Mealey's Fracking

  • June 19, 2024

    Fracking Operators Say Mineral Rights Case Fails, Dispute Shale Plays’ Boundaries

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hydraulic fracturing operators that dispute the boundaries of the shale formation at the heart of a mineral rights case on June 18 moved in Ohio federal court to dismiss the lawsuit on grounds that the claims against them fail because they are barred by the statute of limitations and because the defendants “never entered one tract of Plaintiff’s property” and, therefore, there can be no trespass.

  • June 18, 2024

    Agencies Oppose Utah’s Bid To Reopen National Monuments Case After 3-Year Stay

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal defendants filed a response brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia opposing a motion by Utah to reopen a lawsuit that has been stayed for three years pertaining to former President Donald J. Trump’s decision to reduce the size of two national monuments in the state, in part for hydraulic fracturing purposes.  The defendants argue that the state is taking conflicting positions in two cases and should not be permitted to reopen the case at hand for the purpose of lifting the stay and filing a motion to dismiss.

  • June 18, 2024

    Native American Councils Say Fracking Lease Cancellation Was Lawful

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Three Native American governing bodies that are intervenor defendants in a federal hydraulic fracturing lease dispute have filed a response brief in Alaska federal court arguing that the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and others exercised their authority lawfully when they canceled fracking leases because the leases were issued “based on the agencies’ legally deficient process.”

  • June 07, 2024

    Oil Company: Agency Exceeded Authority In Requiring Permit For Fracking Well

    DENVER — An oil company and its affiliate have filed a reply brief in the 10th Circuit U.S Court of Appeals arguing that it should rule that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) decision requiring them to file a federal application for permit to drill (APD) for a traversing well exceeded its statutory authority.

  • June 06, 2024

    Texas Panel Reverses, Says 1955 Deed Conveys Floating, Not Fixed Royalty Interest

    EL PASO, Texas — A Texas appellate panel has ruled in favor of a group of mineral rights owners, declaring that a 1955 deed conveyed a floating 1/4 nonparticipating royalty interest in a particular piece of property in Reeves County, Texas, contrary to the competing claims of other parties who said the deed in question conveyed a fixed 1/32 nonparticipating royalty interest.

  • June 06, 2024

    Plaintiffs: Oil Companies Conspired To Fix Gasoline Prices, Violated Sherman Act

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A construction company and other parties sued numerous oil and gas companies in New Mexico federal court contending that they have violated the Sherman Act and state antitrust and consumer protection laws by conspiring to “coordinate, and ultimately constrain domestic shale oil production, which has had the effect of fixing, raising, and maintaining the price of retail gasoline” throughout the country.

  • June 06, 2024

    Texas Panel Reverses Immunity Ruling Related To City’s Drilling Permit Decision

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A Texas appellate panel has reversed a lower court’s ruling that held that the city of Arlington and associated parties had governmental immunity from a lawsuit about a hydraulic fracturing drilling permit, but it affirmed the lower court’s decision denying an anti-fracking group’s application for a temporary injunction.

  • June 06, 2024

    Judge Says Landowners’ Appeal Lacks Merit In Dispute Over Mineral, Surface Rights

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio has refused to stay a preliminary injunction in a mineral rights dispute, ruling that a land management company does not have a strong likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal of a district court’s ruling that a hydraulic fracturing company’s proposed use of surface land gives due regard to the land management company’s use of the surface land.

  • June 04, 2024

    Judge: Fracking Injury Case Valid; Plaintiff May Be Able To Establish Jurisdiction

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 3 denied a motion to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit filed by a widow whose husband died while working on a hydraulic fracturing rig, ruling that there is “more than a possibility that plaintiff can establish the requisite contacts” between the drilling company he worked for and the state of Pennsylvania to establish jurisdiction.

  • May 29, 2024

    COMMENTARY: Review Of Expert Causation Testimony Under Federal Rule Of Evidence 702: An Early Assessment Of The 2023 Amended Rule

    By William L. Anderson and Mark A. Behrens

  • June 03, 2024

    Briefly: Groups Say Agencies’ Biological Opinions For Gas Project Violated Law

    SAN FRANCISCO — Environmental groups have filed a petition in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals seeking review of two biological opinions issued in 2020 regarding a new liquified natural gas (LNG) project in Alaska, arguing that federal agencies violated the law when they issued the opinions in question.

  • May 31, 2024

    Petitioners: High Court Should Hear Fracking Railway Case To Address Scope Of NEPA

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Two petitioners challenging a ruling that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) failed to adequately examine the risk of wildfires and the impact on groundwater posed by the construction of a proposed rail line in Utah that would carry products related to hydraulic fracturing to and from the shale formation in the Uinta Basin filed a reply brief in the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that it should review the case to address the proper scope of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

  • May 24, 2024

    Split Ohio High Court Reverses Ruling For Mineral Holders In Utica Shale Dispute

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A divided Ohio Supreme Court on May 23 reversed and remanded a lower court’s ruling that affirmed a $40 million award to a mineral rights owner in a drilling dispute, saying triable issues of fact remain regarding whether the mineral lease included the Point Pleasant formation as part of the Utica Shale formation.

