Mealey's Fracking

  • October 14, 2021

    Appellate Panel Says Local Fracking Ordinance Is Preempted By California Law

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California appellate panel on Oct. 12 affirmed a lower court ruling and held that state law preempts a local ordinance passed by Monterey County that prohibits drilling new oil and gas wells and reinjecting produced water back into the ground.

  • October 14, 2021

    Roman Catholic Order Appeals Ruling Allowing Pipeline To Be Built On Its Land

    PHILADELPHIA — An order of Roman Catholic women on Oct. 13 filed a notice of appeal in Pennsylvania federal court, indicating that they will take their opposition to a hydraulic fracturing pipeline to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • October 11, 2021

    Order Quashing Subpoenas In Fracking Case Was ‘Clearly Erroneous,’ Companies Say

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — On Sept. 27, energy companies filed a reply brief in Wyoming federal court contending that it should reconsider its decision to quash their subpoenas against a nonparty oil and gas company in an antitrust lawsuit pertaining to the monopolization of mineral rights related to hydraulic fracturing in local shale plays, arguing that the court’s ruling was “clearly erroneous” because the magistrate judge wrongly held that the defendants do not need a subpoena because they can obtain the information they seek from other sources.

  • October 08, 2021

    Judge Remands Federal Fracking Case, Says Agency’s Decision Not Informed By Law

    DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Sept. 28 remanded to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) a hydraulic fracturing lease dispute in which environmental groups argue that the agency violated federal law when it approved leases on certain federal lands because the BLM relied on environmental assessment documents that were outdated.

  • October 08, 2021

    Businesses: Challenge To Biden Administration’s Pause On Fracking Barred By Law

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Businesses that are intervenors in a federal hydraulic fracturing lease dispute between an energy trade group and the Biden administration on Oct. 5 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court contending that the state of Wyoming’s challenge to a “fictitious” national “moratorium” is barred by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

  • October 06, 2021

    Pennsylvania Grand Jury: Pipeline Company ‘Criminally Failed’ To Deal With Hazards

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — On Oct. 5, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released the findings of a grand jury that concluded that Sunoco Pipeline LP “criminally failed to properly report and address the environmental hazards created by its operations during the entirety” of the project to build the Mariner East 2 Pipeline (ME2), which would carry hydraulically fractured gas across Pennsylvania to refineries in Marcus Hook, Pa.

  • October 05, 2021

    Tribes:  Arbitration Ruling Against Company’s Fracking Lease Rights Was Proper

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Two Native American tribes on Oct. 1 filed a brief in Wyoming federal court arguing that an energy company failed to sufficiently allege that an arbitration panel exceeded its authority or manifestly disregarded the law when it ruled that the company’s preferential right to hydraulic fracturing leases is not an absolute right.

  • October 05, 2021

    Fracking Pipeline Company Seeks U.S. High Court Stay Of Order Halting Construction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A hydraulic fracturing pipeline company on Oct. 4 filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a stay of a circuit court’s ruling that vacated an order issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that had granted the company a certificate of public convenience and necessity authorizing it to build the pipeline.

  • October 04, 2021

    U.S. Supreme Court Denies Petition On Arbitration Of Gas Terminal Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 refused to hear an oil company’s petition in which it contends that the Delaware Supreme Court “broke from precedent” and misapplied the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) when it enjoined the company from pursuing a second arbitration against an energy company in the parties’ dispute over a gas terminal.

  • October 01, 2021

    Arizona Federal Judge Awards Partial Remediation Costs For Lack Of Documentation

    PRESCOTT, Ariz. — On a natural gas company’s motion to enforce judgment for payroll costs incurred to remediate numerous uranium mine sites on tribal land, an Arizona federal judge on Sept. 22 agreed to award more than $65,000 in payroll costs incurred for two experts’ work overseeing the cleanup and advising the company on its obligations to the federal government. However, the judge denied the company’s bid for more than $104,000 in costs due to insufficient documentation of three experts’ activities.

  • September 29, 2021

    Federal Agency Withdraws Trump-Era Fracking Royalty Rule For Federal Leases

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on Sept. 28 announced that it haswithdrawna rule passed in the waning days of the Trump administration for the payment of royalties by hydraulic fracturing companies that operate on federal land, returning to the former method of calculating royalties, which the DOI estimates will result in a $64 million increase in royalty collections.

  • September 28, 2021

    Halliburton Takes Aim At Patented Fracturing System In New Petition

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board should cancel eight claims of a patented hydraulic fracturing system, which relies on automation as a point of novelty, Halliburton Energy Services Inc. asserts in a Sept. 23 petition for inter partes review.

  • September 28, 2021

    Fracking Company To Pay $6.15M For Underpaying Royalties On Federal Leases

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Sept. 27 announced that it has reached a $6.15 million settlement with a hydraulic fracturing company to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by underpaying and underreporting natural gas royalties related to fracking operations on federal land in Wyoming and New Mexico.

  • September 28, 2021

    Shareholder Alleges Securities Violations In Fracking Merger Due To SEC Filing

    NEW YORK — A stockholder on Sept. 15 sued an energy company, its board of directors and a hydraulic fracturing operator in New York federal court contending that they violated federal securities laws when then approved a merger on grounds that the transaction followed “an insufficient process in which the Board failed to conduct a market check for potentially interested third parties.”

  • September 28, 2021

    Stockholder:  Energy Company’s Prospectus Lacked Material Information, Violated Law

    PHILADELPHIA — A stockholder on Sept. 16 sued the officers of an energy company in Pennsylvania federal court contending that they violated federal securities laws when they approved a merger between the company and a hydraulic fracturing operator, which depended upon a prospectus that the stockholder says failed to disclose material information.

  • September 28, 2021

    Canadian Study:  Fracking Increases Exposure To Volatile Organic Compounds

    TORONTO — A study by researchers at the University of Toronto published Sept. 14 found that pregnant women living in an area of “intense” hydraulic fracturing activity have increased levels of exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as compared with the exposure levels for the general Canadian population.

  • September 28, 2021

    Class Seeks Certification In Fracking Securities Fraud Case Involving Pipeline

    PHILADELPHIA — Plaintiffs in a securities fraud class action on Sept. 17 moved in Pennsylvania federal court seeking class certification of their case against a hydraulic fracturing pipeline company, which investors contend misled them about whether it had lawfully obtained valid permits for construction, when the company actually “exerted undue pressure on regulators and government officials” to secure permits “despite hundreds of known deficiencies” in the permit applications.

  • September 28, 2021

    8th Circuit Sends Indians’ Pipeline Trespass Claims To Bureau Of Indian Affairs

    ST. LOUIS — Native Americans’ trespass claims against oil companies over a pipeline that runs across a reservation should be stayed, not dismissed, under the primary jurisdiction doctrine to allow the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to rule on the dispute, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 13 in reversing and remanding.

  • September 24, 2021

    Briefly: Pipeline, New Jersey Stipulate To Dismissal Of Dispute About Land

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 22 officially remanded to district court the lawsuit between PennEast Pipeline Co. LLC and the state of New Jersey for a stipulated voluntary dismissal related to 42 parcels of land that the company had sought for construction of its pipeline to carry hydraulically fractured gas.

  • September 22, 2021

    Agencies:  Fracking Lease Sale Postponement Is In Accord With Federal Law

    BISMARCK, N.D. — The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) on Sept. 20 filed a brief in North Dakota federal court arguing that the decision to postpone the sale of hydraulic fracturing leases to prepare “a more robust” analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is in accord with governing law and, therefore, there is no basis for the state of North Dakota’s attempt to compel the DOI to hold lease sales for public lands.