Archives: Fracking

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Independent Oil and Gas Producers Defeat Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

Wyoming U.S. District Court Declares Bureau of Land Management’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Unlawful On June 21, 2016, United States District Judge Scott Skavdahl granted BakerHostetler’s petition for review of final agency action and declared the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) hydraulic fracturing rule unlawful. The court’s judgment sets aside BLM’s hydraulic fracturing rule, and America’s … Continue Reading

EQT’s Lengthy Battle With the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Gets Its Day in State Supreme Court

On November 17, 2015, Pittsburgh-based energy company EQT Production Co. (“EQT”) presented its oral argument before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, requesting it set aside a February 20, 2015, ruling of Commonwealth Court Judge Rochelle S. Friedman. Specifically, she had held EQT could not bypass the state’s administrative Environmental Hearing Board (“EHB”) stage in its efforts … Continue Reading

Toilet to Frac: Legal and Practical Aspects of Using Municipal Effluent for Fracing in Texas

Thus far, the idea of using purified municipal sewage effluent—“reclaimed water” in industry parlance—for city water supplies has proven a tough sell. Human psychology poses significant barriers to overcoming the “toilet to tap” aversion. But “toilet to frac” is an entirely different matter. In dry locations with large municipalities (100,000 persons or more) located within … Continue Reading

Frack 2.0: Refracing Could Enable a Second Wave of Production Growth in the Bakken and Eagle Ford

Operators will likely refrac more oil and gas wells this year and further accelerate such activity in 2016. The reason is simple: substantial bang for CAPEX bucks. A recent study by engineers from SPE and Baker Hughes estimates that Bakken oil wells can be refraced for $1.8 million apiece – roughly ¼ of what it … Continue Reading

New Law in Texas Prohibits Local Municipalities from Banning Hydraulic Fracturing

On Monday, May 18, 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott signed House Bill 40 into law, prohibiting cities, towns, and local municipalities in Texas from enacting bans on fracing. The new law provides that “oil and gas operations [are] subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of [the] state” and preempts the authority of other political subdivisions to … Continue Reading

IRS Publishes Proposed Regulations Addressing Fracking Services by MLPs

On May 6, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed regulations [REG-132634-14], which if finalized would clarify that income from certain oil and natural gas fracturing (“fracking”) services is “qualifying income” for purposes of determining whether a master limited partnership (MLP) qualifies for favorable “passthrough” federal tax status. Generally, an MLP qualifies for passthrough … Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing Moratorium Lifted in North Carolina

Last week, North Carolina became the 34th state to allow hydraulic fracturing. Years in the making, new rules developed by the state’s Mining and Energy Commission after receiving over 200,000 public comments went into effect last Tuesday allowing the state to issue drilling permits to companies to begin shale gas exploration and extraction. The new … Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Takes Further Aim at Local/Municipal Fracking Bans

On Tuesday, March 11, 2015, the Texas Legislature’s 84th Session gained another bill directed at combating future local and municipal fracking bans. State Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo), Chairman of the Texas House Energy Resources Committee, filed House Bill 40 (HB40), which seeks to amend Chapter 81 of the Texas Natural Resources Code and expressly … Continue Reading

Is a Statewide Ban in Colorado in Play for 2016?

While Colorado cities continue to litigate their authority to ban fracing, a new environmental group is rallying to ban the practice throughout the entire state. At a gathering on February 24, the “Coloradans Against Fracking” announced that “[w]e need to have a ban in this state.” The group’s spokesperson, Karen Dike, first announced that the … Continue Reading

Local and National Environmental Groups Seek to Intervene in Denton Fracking Case

On Thursday, December 4, 2014, in Texas Oil and Gas Assoc. v. City of Denton, Cause No. 14-08933-431, 431st District Court, Denton County, Texas, the Denton Drilling Awareness Group and Earthworks filed a Joint Petition in Intervention seeking to “provide a vigorous defense of the legality and enforceability” of the December 2, 2014, ordinance (the … Continue Reading

Denton Ban Emboldens Fracking Opponents in Other Texas Cities

After the first municipal ban on hydraulic fracturing in Texas went into effect on December 2in Denton, residents of other Texas cities are considering whether to pursue bans in their own backyards. Residents from disparate parts of the Lone Star state, including Reno (100 miles northeast of Dallas in Lamar County), Alpine (170 miles southwest … Continue Reading

Colorado Oil & Gas Association Seeks Overturn of Broomfield Hydraulic Fracturing Ban

On Monday, November 24, the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) filed a lawsuit in the Broomfield District Court for declaratory judgment to invalidate that city’s temporary ban on hydraulic fracturing. The ban, known as Question 300, passed in November 2013 by 20 votes, places a five-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and prohibits storage in open … Continue Reading

Railroad Commission Chairwoman: “It’s My Job to Give Permits, Not Denton’s”

At a November 6 event, Texas Railroad Commission Chairwoman Christi Craddick unequivocally stated that the Commission would continue to issue drilling permits to operators in Denton, despite the November 4 vote making it the first city in Texas to ban hydraulic fracturing. “It’s my job to give permits, not Denton’s. We’re going to continue permitting … Continue Reading

City of Fort Collins, Colorado, Appeals Ruling Striking Down Fracking Bans

The week of September 22, the Fort Collins, Colorado, City Council voted to appeal a decision rendered last month that struck down the city’s fracking ban.  The North America Shale Blog previously covered that decision here. In that August 2014 decision, a Larimer County District Court Judge ruled that Colorado’s 1951 Oil and Gas Conservation … Continue Reading

Uncertainty Prevails as Illinois Delays a Decision on Fracing Regulations

Last week, Illinois’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted to push back its decision about whether to approve proposed rules governing horizontal fracturing operations until November 6.  The delay promises to fuel uncertainty among fracing supporters and opponents alike about the legality of conducting unconventional drilling operations within the State if the draft rules are … Continue Reading

Industry Group Opposes Illinois Fracking Rules

Labor groups and members of the oil and gas industry have joined together in calling for the overhaul of recently proposed rules governing fracking in the state.  The pro-fracking coalition, known as Grow-IL, argues that the revised regulations, which the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (“IDNR”) released on August 29, significantly deviate from the hydraulic … Continue Reading

Colorado State Court Strikes Down a Second City-Wide Fracking Ban

A Colorado state judge recently struck down a city’s voter-approved moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This marks the second time a Colorado judge has quashed a city’s fracking ban within a matter of two weeks. As we previously reported, three Colorado cities approved bans on fracking in late 2013. In Fort Collins and Boulder, … Continue Reading

Governor Christie Vetoes New Jersey Fracking Ban

Last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have banned the treatment, discharge, and disposal of fracking wastewater in the state, arguing that the bill violated the United States Constitution.  This is the second time the governor has vetoed a prohibition on fracking waste since entering office. The bill, known as S1041, … Continue Reading
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