MIDLAND, Texas — The U.S. government on March 3 filed a criminal indictment against an oil and gas company and its affiliates in Texas federal court, saying that the defendants’ release of hazardous gas related to drilling operations resulted in the deaths of an employee and his wife.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A final written decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board confirming as patentable some claims of a hydraulic fracturing patent while declaring other claims anticipated or obvious will stand, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 4.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Environmental groups and federal agencies on March 4 reached a stipulated settlement in District of Columbia federal court under which the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will conduct additional analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) related to federal hydraulic fracturing leases on public lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A split Ohio Supreme Court on Feb. 23 ruled that the state’s Public Works Commission can restrict the transfer of mineral rights for drilling natural gas on land purchased from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund and that a community development corporation violated land-transfer restrictions that were included in a deed that it sold to a hydraulic fracturing company.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas appeals panel on Feb. 16 affirmed a lower court’s ruling and held that it properly dismissed a mineral rights claim against an estate of a deceased woman on grounds that, despite differing methods of analysis between the trial court and the appellate panel, the trial court’s division of the rights between the parties was correct.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A March 3 hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources with regard to recent regulations passed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on natural gas pipelines opened with the chairman and a ranking member accusing FERC of undermining the country and its national security.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — An energy company on Feb. 8 sued an oil and gas purchasing company in Wyoming federal court contending that it is liable for ongoing violations of Wyoming’s law pertaining to interest owed on the untimely payments of proceeds derived from the sale of oil and gas production.
MIDLAND, Texas — The U.S. government on Feb. 23 filed a criminal indictment in Texas federal court against a man accused of running a Ponzi scheme by allegedly offering investment opportunities in a company that was purportedly involved in buying and selling sand used in hydraulic fracturing operations.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Residents who allege that the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) erred in finding that a hydraulic fracturing company did not contaminate their water supply on Feb. 24 filed a brief with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) arguing that the attorneys for the fracking company, which is an intervenor, should be disqualified and should not be given “another opportunity to harass, intimidate and retaliate” against the residents by being permitted to file a sur-reply brief.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California environmental agency on Feb. 9 filed a brief in a state appeals court asking the court to reverse a trial court’s decision that denied the agency’s motion to strike a petroleum company’s complaint against the agency related to the agency’s notice and enforcement of regulations prohibiting the injection of wastewater from oil extraction activities into a local aquifer.
HOUSTON — A Texas appellate panel on Feb. 24 reversed a trial court ruling and held that jurisdiction was lacking for a man’s injury lawsuit against the hydraulic fracturing company he worked for, concluding that the company is incorporated in Delaware and has its principal place of business in Oklahoma.
NEW YORK — A shareholder in a hydraulic fracturing company on March 2 sued the company seeking preliminary and injunctive relief, alleging that the company violated securities laws in connection with allegedly misleading and materially incomplete statements issued by the company that the plaintiff says were intended to convince shareholders to vote in favor of a proposed merger.
HOUSTON — An energy company on Feb. 15 argued in Texas federal court that a class of investors uses “inflammatory rhetoric” to allege securities fraud but that dismissal is required “where the inference that the defendants act with scienter is not ‘cogent and at least as compelling’ as the inference that they did not.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling vacating the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) so a federal environmental study for the project can be conducted stands after the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 22 denied the pipeline developer’s petition for certiorari in a case filed by four Indian tribes.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A municipality in Colorado on Feb. 10 filed a petition in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking review of a decision by a U.S. government agency related to a proposed rail line in Utah that would carry, among other things, products related to hydraulic fracturing to and from the shale formation in the Uinta Basin. The municipality maintains that the decision violates federal law and should be vacated.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A Pennsylvania appellate panel on Jan. 24 affirmed a lower court’s decision and held that a change to a municipal zoning ordinance that allowed hydraulic fracturing in certain residential districts did not violate substantive due process.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A study released online Feb. 17 and scheduled to be published in the March issue of the “Journal of Health Economics,” found “consistent and robust evidence that drilling shale gas wells negatively impacts both drinking water quality and infant health,” in Pennsylvania.
MARSHALL, Texas — An oilfield services company on Jan. 31 sued an equipment supplier and its affiliates in Texas federal court contending that the supplier committed fraud when it misrepresented to the oilfield services company that a portion of its payment for fracking tanks would be refunded as per the parties contractual agreement.
WILMINGTON, Del. — On Feb. 14, a consulting company filed a derivative action in Delaware state court on behalf of pipeline company Energy Transfer LP and its subsidiaries, asserting multiple breaches of good faith and fair dealing against the general partner controlling the management of Energy Transfer, contending that its “misconduct” and “egregious and willful violations” have damaged the consultant.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Petroleum Institute (API), which is an intervenor-appellant, on Feb. 11 asked the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to expedite consideration of its appeal of a lower court’s ruling that vacated and remanded the record of decision reached by federal agencies to support a lease sale for hydraulic fracturing in the Gulf of Mexico.