Sara Jenkins - Research Assistant
Jackie Schweichler - Staff Attorney
The following information is an update of recent local, state, national, and international legal developments relevant to shale gas.
Pipelines: NY State Department of Environmental Conservation Denies Permit for Proposed Northeast Supply Enhancement Pipeline Project
On May 15, 2019, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) denied a permit, without prejudice, for Williams’ NorthEast Supply Enhancement proposed pipeline project (Project). More specifically, DEC denied the Water Quality Certification required under section 401 of the Clean Water Act. DEC cited impacts to aquatic life and public health caused by rising copper and mercury levels that would result from the Project. The Project, operated by Williams, is designed to expand the existing Transco pipeline system in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, providing an additional 400 million cubic feet of natural gas per day to the Northeast.
Production and Operation: U.S. EIA Drilling Productivity Report Shows Increases in New-Well Production and Overall Oil and Gas Production.
On May 13, 2019, the U.S. Energy Information Administration released its monthly Drilling Productivity Report (Report). The Report uses data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation in a given region. Most notably, the Report shows the largest increase in the Permian region for new-well oil production per rig, from 654 barrels/day in May, to an estimated 682 barrels/day in June. The Haynesville region had the highest increase in new-well gas production per rig, from 10,665 cubic feet per day to 10,834 cubic feet per day. The Permian region also had the highest estimated overall oil production increase from May to June, and the Appalachian region had the highest estimated overall gas production from May to June.
Federal Lands: Bureau of Land Management Releases Draft Lewistown Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement
On May 17, 2019, the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management released a draft resource management plan and draft environmental impact statement for certain counties in Montana. This plan covers 12.9 million acres of land and almost 2 million acres of federal mineral estate. Issues covered within the plan include mineral and energy development, livestock grazing, soil, water resources, socioeconomics, and more. According to the press release, the purpose of the plan is to analyze environmental, economic, and sociological impacts of various resource management options.
From the National Oil & Gas Law Experts:
George Bibikos, At the Well Weekly, (May 17, 2019)
Charles Sartain, The Difficulty of Enforcing an Unwritten Contract, (May 14, 2019)
HB828: would amend well permit requirements in Title 58 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes (Laid on the table- May 14, 2019)
HB827: would allow landowners living in the Delaware River Basin to receive compensation calculated in the same manner as other eminent domain actions (Remarks see House Journal Page- May 14, 2019)
Follow us on Twitter at PSU Ag & Shale Law (@AgShaleLaw) to receive ShaleLaw HotLinks:
“Saudi Aramco considers investing in Marcellus Shale” - Shale Gas Reporter
“Pa. DEP orders Energy Transfer to fix damage to streams and wetlands” - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“DOE Makes Cyber Security Investment” - Rigzone
“North Dakota to sue Washington state over oil train standard” - Associated Press
“Third-biggest US coal company files for bankruptcy” - Associated Press
“Occidental wins $38B bid for Anadarko” - Energy Wire
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This week we published two new Shale Law in the Spotlight articles: Shale Law in the Spotlight – Update on State Critical Infrastructure Protection Statutes: Indiana, Iowa, and Louisiana and Shale Law in the Spotlight –North Dakota Governor Burgum Signs Critical Infrastructure Protection Legislation.
Check the April Agricultural Law Brief! Each month we compile the biggest legal developments in agriculture. If you’d like to receive this update via email, check out our website and subscribe!
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