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At the Well Weekly – Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 5/18/2018 – PA EHB’s Latest Decision on the Environmental Rights Amendment

Since our last report, oil prices surpassed $80/bbl before dipping slightly alongside a flat rig count and lower natural gas spot prices.  In Appalachia, the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board issued its latest decision discussing the Pennsylvania “Environmental Rights Amendment” in a dispute over oil and gas well-drilling permits while a federal judge in Virginia issued sanctions to folks opposing the Mountain Valley Pipeline, forcing them out of their tree stands so clearing activities for the project can proceed. In other news, the federal government weighs in on a controversial climate-change lawsuit and a federal judge in California issued a decision on the bi-state sage grouse listing under the Endangered Species Act.  Here’s the week in review: About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

At the Well Weekly – Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 5/4/2018 – PA Superior Court Issues Controversial Decision on the Rule of Capture; WV Enacts Minimum Royalty Legislation; Texas Supremes Tackle Taxes, Rule Against Perpetuities, and Retained Acreage Provisions

After a few months off, we are back at the well for weekly updates.  The rig count surpassed 1000 units nationwide (for the first time in a long time) alongside a rise in oil prices (hovering around $70/bbl), but natural gas prices continue to underwhelm. In Appalachia, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected PADEP’s continuing violation theory of imposing civil penalties for regulatory violations, the Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a controversial decision on the rule of capture and hydraulic fracturing, and the West Virginia legislature quietly enacted minimum royalty legislation while passing co-tenancy reform.  In other regions, the Texas Supreme Court remains relatively busy, interpreting retained-acreage provisions and tax statutes and deciding whether or not the rule against perpetuities applies to

Posted in Weekly Updates

At the Well Weekly – Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 2/16/2018 – PA Permit Fees on the Rise, Trump’s Plans for Pipelines, and “Commencement of Operations” in New Mexico

Since our last report, natural gas prices dropped alongside a flat rig count and a slight increase in oil prices.  In Appalachia, PADEP is poised to increase permit fees and is on the verge of finalizing methane-reduction general permits for new oil and gas sources and compressor stations while West Virginia’s legislature takes a step towards reforming rules governing a co-tenant’s ability to lease without the consent of other co-tenants.  In other news, the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plan seeks to quicken approvals for pipeline projects and the New Mexico Supreme Court defined what constitutes “commencement of operations” under a JOA for purposes of meeting a deadline to recover penalties from non-consenting operators.  Here’s the week in review: About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

At the Well Weekly – Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 1/5/2018 – Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Implied Covenant of Further Exploration/Development in Oil and Gas Leases; Tenth Circuit Rejects “Marketable Product” Rule for Calculating Royalties

As we open 2018, oil prices slipped a bit after hitting a three-year high at the end of the year while natural gas spot prices got a jolt from extreme weather conditions in the northeast.  In Appalachia, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the notion that oil and gas leases held by production from shallow formations contain an implied covenant to further explore and develop deeper strata.  In other news, the Tenth Circuit rejected the “marketable product” rule for calculating royalty clauses in New Mexico oil and gas leases.  Here’s the week in review:  About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

At the Well Weekly – Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 12/15/2017 – As 2017 Closes Out, General Permits for Methane Emissions on the Horizon in PA Amidst Underwhelming Natural Gas Spot Prices

As 2017 comes to a close, the rig count is relatively strong and oil prices hover around $60/bbl while natural gas spot prices continue to underwhelm.  In Appalachia, the Delaware River Basin Commission proposed its controversial regulatory ban on hydraulic fracturing while the Pennsylvania Department is close to finalizing new general permits for methane emissions from oil and gas sources.  Wishing our readers a happy holiday season, here’s your final review for 2017: The Rig Count  The national rig count is up at 930 (Source: BakerHughes). The rig count in the Marcellus is up at 47. (Source: BakerHughes). The rig count in the Utica is down at 27. (Source: BakerHughes). Commodity Prices   The Henry Hub natural gas spot price is down

