Mealey's Fracking

  • April 07, 2020

    Fracking Companies: Stay Of Lease Dispute Case Would Deny Due Process Rights

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A group of hydraulic fracturing companies on April 3 filed a brief in Ohio federal court contending that it would be a “basic and impermissible denial” of their due process rights if the court were to grant a stay in a lawsuit between the companies and leaseholders while a related case is resolved in a state court trial (Tera II LLC v. Rice Drilling D LLC, No. 19-2221, S.D. Ohio).

  • April 06, 2020

    Patent Licensee Prevails In Texas Following Recent Bench Trial

    WACO, Texas — A counterclaimant patent licensee on April 3 was awarded $39.9 million in connection with what a Texas federal judge deemed “appalling” conduct by the patent owner (Diamondback Industries Inc. v. Repeat Precision LLC, et al., No. 19-34, N.D. Texas).

  • April 06, 2020

    Shareholder:  Fracking Company Violated Securities Law; IPO Statements Were False

    DENVER — A shareholder on April 3 sued a company that provides oilfield services to the hydraulic fracturing industry seeking to recover damages for violations of the Securities Act of 1933 (Securities Act) after the company’s share price dropped following its initial public offering (IPO) (Marc Joseph v. Liberty Oilfield Services Inc., et al., No. 20-946, D. Colo.).

  • April 02, 2020

    Offshore Fracking Ruling Should Be Reversed, State Of Alaska Says  

    SAN FRANCISCO — The state of Alaska on March 31 filed a brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that it should reverse a lower court’s ruling on grounds that under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), the president can choose not to offer unleased offshore areas for oil and gas exploration leases, but he cannot permanently remove them from the entire program Congress created to govern land in the outer continental shelf (OCS) (League of Conservation Voters, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., Nos. 19-35460, 19-35461 and 19-35462, 9th Cir.).

  • April 01, 2020

    Panel Finds Appellate Jurisdiction Exists In Fracking Patent Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 31 reached the merits of and ultimately affirmed a Texas federal judge’s construction of various disputed claims in a fracking patent, after rejecting a challenge to the court’s appellate jurisdiction (EnerPol LLC v. Schlumberger Technology Corp., Nos. 2019-1079, -1120, Fed. Cir.).

  • March 31, 2020

    Judge: Groundwater Case Fails To Properly Plead Claims Against Fracking Companies

    BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — A federal judge in West Virginia on March 30 dismissed a groundwater contamination lawsuit against hydraulic fracturing companies on grounds that the plaintiffs failed to plead facts sufficient to support their claims (Teldia Haywood, et al. v. Caretta Minerals LLC, et al., No. 19-264, S.D. W.Va., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55025).

  • March 30, 2020

    Judge:  Agency Met Requirement For Methane Rule Repeal; Groups’ Case Dismissed

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on March 27 dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) brought by environmental groups that contended that the agency violated federal law when it repealed the methane waste prevention rule passed by the Obama administration, ruling that the BLM provided a “reasoned explanation” for its decision (Sierra Club, et al. v. Ryan Zinke, et al., No. 18-524, California v. United States Bureau of Land Management, et al., No. 18-521, N.D. Calif.).

  • March 30, 2020

    Energy Company:  Equity Fund’s Interests In Fracking IPO Take Priority Over Others’

    WILMINGTON, Del. — An energy company on March 12 filed a brief in the Delaware Supreme Court contending that a lower state court correctly held that the rights of a hydraulic fracturing field services company in an initial public offering (IPO) are subordinate to the qualified IPO rights of a private equity fund (Williams Field Services Group LLC v. Caiman Energy II, et al., No. 488, 2019, Del. Sup.).

  • March 30, 2020

    Groups Seek Reconsideration Of Ruling That Did Not Vacate Federal Fracking Leases

    BOISE, Idaho — Environmental advocacy groups on March 17 filed a brief in Idaho federal court seeking reconsideration and clarification of a decision by a U.S. magistrate judge who did not vacate federal hydraulic fracturing leases.  The groups argue that the court should reconsider the geographic limitation on its instruction memo and should clarify that it vacated, rather than enjoined, portions of a federal instruction memorandum (IM) (Western Watersheds Project, et al. v. David Bernhardt, et al., No. 18-187, D. Idaho).

  • March 30, 2020

    Shareholders:  Executives In Pipeline Company Breached Duties In Acquisition Deal

    WILMINGTON, Del. — Shareholders in a pipeline company on March 9 filed a class action complaint in Delaware state court contending that the former chairman and chief executive breached their fiduciary duties when they approved a merger with TransCanada Corp., which operates a pipeline that carries hydraulically fractured oil and gas from Canada to the United States (Police & Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit v. Robert C. Skaggs, et al., No. 2020-0179, Del. Chanc., New Castle Co.).

