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Mealey's Fracking

  • December 31, 2018

    Leaseholder Says Fracking Contract Allows It To Not Participate In Drilling Wells

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An energy company sued a hydraulic fracturing operator in Oklahoma federal court on Dec. 5, contending that it breached a business agreement between the parties because the company has the right to not participate in paying the costs of drilling fracking wells (Leeman Energy Corporation v. Oil Producers Inc. of Kansas, No. 18-1181, W.D. Okla.).

  • December 21, 2018

    Pennsylvania District Attorney Opens Criminal Probe Into Pipeline’s Construction

    WEST CHESTER, Pa. — The district attorney for Chester County, Pa., on Dec. 19 opened a criminal investigation into the construction of the Mariner East 1, 2 and 2X pipelines, which will transport hydraulically fractured oil and gas from shale formations in Pennsylvania to refineries in Marcus Hook, Pa.

  • December 20, 2018

    Federal Approval Pipeline To Carry Fracked Gas Was ‘Arbitrary,’ Groups Say

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The city of Oberlin, Ohio, on Dec. 17 filed a brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decision, which granted a permit for a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured gas through Ohio and Michigan, was “arbitrary, capricious and unsupported by substantial evidence” (City of Oberlin, Ohio, et al. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 18-1248, D.C. Cir.).

  • December 19, 2018

    Drilling Company Moves To File Documents Under Seal In Fracking Contract Case

    PITTSBURGH — A drilling company involved in hydraulic fracturing operations on Dec. 19 moved in Pennsylvania federal court to file under seal confidential documents in its contract dispute with a fracking company contending that the documents in question include “sensitive and protected business information or expert reports that relied on this confidential information” (Orion Drilling Company LLC v. EQT Production Company, No. 16-01516, W.D. Pa.).

  • December 18, 2018

    Panel Quotes Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax,’ Says Federal Agency Wrongly Approved Pipeline

    RICHMOND, Va. — A panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 13 ruled that the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) violated federal law and lacked statutory authority to grant a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), which would have crossed the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (ANST) (Cowpasture River Preservations Association, et al. v. U.S. Forest Service, et al., No. 18-1144, 4th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35060).

  • December 10, 2018

    Mineral Owners Sue Fracking Companies For Violating Drilling Agreements

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A group of mineral owners on Dec. 6 filed a putative class action against several hydraulic fracturing companies in Ohio federal court, contending that they are producing oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbon products from shale formations without agreements from the owners (J&R Passmore LLC, et al. v. Rice Drilling D LLC, et al., No. 18-1587, S.D. Ohio).

  • December 10, 2018

    Indian Tribes: Amici Should Be Allowed To File Briefs In National Monuments Cases

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five Native American tribes on Nov. 30 filed a joint brief in a District of Columbia federal court contending that it should allow multiple parties to file amicus curiae briefs in consolidated lawsuits brought by the Hopi Tribe and environmental groups against the Trump administration for the president’s decision to reduce the size of two national monuments, which the plaintiffs say was done to open the land for hydraulic fracturing activities (Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-2591, The Wilderness Society, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., No. 17-2587, D. D.C., Hopi Tribe, et al. v. Donald Trump, et al., No. 17-2590, D. D.C. [consolidated]).

  • December 10, 2018

    Company: Ohio High Court Should Reconsider Its Appeal Over Injection Well Permit

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A water management company that disposes hydraulic fracturing waste by injecting it into the ground in what are known as underground injection wells moved in the Ohio Supreme Court on Dec. 3 seeking reconsideration of its decision to deny the company’s appeal of a divided lower court’s ruling that affirmed a state agency’s moratorium on injection wells (American Water Management Services v. Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, No. 2018-1286, Ohio. Sup.).

  • December 7, 2018

    Judge Defines Language In Fracking Patent Dispute To Clarify Infringement Claim

    HOUSTON — A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 27 issued a ruling that defined a series of terms in a hydraulic fracturing patent dispute to add clarity to the actual construction of the patent claim itself (Gryphon Oilfield Solutions LLC v. Stage Completions Inc., et al., No. 17-3220, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200157).

  • December 7, 2018

    6th Circuit Agrees To Hear Fracking Company’s Appeal Of Class Certification Order

    CINCINNATI — A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 20 granted an appeal filed by a hydraulic fracturing company that challenges a federal judge’s decision to certify a class action brought by leaseholders in Ohio who contend that the company “systematically” violated their leases and underpaid royalties (Zehentbauer Family Land LP, et al. v. Chesapeake Exploration LLC, et al., No. 18-4139, 6th Cir.).

