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Three Reasons BOEM’s Updated Financial Assurance and Risk Management Requirements Are Unenforceable

Part One The Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has finally issued its promised Notice to Lessees (NTL) No. 2016-N01, “Requiring Additional Security,” which supersedes NTL No. 2008-N07, “Supplemental Bond Procedures.” The new NTL, with multiple linked attachments, becomes effective Sept. 12, 2016. The new NTL largely concerns a lessee’s ability to carry … Continue Reading

Upsetting the Outer Continental Shelf Ecosystem through Overbonding

At a time when the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (“BSEE”) Well Control Rule has shifted focus away from its sister agency’s regulatory maneuvering, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (“BOEM”) is changing the way it approaches securitizing decommissioning obligations – a shift with the potential to change the face of the Outer Continental … Continue Reading

Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Question Of Unintentional “Take” Primed For Potential Fifth Circuit En Banc Or Supreme Court Review

Recently, industry won a major legal victory regarding liability—or lack thereof—for unintentional and indirect bird deaths under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Unfortunately, that victory could be short lived, depending on the results of the rehearing and appeals process. At first read, the MBTA’s statutory language seemingly subjects companies to criminal liability for any … Continue Reading

Leading Energy Attorney L. Poe Leggette Joins BakerHostetler

Prominent counsel to oil & gas companies and former Interior Dept. official becomes Co-chair of firm’s energy practice and national shale team Denver, CO – August 11, 2014—BakerHostetler announced that eminent energy attorney L. Poe Leggette has joined the firm as a partner in its Denver office. Leggette becomes co-chair of BakerHostetler’s energy practice and its … Continue Reading

U.S. Department Of Labor/OSHA Targets Oil and Gas

Preliminary results from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries released on August 22, show a slight reduction in the number of fatal work injuries in 2012 compared with 2011.  Approximately 4500 workers die on the job annually.  Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez stated that “job gains in oil and … Continue Reading

OSHA Will Issue A Rule on Crystalline Silica

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced a proposed rule aimed at curbing silica-related disease.  After publication, the public will have 90 days to submit written comments, followed by public hearings. “Exposure to silica can be deadly, and limiting that exposure is essential,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor … Continue Reading

From the Ohio River to the Marcellus and Utica Hydraulic Fracturing Sites – Company to Build Pipeline for Water Transport

As oil and gas companies across the country face increasing pressure to decrease their use of fresh water for fracking operations, new and innovative solutions are sought. Some companies are turning to the recycling of frack water (see our previous discussion here); others are building pipelines to ensure that there is a reliable and cost-effective … Continue Reading

Recycling of Frack Water Likely to Grow

In Texas, where hydraulic fracturing operations use up more than fifty percent of water use in certain counties, recycling of frack water could significantly impact the stressed resource. To date, only a small fraction of the water used for hydraulic fracturing is currently recycled.  However, several factors indicate that recycling of frack water will likely … Continue Reading

Colorado Court of Appeals Revives Fracking Case – Holds “Lone Pine” Order Not Allowed In Colorado

            On July 3, 2013, the Colorado Court of Appeals held that the plaintiffs in a toxic tort case cannot be required to present prima facie evidence to support their claims prior to the initiation of full discovery.  In Strudley v. Antero Resources Corp., the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed a state district court opinion … Continue Reading

Deja Vu All Over Again: The Ohio Senate Inserts TENORM Provisions Back Into the State’s Budget Bill

The Ohio Senate released its version of the state budget bill—Am. Sub. HB 59—on June 4.  As previously reported by the Shale Blog, the Governor’s original budget proposal included provisions for the disposal of TENORM (Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material).  The Ohio House removed those provisions from the budget bill amid strong opposition from both … Continue Reading

New York Court Upholds Local Hydraulic Fracturing and Oil and Gas Development Bans

Last Friday, a four judge panel of a New York appeals court upheld two local zoning laws that prohibit activities related to oil and gas exploration and development, including hydraulic fracturing.  The decisions in Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden and Cooperstown Holstein Corp. v. Town of Middlefield mark the first appellate ruling … Continue Reading

Columbus Conference Addresses Ohio Shale Gas Downstream Opportunities

Ohio’s large shale resources provide substantial opportunities for companies interested in capitalizing on the state’s dive into shale development.   On October 31, industry experts gathered at the Advanced Energy B2B Expo in Columbus, Ohio to discuss the many downstream opportunities becoming available to businesses, particularly as to the chemical & polymer industry.   David Mustine, Managing … Continue Reading

Recent Studies Unclear As To Hydraulic Fracturing’s Impact on Seismic Activity

Several recently-released studies have examined whether any link exists between hydraulic fracturing activities and recent seismological events.  Rather than shaking up common industry understandings, these studies create confusing rumblings from media outlets reporting on the studies.  These incomplete media reports create needless confusion as to the tenuous link between hydraulic fracturing operations and seismic activity.  … Continue Reading