  • March 30, 2020

    Plaintiff:  Fracking Company’s Attempt To Dismiss Securities Class Action Fails

    PITTSBURGH — The lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a hydraulic fracturing company and some of its executives for violations of the Securities Exchange Act (SEA) and Securities Exchange Commission regulations on March 6 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court contending that the defendant’s motion to dismiss fails “for multiple reasons,” including the fact that it ignores that the company’s alleged false statements “include scores of false claims of purported present fact” (In re EQT Corporation Securities Litigation, No. 19-754, W.D. Pa.).

  • March 30, 2020

    Trump Administration: Arctic Drilling Order Was ‘Proper Exercise’ Of Authority

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Trump administration on March 26 filed a reply brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reiterating its argument that the court should reverse a lower court’s decision that the president’s executive order to revoke protection for the Arctic and Atlantic oceans from oil and gas exploration exceeded his presidential authority.  The administration maintains that President Donald J. Trump’s order was “a proper exercise of delegated authority” (League of Conservation Voters, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, et al., Nos. 19-35460, 19-35461 and 19-35462, 9th Cir.).

  • March 30, 2020

    Fracking Plug Maker Sues Fiberglass Supplier For Breach Of Contract

    MILWAUKEE — A company that makes well plugs for hydraulic fracturing operators on March 6 sued its supplier in Wisconsin federal court, contending that the supplier breached the contract between the parties because the fiberglass material it sent to the well-plug manufacturer was faulty (Hydraulics International Inc. v. Amalga Composites Inc., No. 20-371, E.D. Wis.).

  • March 27, 2020

    Judge Remands Again, Directs Army Corps To Conduct Environmental Study For DAPL

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to adequately respond to concerns by experts about the dangers of an oil spill from the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), it must prepare a detailed environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project, a District of Columbia federal judge held March 25 in a long-running challenge to the pipeline’s construction by four Indian tribes (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, et al. v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, et al., No. 16-1534, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51540).

  • March 27, 2020

    Company Liable For Fraud Related To Fracking Services Contract, Man Says

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma man on March 9 sued an environmental company that performs services for hydraulic fracturing companies in Oklahoma federal court, contending that it committed fraud when it induced him to withdraw from a business agreement (Shane Martin Barnett v. Troo Clean Environmental LLC, et al., No. 20-211, W.D. Okla.).

  • March 26, 2020

    Fracking Pipeline Shareholder: Duty Breached; Misleading Statements Made

    DALLAS — A shareholder in a hydraulic fracturing pipeline company on March 25 sued the pipeline company, its officers and an energy company in Texas federal court, contending that they are liable for breach of fiduciary duties related to financial statements made pertaining to the status of a fracking pipeline and for corporate waste with regard to a corruption investigation pending against the pipeline company (Barry King, derivatively on behalf of Energy Transfer LP, v. LE GP LLC, et al., No. 20-719, N.D. Texas).

  • March 26, 2020

    Leaseholders File Purported Class Action For Unpaid Fracking Royalties

    PITTSBURGH — Leaseholders on March 25 filed a purported class action against a hydraulic fracturing company in Pennsylvania federal court, contending that it had breached it contracts with them by failing to pay the appropriate amount of royalties for gas it extracted from fracking wells (Douglas Kriley, et al. v. XTO Energy Inc., No. 20-416, W.D. Pa.).

  • March 23, 2020

    Groups: High Court Must Hear Pipeline Domain Case To Avoid ‘Negative Impacts’

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two hydraulic fracturing industry groups on March 20 filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Supreme Court contending that it should hear a petition to reverse a court ruling that a company did not have the authority to exercise the federal government’s power of eminent domain to secure rights of way for the construction of an interstate pipeline that would carry hydraulically fractured gas to avoid “major negative impacts” on the natural gas industry (PennEast Pipeline Company LLC v. New Jersey, et al., No. 19A836, U.S. Sup.).

  • March 23, 2020

    Wyoming Seeks To Intervene In Federal Fracking Lease Dispute Involving 2M Acres

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The state of Wyoming on March 20 moved in District of Columbia federal court to intervene in a hydraulic fracturing lease case brought by environmental groups that say the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) violated federal law when it approved 2,067 leases encompassing nearly two million acres of public land across five states.  The state contends that it should be allowed to intervene because it depends on revenue from oil and gas development (WildEarth Guardians, et al. v.  David Bernhardt, et al., No. 20-56, D. D.C.).

  • March 20, 2020

    State Legislator Calls For Halt To Fracking Pipeline Construction Due To COVID-19

    WEST CHESTER, Pa. — In a letter sent to the chair of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) on March 18, a state senator called for a halt to all construction on the Mariner East 2 pipeline that will carry hydraulically fractured oil and gas from shale formations in Pennsylvania to refineries in Marcus Hook, Pa., because of health and safety concerns posed by “the growing spread” of COVID-19.

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