Yearly Archives: 2016

Oil and Gas Update for 12/12/2016 – Oil and Natural Gas Prices, Rig Count Trend Upward as 2016 Winds Down.

As we inch toward the end of this up-and-down year, commodity prices soared (relatively speaking) since our last report with the Henry Hub closing in on $4/MMBtu and oil prices climbing above $50/bbl alongside a consistently rising national rig count. In other developments, federal and state courts in Appalachia and elsewhere managed to issue a few final yet interesting decisions as they attempt to clear their dockets before year end.  With our sincere thanks for tuning in this year and our best wishes for a happy holiday season, here’s your final roundup of the past several weeks as we close out 2016: About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for 11/11/2016 – Trump, Trump, and … well, Trump.

Since our last report, New York real estate mogul Donald J. Trump became the President-Elect of the United States despite polls that long predicted Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton would win the election handily.  In the wake of Trump’s election, oil prices dipped slightly (although not directly attributed to the election) while natural gas spot prices and rig counts held firm. In other news, courts in Appalachia remained relatively quiet while a Kansas federal court issued a pair of interesting decisions highlighting the differences between the text of royalty provisions as they relate to royalties and post-production costs versus a default “marketable condition” rule that sometimes doesn’t jive with the parties’ oil and gas leases.  Here’s the week in review along

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for 11/4/2016 – OH Supremes Punt on Decision to Choose “At the Well” vs. “Marketable Product” Rule for Post-Production Costs.

Natural gas spot prices in the Marcellus thankfully rebounded amidst steadily rising rig counts while the Henry Hub and oil prices dipped significantly since our last report.  In Appalachia, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to choose one default rule of royalty clause interpretation versus another, while the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a series of decisions on disputes over oil and gas rights.  In other news, the EPA published control techniques to limit VOC emissions in the oil and gas industry.  Here’s a roundup of recent developments: About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for 10/21/2016 – PA Industry Group Brings Swift Challenge to Oil and Gas Regulations Following Effective Date; Third Circuit Lets PA Verdict on Royalties and Post-Production Costs Stand; TX Courts Busy with Fractional vs. Floating Royalty Disputes.

Oil prices remained essentially flat since our last report while the national rig count climbed another 15 units. Although the Henry Hub surpassed $3 again, spot prices in the Marcellus region have not fared as well, failing to rebound from the recent drop and struggling to surpass $1/MMBtu for the second straight week. In Appalachia, PADEP’s controversial “Chapter 78a” oil and gas regulations for unconventional development faced swift challenge from one of the state’s industry groups, while courts in Ohio and West Virginia grapple with oil and gas lease issues. Also, the Third Circuit declined a lessee’s bid to nix a fairly sizable jury verdict in favor of landowners who claimed that their lessee improperly deducted their share of post-production

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for 10/7/2016 – PA Supremes Strike Oil and Gas Act Provisions … Again … while TX Court Weighs in on Royalties and Post-Production Costs

Since our last report, natural gas spot prices in the Marcellus region tumbled dramatically to historic lows, remaining below $1 as of Friday. The Henry Hub dipped below $3 while oil prices increased slightly after another drop amidst a rig count that continues to rise. In Appalachia, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt several more blows to the revised Oil and Gas Act, striking additional provisions and telling the legislature to go back to the drawing board to correct certain unconstitutional “special laws.” Elsewhere, the Texas Court of Appeals issued the latest opinion on post-production cost sharing between royalty owners and production companies. Here’s a roundup of the past two weeks: About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for 9/23/2016 – Dormant Mineral Act Decisions Take Center Stage in Ohio; PA Gov. Endorses Acting DEP Secretary for Full-Time Position.

The Henry Hub surpassed $3 gas for the second straight week amidst a steadily growing rig count, but oil prices dropped since our last report and gas prices in the Marcellus continue to underwhelm at just slightly over a dollar per MMBtu. Although things are relatively quiet beyond Appalachia this week, a busy Ohio Supreme Court issued its much anticipated decisions on the Dormant Mineral Act, the Ohio Court of Appeals rejected another bid to claim that an oil and gas lease creates an unlawful “no-term” lease, and Governor Wolf endorsed acting DEP Secretary Pat McDonnell to fill the spot permanently. Here’s your week in review: About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

DC Circuit Decision to Reopen FERC Consideration of TAPS Quality Bank

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s August 30th opinion in petro-star-dc-circuit-taps-quality-bank-case, Case No. 15-1009, August 30, 2016 (D.C. Cir.) will reopen the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) consideration of the Quality Bank associated with the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS). The crude oil put into TAPS is of differing quality, some of higher quality, some of lower quality. The Quality Bank compensates companies inputting higher quality crude so that companies inputting lower quality crude do not receive a windfall. The Quality Bank compensates companies by assigning each company’s crude oil a value based on the quality of its components or “cuts.” The Petro Star case involved calculating the formula for the Resid cut. FERC

Posted in Uncategorized

Oil and Gas Update for 9/2/2016 – Robinson Township Decision Resurfaces in PA Fight Over Well Permit Requirements, New PA AG Confirmed Following Kane’s Conviction, and TX Federal Court Says Sometimes Arbitrators Decide Class Arbitrability.

The rig count continues to climb while the Henry Hub flirted with $3 gas for the first time in months. However, spot prices in the Appalachian region dropped significantly since our last report and oil prices fared only slightly better, posting a decline of a couple of dollars per barrel since last week based on the Brent Crude and West Texas benchmarks. In Appalachia, there’s a new attorney general in town following Kathleen Kane’s perjury conviction who will preside until the voters elect a new chief for the embattled office in November. Also, the Commonwealth Court denied a bid to stop PADEP from considering the effect of proposed wells on public resources under a part of the Oil and Gas

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for 8/26/2016 – Third Circuit Green Lights Transco Permits, Sabine’s Restructuring Plan Gets the OK, and ND Supremes Rebuff a Lease Busting Bid.

Oil prices rebounded since our last report while natural gas spot prices remained relatively steady but sluggish. In Appalachia, the Third Circuit approved environmental permits for the Transco Leidy Line over the objections of environmental groups, and another bankruptcy court blessed the rejection of agreements under Section 365 (this time in the coal context). Elsewhere, the judge overseeing the Sabine bankruptcy approved a final restructuring plan and settlement, while the North Dakota Supreme Court denies a lease busting attempt based on a temporary cessation of production. Here’s a roundup of the past several weeks: About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for 7/29/2016 – PA Supremes Rule on “Title Washing” while TX Court Tosses Big-Time Dispute over Mineral Rights.

After the recent jolt, the rig count stayed relatively flat since our last report amidst dipping oil prices and natural gas spot prices still struggling to hit $3/MMBtu again. In Appalachia, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a long anticipated decision on “title washing”; the Commonwealth Court tossed a unique climate change lawsuit; lease disputes abound in the federal courts; and FERC gave a preliminary OK to a PA pipeline project.  Elsewhere, a court of appeals in Texas tossed a dispute over mineral rights after the plaintiffs failed to join all stakeholders in the case before their deadline passed while courts in other states grapple with  royalty and post-production cost sharing, bankruptcies and rejection under Section 365, and income tax deduction

Posted in Weekly Updates
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At the Well Weekly
Welcome to At the Well Weekly, a blog designed for busy folks in the oil and gas industry. If you haven’t read a thing during the week, our hope is that you can breeze through the update and be up to speed on the basics such as current rig counts, commodity prices, and case law updates on legal issues of interest in Appalachia and elsewhere.
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