Mealey's Fracking

  • March 28, 2017

    Judge Dismisses Case Against River Commission Regarding Fracking Authority

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 23 dismissed a lawsuit brought by a land and mineral group that had argued that the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) lacks the authority to review and approve well pads and related facilities used in hydraulic fracturing (Wayne Land and Mineral Group LLC v. Delaware River Basin Commission, No. 16-897, M.D. Pa.).

  • March 28, 2017

    Panel Reverses: Colorado Oil And Gas Commission Can Make Fracking Rules

    DENVER — A divided panel of the Colorado Court of Appeals on March 23 reversed a trial court ruling that upheld a decision by the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC), which had refused a request from residents who wanted the COGCC to promulgate a rule to “protect the health and safety of Colorado’s residents and the integrity of Colorado’s atmospheric resource and climate system, water, soil, wildlife, other biological resources, upon which all Colorado citizens rely for their health, safety, sustenance, and security” (Tamara Roske, et al. v. Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, et al., No. 2014cv32637, Colo. App).

  • March 28, 2017

    Maryland Legislature Passes Fracking Ban, 35-10; Governor Has Endorsed The Measure

    ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Senate voted March 27 by a 35-10 margin to permanently ban hydraulic fracturing, approving a bill that had already passed the House of Delegates.  The vote makes Maryland the third state to ban the procedure following Vermont and New York, as Gov. Larry Hogan’s previous endorsement of the legislation all but guarantees he will sign the bill into law.

  • March 23, 2017

    Texas Seeks To Intervene In Case Challenging Federal Fracking Gas Flaring Rule

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Attorneys for the state of Texas on March 21 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court arguing that Texas should be permitted to intervene as a petitioner in consolidated litigation pertaining to implementation of a new federal rule on venting and flaring oil and gas produced from hydraulic fracturing, contending that the rule “impacts Texas’s interests in regulating oil and gas, and air quality, within its borders” (State of Wyoming, et al. v. U.S. Department of the Interior, et al., No. 16-285, Western Energy Alliance, et al. v. Sally Jewell, et al., No. 16-280, D. Wyo.).

  • March 22, 2017

    Groups: Federal Agencies Violated Law By Approving Fracking In Florida Preserve

    FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other environmental advocacy groups on March 20 filed a brief in Florida federal court arguing that federal officials violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other laws when they gave permission to an oil company “to conduct an unprecedented seismic geophysical exploration throughout 110 square miles of mostly roadless wetland habitats in the Big Cypress National Preserve (National Resources Defense Council, et al. v. National Park Service, et al., No. 16-585, M.D. Fla.).

  • March 16, 2017

    10th Circuit: Fracking Well Claim Properly Dismissed; Limitations Period Expired

    DENVER — A panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 14 affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss with prejudice a claim filed by an oil and gas company against a hydraulic fracturing operator on grounds that the oil and gas company brought its well dispute case after the statute of limitations had run out (Max Hawkins, et al. v. Range Production Company LLC, et al., No. 16-6238, 10th Cir.).

  • March 13, 2017

    Company: Motion To Compel Discovery In Well Interference Case Should Be Denied

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A hydraulic fracturing company on Feb. 22 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court arguing that the court should deny a motion to compel production of certain evidence sought by the oil company that has sued the fracking company for allegedly interfering with operations at one of its wells (Singer Oil Company LLC v. Newfield Exploration Midcontinent Inc., et al., CIV-16-768, W.D. Okla.).

  • March 10, 2017

    Company: Motion To Compel Discovery In Well Interference Case Should Be Denied

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A hydraulic fracturing company on Feb. 22 filed a brief in Oklahoma federal court arguing that the court should deny a motion to compel production of certain evidence sought by the oil company that has sued the fracking company for allegedly interfering with operations at one of its wells (Singer Oil Company LLC v. Newfield Exploration Midcontinent Inc., et al., CIV-16-768, W.D. Okla.).

  • March 10, 2017

    Fracking Well Company: Evidence Of Fees Not Relevant In Mineral Rights Dispute

    PITTSBURGH — An Ohio company that develops hydraulic fracturing wells on March 6 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court arguing that the district court should exclude evidence in its lawsuit against a fracking operator that pertains to fees charges by the well development company because the evidence is not related to the mineral rights dispute that is the actual issue being litigated (Ohio Valley Energy Systems Corporation v. DL Resources Inc., No. 15-00029, W.D. Pa.).