  • May 23, 2024

    Federal, Local Governments: High Court Review Not Needed In Fracking Railway Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In two separate briefs, the U.S. government, a federal agency and a Colorado municipality argue that the U.S. Supreme Court should deny a petition for review sought by a coalition that challenges a lower court’s ruling that found that the Surface Transportation Board (STB) failed to take a hard look at the risk of wildfire and the impact on groundwater posed by the construction of a proposed rail line in Utah that would carry products related to hydraulic fracturing to and from the shale formation in the Uinta Basin.  In one brief, the municipality argues that the petition “does not meet any of the Court’s criteria for granting certiorari.”

  • May 23, 2024

    Expert Can Testify In Oil, Gas Contract Dispute; Judge Denies Summary Judgment

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A Wyoming chancery court judge found that testimony from an expert retained in an oil and gas contracts dispute is admissible under Wyoming Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. and separately denied a motion for summary judgment.

  • May 21, 2024

    Groups: Court Should Vacate Agencies’ ‘Unlawful’ Approval Of Fracking Permits

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Environmental groups that contend that the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) approval of permits for hydraulic fracturing was “arbitrary and capricious” have filed a reply brief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia arguing that the court should grant them summary judgment on their claim and vacate the “unlawful decisions.”

  • May 21, 2024

    Mineral Rights Holders Seek Certification Of Class In Fracking Royalty Dispute

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mineral rights holders have moved in Ohio federal court seeking class certification in their lawsuit alleging that drilling companies breached the royalty agreement among the parties, arguing that “this case arises from the systematic breach of a form contract, making it the paradigmatically appropriate case for class certification.”

  • May 20, 2024

    U.S. High Court Refuses To Hear Landowners’ Challenge To Fracking Pipeline

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 20 for a second time refused to hear a case brought by landowners who oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP), which would carry hydraulically fractured gas 303 miles from northwestern West Virginia to southern Virginia.  The landowners had contended that the pipeline company took their land for construction of the project against their will.

  • May 16, 2024

    Briefly: 4th Circuit Reverses Ruling Valuing Property In Pipeline Land Dispute

    RICHMOND, Va. — A panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed and remanded a case involving a dispute over a parcel of land sought by a pipeline company, instructing the lower court to reinstate a jury’s $523,327 verdict for the landowners and vacating the court’s order that denied attorney fees.

  • May 15, 2024

    Planned Hearing In Review Of Dissolvable Magnesium Patent Canceled

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board will consider the patentability of dissolvable magnesium alloy technology used in the fracking industry without the benefit of oral argument, canceling a hearing that had been planned for May 31 in a contentious inter partes review (IPR) that has yielded threats of sanctions in connection with an expunged motion and invocation by a patent owner of an Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump.

  • May 14, 2024

    Judge Lets Fracking Operator, Utah Intervene In Federal Leasing Dispute

    SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge in Utah has ruled that the state and Anschutz Exploration Corp. (AEC), an oil and gas exploration company, can intervene in a lawsuit brought by an environmental group against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for its decision to sell 145 leases for hydraulic fracturing on approximately 215,325 acres of public lands in Utah, which the group says was done “without fully and adequately analyzing the environmental and public health impacts” of the decision.

  • April 26, 2024

    COMMENTARY: Limits Of Executive Power And The Antiquities Act: Current Litigation

    By Adam Griffin, Frank D. Garrison and Paige Gilliard

  • May 10, 2024

    $6M Fracking Securities Deal Gets Final Approval From Ohio Federal Judge

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on May 9 granted final approval to a $6 million settlement in a securities fraud case pertaining to a hydraulic fracturing company, ruling that the relief that shareholders in the company will receive passes the test for “fairness, reasonableness, and adequacy of the settlement.”

  • May 10, 2024

    Agency Says It Has Authority To Require Oil Company To Obtain Fracking Well Permit

    DENVER — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has filed a response brief in the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals arguing that it “plainly has authority” under the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA) to require a permit for a proposed well, regardless of who owns the affected subsurface, contrary to the argument of an oil company that the BLM did not act within its scope of authority when it denied company’s attempts to drill a traverse well under a split estate.

  • May 09, 2024

    Plaintiffs: Fracking Operator Is Violating Lease With Improper Royalty Deductions

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The trustees of a trust that owns 155.84 acres in Belmont County, Ohio, have sued a hydraulic fracturing company in Ohio federal court contending that it is arbitrarily deducting money from royalties it owes the landowners to cover the company’s expenses in violation of the lease between the parties and in contravention of accepted industry standards.