  • December 7, 2018

    State: Briefing Rules In Trump Administration Fracking Case Deny Due Process

    BOISE, Idaho — The state of Wyoming and a hydraulic fracturing industry trade group on Nov. 30 filed a joint brief in Idaho federal court arguing that environmental groups that have challenged federal fracking leases support restrictions on briefing in the lawsuit “that go beyond reasonable housekeeping measures” and instead constitute substantive restrictions that will deny due process (Western Watersheds Project, et al. v. Ryan K. Zinke, et al., No. 18-187, D. Idaho).

  • December 7, 2018

    Fracking Tool Maker: Oilfield Company Has Misappropriated Trade Secrets

    DALLAS — A company that makes tools for use in hydraulic fracturing operations on Nov. 16 sued an oilfield services company and its executive in Texas state court, contending that they are liable for misappropriation of trade secrets under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA) (MCR Tools LLC v. Martin G. Bruce, et al., No. DC-18-17370, 160th Dist., Dallas).

  • December 7, 2018

    Trump Administration Prioritizes Fracking In Sage-Grouse Protection Plan

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Dec. 6 announced the publication of the final environmental impact statement (EIS) for protection of the greater sage-grouse in Wyoming, which indicates the agency’s “prioritization of oil and gas leasing” outside of what is called a priority habitat management area (PHMA).

  • December 6, 2018

    Drilling Company: Evidence Of Employee Morale Relevant In Fracking Contract Case

    PITTSBURGH — A drilling company involved in hydraulic fracturing operations on Dec. 5 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court arguing that a fracking company with which it is engaged in a contract dispute should not be permitted to exclude evidence regarding employee morale that may have affected the decision to terminate the contract in question (Orion Drilling Company LLC v. EQT Production Company, No. 16-01516, W.D. Pa.).

  • December 5, 2018

    Landowners: Court Should Deny Fracking Company’s Motion To Dismiss Royalty Dispute

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A group of landowners on Nov. 30 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court contending that the district court should deny a hydraulic fracturing company’s motion to dismiss a royalty payment lawsuit because the company has acted contrary to the terms of the leases it signed with the landowners and that the motion is “rooted in” the company’s “penchant for overreach” (Timothy Tyler, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, No. 16-00456, M.D. Pa.).

  • November 30, 2018

    Pennsylvania Couple Seeks Damages For Injury At Fracking Well Site

    PITTSBURGH — A couple on Nov. 20 filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania federal court against a hydraulic fracturing company alleging that it is responsible for injuries the husband suffered while working at a well site (Carl E. Baker, et al. v. Range Resources – Appalachia LLC, No. 18-1566, W.D. Pa.).

  • November 29, 2018

    Residents: Pennsylvania High Court Review Needed In Fracking Permit Dispute

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A group of residents on Nov. 26 filed a petition for allowance of appeal in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, arguing that a lower court erred when it applied “rational basis review” to a hydraulic fracturing zoning ordinance that affects “fundamental and constitutionally protected” property and environmental rights (Dolores Frederick, et al. v. Allegheny Township Zoning Hearing Board, et al., No. 449WAL2018, Pa. Sup.).

  • November 21, 2018

    Pennsylvania High Court Will Hear Fracking Case Dealing With Rule Of Capture

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Nov. 20 granted a petition for appeal filed by a hydraulic fracturing company that contends that a lower court erred when it failed to conclude that the rule of capture precluded recovery by residents who said the company was engaged in unlawful fracking (Adam Briggs, et al. v. Southwestern Energy Production Company, No. 443MAL2018, Pa. Sup.).

  • November 21, 2018

    Trump Administration To Begin Planning Process For Fracking Alaska’s North Slope

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on Nov. 20 announced that it intends to prepare a new integrated activity plan and an environmental impact statement (IAP/EIS) for oil and gas exploration through hydraulic fracturing on federal lands within the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPR-A).

  • November 20, 2018

    Roman Catholic Sisters: Supreme Court Should Hear Fracking Pipeline Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — An order of Roman Catholic women on Oct. 31 filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that a lower court incorrectly ruled that the Natural Gas Act (NGA) overrides the protections afforded by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) with regard to the construction of a pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured natural gas through property owned by the order (Adorers of the Blood of Christ, United States Province, et al. v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, No. 18-548, U.S. Sup.).