Tag: Oil And Gas

Federal Judge Rules that State and Federal Law Preempts New Mexico’s Fracking Ban

On January 20, 2015 a U.S. District Judge overturned New Mexico’s ban on hydrocarbon extraction, which included a prohibition on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the state.  (SWEPI, LP v. Mora County et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-00035-JB-SCY, filed Jan. 19, 2015.) Mora County, a political subdivision of the State of New Mexico, enacted the ban through a … Continue Reading

EPA Announces Plan for Rulemaking to Reduce Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Industry

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced a new goal to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas industry.  (See White House Fact Sheet.)  The EPA’s goal is to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45% from 2012 levels by 2025.  The proposed regulations will set standards to reduce methane … Continue Reading

Baker Hughes’ Policy to Disclose Chemical Components in Well Stimulation Fluids Designed to “Increase the Public Trust”

One of the largest oil-field services companies in the world, Baker Hughes, has revised its long-standing policies on disclosing the contents of hydraulic fracturing fluids on FracFocus.org – a non-profit database designed to provide the public with information related to oil and gas development. The policy states that the company believes it is “possible to … Continue Reading

Debates Continue Over Taxes And Fees On Hydraulic Fracturing In Ohio And Pennsylvania

In exchange for a $2.6 billion cut to Ohio’s state income taxes, Gov. John Kasich has proposed a package of tax increases in other areas.  Included among those increases would be the gradual implementation of a 2.75 percent tax on oil and gas extracted through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Ohio, which is estimated … Continue Reading

BREAKING: California’s New General Industrial Storm Water Permit Will Impact Oil, Gas, and Mining Industries

Today, the State Water Resources Control Board (State Board) released for public comment its Draft Industrial Storm Water Permit and supporting documents.  This is the fourth (and likely final) version of the Draft Industrial Storm Water Permit, which is designed to replace the existing Industrial Storm Water Permit in place since 1997. The Draft Industrial … Continue Reading

Senator Landrieu Ready to Take Chair’s Gavel on Powerful Senate Energy Committee: A Positive Outcome for the Oil and Gas Industry

Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) has confirmed today that she will take the position as Chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as soon as next week. (See previous post dated December 31, 3013.) The previous chairman – Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) – is expected to be approved as Chair of the Finance Committee, and with … Continue Reading

USGS Tool Could Predict, Prevent Wetlands Contamination By Sub-Surface Wastewater

While advances in hydraulic fracturing technology have resulted in an oil and gas boom in North Dakota and other parts of the U.S., the industry, federal and state regulators, and local communities have also had to contend with outgrowths of that development.  One particular issue confronting those groups is how to handle and dispose of … Continue Reading

The Heat’s Still On! – Offshore Operators Must Disclose Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Chemicals

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced that starting on March 1, 2014, oil and gas operators performing offshore hydraulic fracturing operations must maintain an inventory of chemicals used to formulate frac fluid, and if there is any discharge of that fluid, to include the chemical formulation to the EPA within a quarterly discharge monitoring report. These new … Continue Reading

An Opportunity to Cure? When Bankruptcy and Unpaid Oil and Gas Lease Royalties Collide in North Dakota

The North Dakota Supreme Court recently issued its second opinion in Van Sickle v. Hallmark & Associates, a case that has tested the boundaries of a mineral interest holder’s right to royalties when well operators go bankrupt. The Van Sickles own interests in oil and gas produced from a well in McKenzie County that’s operated … Continue Reading

Department of Conservation Deputy Director Jason Marshall Will Speak at Seminar on What To Expect from SB 4

On December 11, 2013, Stoel Rives and BSK Associates will host a complimentary breakfast seminar in Bakersfield, CA to share observations and strategies for complying with SB 4. Breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m., with the program beginning at 8:00 a.m. The office of Jason Marshall, Deputy Director of the Department of Conservation, has confirmed … Continue Reading

The Real Cost of Doing Business – Fracking Industry May Feel a Big Hit from OSHA’s Proposed Silica Exposure Rule

In early September, OSHA issued a proposed rule that will limit permissible exposure to 50 micrograms of respirable crystalline silica per cubic meter of air. (See September 9, 2013 post.) This is approximately half of the current limit observed by industry. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, silica sand is used in approximately 60% of … Continue Reading
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