Posted in Weekly Updates

At the Well Weekly – Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 11/17/2017 – WV/China MOU for Natural Gas Development Investments Makes Headlines, Fuel Gas Royalty Class Action Survives in Oklahoma, Colo. Supremes OK Refund for Overpaid Oil/Gas Production Taxes

Spot prices in Appalachia increased since our last report based largely on cold temperature forecasts while the rig count and oil prices maintained their positions.  In Appalachia, West Virginia reports that it reached a memorandum of understanding with China for investments in natural gas development projects.  Elsewhere, Texas courts tackle disputes over mineral interests, a royalty class action in Oklahoma survives preliminary motions to dismiss, and Colorado’s Supreme Court blesses a refund bid by a production company that mistakenly overpaid oil and gas production taxes.  Here’s the week in review:  About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

At the Well Weekly – Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 10/27/2017 – Federal Court Says Ohio Supreme Court Would Adopt “At the Well” Rule for Royalty Calculations

Natural gas prices in Appalachia haven’t rebounded much since our last report, hovering around $1/MMBtu amidst a small decline in the rig count, but the good news is that the Brent Crude surpassed its $60/bbl benchmark earlier in the week. In Appalachia, a federal court in Ohio took a shot at predicting how the state supreme court would deal with oil and gas leases that provide for royalty payments based on the “market value at the well.”  Here’s the week in review:  About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 10/6/2017 – Natural Gas Prices Slide, PA Superior Court Addresses Reserved Royalty vs. Oil/Gas Interest, and ND Tackles Ownership of Minerals Underlying Streambeds

Natural gas prices have fallen pretty harshly since our last report, particularly in Appalachia where prices dropped below $1/MMBtu, amidst a slightly sliding rig count. In Appalachia, the Pennsylvania Superior Court addressed the distinction between royalty vs. oil/gas interests in a deed reservation while courts in Ohio address whether an oil well is “capable of producing gas” for purposes of drawing up well drilling units.  In other news, the North Dakota Supreme Court asked a trial court to review its determination of state ownership of minerals underlying streambeds in light of new state legislation allocating mineral ownership under the high-watermark of the Missouri River.  Here’s the week in review:  About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 9/8/2017 – Pipeline Projects Dodge Several Roadblocks; DRBC Plans Ban of Hydraulic Fracturing Ops

It’s been a relatively quiet week since our last report. Natural gas spot prices in Appalachia took a nose dive amidst only modest increases in the Henry Hub and the rig count. In Appalachia, a federal judge denied a bid to dismiss a class action brought by royalty owners alleging improper payments. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the FERC did their part moving various pipeline projects along, with DEP issuing an air permit for the Atlantic Sunrise project and FERC denying bids from environmentalists to halt construction of that pipeline and the Northern Access pipeline. Finally, the Delaware River Basin Commission plans to ban hydraulic fracturing operations within the basin. Here’s the week in review: About The Author

Posted in Weekly Updates

Oil and Gas Update for Week Ending 9/1/2017 – Hurricane Harvey Drives Oil, Nat Gas Prices Up and Down; PADEP Releases 2015 Methane Emissions Data from Oil/Gas Ops; Pipeline Projects Facing Challenges

After a brief hiatus we are back at the well. Since our last report in early August, Hurricane Harvey ravaged southeastern Texas, affecting oil, natural gas, and gasoline prices all over the country. In Appalachia, the PADEP issued the 2015 numbers for methane and other emissions from oil and gas sources, pointing to a modest increase in methane emissions from oil and gas sources despite significant increases in operation and production alongside significant decreases of other emissions. In other news, pipeline project sponsors in Appalachia and elsewhere continue to face challenges in pursuit of their state and federal approvals, gaining ground with agencies on permit applications while facing challenges from environmental and other groups. The struggle may continue as a result

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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Cozen O’Connor Blogs