in an ongoing dispute between a homeowner and Texas-based oil driller Range Resources Corp. The case is not a typical homeowner vs. oil driller...more

Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute

Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am., No. 7:12-cv-00133-O (N.D. Tex. Jul. 14, 2014) - Northern District of Texas dismisses bad faith claims against insurer and adjuster in dispute over coverage for...more

News Media Touts “Findings” of New Study on Fracking Wells Leaks, But Fails to Recognize Limitations of Data

New unconventional fracking wells leak far more than older traditional gas wells, says a smattering of news media outlets reviewing a new study released by the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences on June 30, 2014. ...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

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

North Dakota Orders Limits on Gas Flaring

On July 1, 2014 the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) imposed new rules that will significantly limit the flaring of natural gas at all existing and future wells. Order 24665 will allow wells completed in the...more

North Dakota Court Dismisses Flaring Cases

You might recall that North Dakota achieved nationwide notoriety when photos of flaring Bakken wells visible from space circulated around the news. According to the U. S. Department of Energy...more

Envirnomental Regulatory Update: Environmental Progress & Sustainable Energy - Volume 32, Issue 3 - October 2013

Oil and Gas Update - Hydraulic Fracturing Regulations - Bureau of Land Management: On May 16, 2013, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a Supplemental Notice of Proposed...more

The EPA Claims it Will More Closely Examine and Assess Ohio’s Oversight of Injection Wells

Deep injection wells have been scattered across American soil for over eighty years. Many of these wells are used to dispose of liquid wastes. Traditionally, while there have been some controversies, the practice of disposing...more

Center for Biological Diversity Files Lawsuit Against DOGGR, Alleges Agency Fails to Enforce its Own Regulations

On January 24, 2013, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) filed suit in Alameda Superior Court in California, joining other environmental groups including Earthjustice and the Sierra Club in alleging that the California...more

Colorado Raises Minimum Setbacks for Oil and Gas Wells

Last month the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (“COGCC”) held three days of public hearings on a series of proposed updates to its rules governing oil and gas wells....more

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