PA Landowners File RICO Royalty Lawsuit Against Chesapeake/Williams

lawsuitAlong with acquiring Access Midstream (formerly Chesapeake Midstream), Williams has just acquired a brand new lawsuit. Two Bradford County, PA law firms along with a New Jersey law firm on Tuesday filed a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuit on behalf of 90 landowners in Bradford County against Chesapeake Energy and Williams Partners (because Williams is now the owner of what was Access Midstream) claiming Chessy and Williams/Access conspired to defraud landowners of royalty money by deducting post-production expenses they had no right to deduct…
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Cabot O&G Loses PA Supreme Court Case to Extend Lease

In October MDN told you about an important lawsuit that went to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, a case called Harrison v Cabot Oil & Gas (see Important Landowner/Driller Case Heads to PA Supreme Court). In brief, Susquehanna County, PA landowners Wayne and Mary Harrison signed a lease with Cabot Oil & Gas for $100 per acre and 12.5% royalties. Learning that others in the area got better deals and feeling they were not only hoodwinked but pressured into signing, they sued Cabot halfway through the lease to dissolve it. Ultimately that lawsuit was decided in favor of Cabot. But by the time the lawsuit was done and dusted, the original 5-year term had expired without Cabot drilling. The Harrisons claimed since Cabot hadn’t drilled, the lease is now over with. Cabot said the lease went on “pause” when the Harrison’s sued–you can’t very well drill with an active lawsuit. This “lease on pause” case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court in PA, and on Tuesday they rendered their decision…
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Chesapeake Energy Sues McClendon for Taking His Rolodex with Him

This is rich. Yesterday Chesapeake Energy sued its former co-founder, Aubrey McClendon, claiming he took his rolodex (“contacts list” for our younger readers) with him when he left the building. Chesapeake said the data McClendon took with him had “trade secrets” in it. McClendon, in responding to the frivolous lawsuit, said that the data he took was part of his contractual agreement with Chesapeake. McClendon was and remains Chessy’s biggest partner, with a working interest in almost all of the wells they’ve drilled. Apparently his ongoing relationship with the company he co-founded bothers the Powers That Be (corporate raiders Carl Icahn and Mason Hawkins)…
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OH Frack Truck Facility Given Green Light, Mayor Tries to Stop It

MDN first told you about a frack truck washing facility in Columbiana, OH last September (see Frack Truck Washing Facility Shut Down Until ODNR Permit Issued). The facility, flying under the name of Clear Creek, made a misstep by not first obtaining a permit from the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources before it began operations. They immediately stopped operations and applied for the permit–it was a brand new requirement that Clear Creek was not aware of. A temporary permit to operate was granted by ODNR last week. The mayor of Columbiana, Ryan Blakeman, opposes the facility’s right to operate and he’s trying to find any grounds he can to appeal the ODNR permit and stop Clear Creek…
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Rex Energy 2014: Revenues Up 39%, Production Up 66%, 50 New Wells

Rex Energy, our “little energy company that could, and does” in the Marcellus and Utica Shale turned in its 2014 financial and operational update yesterday. Rex had a good year in 2014, despite prices for natural gas heading lower. They hit a new high for production–averaging 154.4 million cubic feet equivalent per day (MMcfe/d)–that’s 66% more than the 2013 average. Total proved reserves jumped up 57% to 1.3 trillion cubic feet. Rex drilled 50 new wells across their acreage in the Marcellus and Utica Shale, and they brought 46 wells online during the year. They earned $298 million in revenue in 2014 (up 39% over 2013) and they have $420 million of liquidity–money available to use for more drilling…
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PA’s Schizophrenic Anti-Drillers: Go Slow, Hurry Up

I'm a PunkAnti-drillers are an interesting (and hypocritical, perhaps schizophrenic) bunch, as we’ve pointed out many times. They eschew “dirty” fossil fuels, yet they use fossil fuels every day, from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed (and even while they’re sleeping). Take the anti-drillers in Pennsylvania. A story mainstream media refused to report was the fact that the PA State Democrat Party–the home of anti-drillers in the Keystone State–passed an official plank in their platform in June 2013 ahead of the election for governor that would place an ongoing moratorium on all new Marcellus Shale drilling in the state (see PA Democrat Party Votes to End Marcellus Shale Drilling Statewide). Their reasoning? We need more data. We need to slow it down. We don’t have enough facts. We need to deliberate. Contrast that with anti-drilling Supervisor Andy Donello from Upper Nazareth Township in southeast PA (and others like him) with respect to the PennEast Pipeline…
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Canada’s 1st LNG Export Facility Gets Green Light; Marcellus Gas?

The Bear Head LNG export facility in Nova Scotia, Canada has just taken another huge step forward. You may recall last August when we outlined the $2.2 billion project proposed by Australian company Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, or LNGL (see Deal to Purchase Site for Nova Scotia LNG Plant Advances Quickly). On Tuesday, the company reported they have received necessary Canadian regulatory approvals to move forward with the project. Why are we going on about an LNG plant in Nova Scotia? Because Marcellus Shale gas will feed it…
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