Judge OKs Class Action Royalty Lawsuit Against 3 NEPA Drillers

On October 3, 2016, landowner James Slamon filed a lawsuit against Carrizo and Reliance Industries in the Susquehanna County (PA) Court of Common Pleas. Slamon alleged Carrizo and Reliance underpaid royalties on oil and gas leases to him and a class of other landowners “exceeding one hundred members.” The drillers got the case moved to federal court on October 31, 2016. Fast forward to this past Monday and a judge in the federal court case has certified (in part) the class-action request. The lawsuit will now move forward.
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PA Gov. Wolf’s Own DEP Doesn’t Want RGGI Carbon Tax

Big time opposition continues to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to force the state to participate in the so-called Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a tax on carbon aimed at coal and natural gas-fired electric power plants, with an eye to driving them out of business (see our RGGI stories here). Even Wolf’s own state Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), an executive agency under his thumb, doesn’t want the state to join RGGI.
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New M-U Pipes More Likely to Get Built than Gas Pipes in Oil Plays

According to an S&P Global Platts article, “spending cuts by producers and pipeline operators likely will reshape what and when natural gas midstream infrastructure is developed over the next several years.” The cuts and reshaping will, however, be “uneven.” The experts interviewed say pipeline and other midstream projects in gas-focused plays, like the Marcellus/Utica, are more likely to get built while new gas infrastructure in oil plays like the Permian and Bakken are less likely to get built.
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Obama Judge Blocks New Pipe Projects that Use NP12 Permit

Obama Judge Brian Morris

A Montana federal judge appointed by Lord Barack Hussein Obama–Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris–ruled in April that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are too stupid to know whether or not using a Nationwide Permit 12 (NP12) will harm so-called endangered species in the building of the Keystone XL oil pipeline in the Midwest. But Judge Morris didn’t stop there. He later ruled that NP12 permits for ALL pipelines (not electric power lines or other construction using NP12, just pipelines) are not allowed. The ruling stops cold pipeline construction across the country that uses NP12 permits, including Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) and Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) here in the M-U.
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Oil Price Collapse Appears Over Already…Gas Price Impact?

What happens in the oil patch has a direct bearing on the financial health of gas drillers in the Marcellus/Utica, which is why we periodically cover happenings in oil. We’re now beginning to see articles with the theme that the oil price crash is already over. Yesterday West Texas Intermediate (WTI) closed at $32.50/barrel. Still not great, but a lot better than the negative $37.63 we saw a few weeks ago! However, does a higher price for oil automatically mean shale oil drilling will immediately return, and with it more associated gas keeping the price of natgas low?
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Shale Energy Stories of Interest: Wed, May 20, 2020

MARCELLUS/UTICA REGION: Ascent Resources announces new Chief Financial Officer; OTHER U.S. REGIONS: Hydraulic fracturing demand expected to bounce back in the fall; Texas fears losing oil-rich lands in Chinese takeover of weakened energy companies; NATIONAL: Biden would ‘stop Keystone XL for good’ if elected U.S. president; FERC Chair Chatterjee for Va. governor?; Rare Earth Emergency #1 (video); Rare Earth Emergency #2 (video).
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