  • March 10, 2017

    Fracking Company: Witness’ Testimony In Contract Dispute Should Not Be Permitted

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A company that provides field services for hydraulic fracturing operations on March 3 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court arguing that a drilling tools company with which it has a contract dispute should not be allowed to introduce as a witness the president of a nonparty vendor who did business with the field services company (Downhole Stabilization Rockies Inc. v. Reliable Field Services LLC, No. 15-226, D. Wyo.).

  • March 10, 2017

    Parties Debate Fracking Permit Dispute Before Pennsylvania Supreme Court

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — Residents, a township board of supervisors and a hydraulic fracturing company on March 8 presented oral arguments in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court debating the board’s decision to grant the fracking company a permit, which the residents contend endangered their health and safety (Brian Gorsline, et al. v. Board of Supervisors of Fairfield Township v. Inflection Energy LLC, No. 67 MAP 2016, Pa. Sup.).

  • March 10, 2017

    10th Circuit Clerk: Parties Must Tell Court If Fracking Rules Case Will Proceed

    DENVER — The clerk of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 9 ordered the parties in the dispute over the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing activity as it pertains to leases involving federal land to confirm whether the case will proceed given the change of presidential administration (State of Wyoming, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 16-8068, 10th Cir.).

  • March 9, 2017

    Landowner Appeals Dismissal Of Fracking Contract Case To 6th Circuit

    CINCINNATI — A landowner who had his breach of contract lawsuit against a hydraulic fracturing company dismissed filed a notice of appeal with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 10 (Eclipse Resources – Ohio LLC v. Scott Madzia, No. 17-3145, 6th Cir.).

  • March 9, 2017

    Pennsylvania Fines Fracking Company $1.2M For Leak That Tainted Groundwater

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Feb. 27 fined WPX Energy Appalachia (WPX) $1.2 million for oil and gas violations that affected groundwater and private water supplies.

  • March 9, 2017

    Injection Well Operators Would Need $5M In Liability Coverage Under Nebraska Bill

    LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Legislature is considering a bill that would require any company applying for a permit to drill underground enhanced recovery injection wells or wastewater disposal wells as part of their hydraulic fracturing operations to prove to the state that it has $5 million in liability insurance.

  • March 9, 2017

    Judge Reopens Case In Order To Approve Deal Between Indian Tribe, Federal Agency

    DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 22 issued an order reopening a case for the purpose of approving a settlement reached between the U.S. government and an Indian tribe regarding use of hydraulic fracturing techniques in oil and gas development on tribal lands (Southern Ute Indian Tribe v. U.S. Department of Interior, et al., No. 15-1303, D. Colo.).

  • March 8, 2017

    Chaparral Bankruptcy Plan To Provide Some Recovery For Fracking Royalty Creditors

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Bankrupt fracking company Chaparral Energy Inc. on March 7 filed its amended Chapter 11 reorganization plan in Delaware bankruptcy court, which estimates a 100 percent recovery for holders of prepetition credit agreement claims and convenience class claims and provides some recovery for creditors with fracking royalty claims (In re:  Chaparral Energy Inc., No. 16-11144, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • March 8, 2017

    Creditor: Fracking Company’s Reorganization Plan Restricts Rights ‘Impermissibly’

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of fracking company Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. on March 3 filed a brief in Delaware bankruptcy court objecting to the debtor’s reorganization plan on grounds that it purports to restrict the application of the Bankruptcy Code as it pertains to executory contracts and that the language of the plan “impermissibly restricts” the creditor’s rights (In Re:  Bonanza Creek Energy Inc., No. 17-10015, D. Del. Bkcy.).

  • March 7, 2017

    Pennsylvania Agency: Some ‘Relationship’ Exists Between Fracking And Earthquakes

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Feb. 17 released a report on recent seismic activity in Pennsylvania related to hydraulic fracturing activity, concluding that there is a “marked temporal/spatial relationship between fracking/stimulation activities” at a particular hydraulic fracturing well site and seismic events that were felt in Pennsylvania and Ohio in 2016.

  • March 7, 2017

    Panel Says Fracking Royalty Payments In Divorce Settlement Must Be Recalculated

    WAUSAU, Wis. — A Wisconsin appellate panel on March 2 reversed a trial court ruling and remanded the case for recalculation of fracking royalty payments for proper division of the money that should be apportioned in a divorce settlement that involved leasing marital land for the mining of sand used in hydraulic fracturing operations (In re the Marriage of:  Audrey M. Haas v. Eric F. Haas, No. 2016AP182, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2017 Wisc. App. LEXIS 146).