Bricker partners with Ohio advancement groups to host economic development trainings

Attorneys within Bricker & Eckler's economic development practice have partnered with APEG, JobsOhio and OEDA to design and host EDNow!, an upcoming economic development training program. EDNow! empowers elected and appointed community leaders, especially those within Southern and Eastern Ohio, to guide their local communities’ futures with cutting-edge economic development strategies. Buckeye Hills Regional Council, OVRDC and OMEGA have also assisted with this initiative.

The program will be offered in various Ohio locations on September 26 and October 10. For more information, including the schedule, location details and ticket information, visit the EDNow! event page.


Ohio EPA issues general permit authorization for storm water discharges

On September 17, 2018, Ohio EPA issued its General Permit Authorization for Storm Water Discharges Associated with Construction Activity from Oil and Gas Linear Transmission Line and Gathering Line Installation (the General Permit). Ohio EPA issued the permit in final form, effective immediately (with an effective date of September 17, 2018). Parties wishing to challenge the General Permit may do so by filing an appeal with the Environmental Review Appeals Commission (ERAC) within 30 days of the permit issuance – by October 17, 2018. For more, read the full story.


7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirms Illinois subsidy for nuclear generation facilities

On September 13, 2018, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long-awaited decision in the consolidated cases of Elec. Power Supply Assn. v. Anthony M. Star, 7th Cir. Nos. 17-2433, 17-2445, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 25980 (Sep. 13, 2018).  The decision — authored by the well-known jurist, Circuit Judge Frank Easterbrook — decided an issue that is very similar to an issue also currently pending before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the case of Coalition For Competitive Electricity, et al. v. Zibelman, et al., 2nd Cir. No. 17-2654. The issue in question is namely whether the Federal Power Act preempts a state law that sought to subsidize some of the state’s nuclear generation facilities. The Federal Power Act provision— 16 U.S.C. § 824(b)(1) — provides that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is to regulate the sale of electricity in interstate commerce, whereas the states are to regulate local distribution and the facilities used to generate power. For more, read the full story

Ohio, Oil & Gas Litigation

Judgment issued for oil and gas well operator

On September 6, 2018, the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas issued a decision in Theresa Jacobs, et al. v. Dye Oil, LLC, et al., C.P. Monroe No. 2017-189 (September 6, 2018), granting summary judgment for the operator of an oil and gas well on the grounds that (1) the subject lease had produced in paying quantities during the requisite state of limitations period; (2) that the operator had timely paid royalties under the lease; (3) that a well was commenced before the expiration of the primary term; and (4) that the producer had not breached any implied covenants. In 1979, the plaintiffs’ predecessor-in-interest leased over 73 acres to the defendants’ predecessors, Walter and Victor Dye. The subject lease contained the following language in the habendum clause: “Lessor does hereby grant unto the Lessee for the Term of two years (and so long thereafter as oil and gas is produced from the land leased and royalty or rentals paid by Lessee therefor) the exclusive right to mine for and produce petroleum and natural gas” from the property at issue.

The plaintiffs purchased 10 acres of the leased premises in 2010. In 2014, the plaintiffs sent the defendants a letter indicating that they were entitled to royalties for any oil and gas produced from their property. The defendants responded to the letter, agreeing to tender landowner royalty upon the receipt of a signed W-9. In lieu of executing the requisite tax documents, the plaintiffs brought suit alleging, in part, that the lease had expired by its own terms. This claim was based both on a claim for lack of production in paying quantities and the fact that the defendants had continued to pay royalties to the heirs of the plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest after the plaintiffs’ acquisition of the subject property in 2010. The court granted summary judgment to the operator, however, finding that the evidence showed that the well had been producing oil and gas in paying quantities since 2002, the defendants had fulfilled their obligations under the lease by timely paying royalties to the heirs of the plaintiff’s predecessor-in-interest since that time, that the well was drilled timely and that no implied covenants were breached. 


EnerVest names new president

Judson B. Walker has been named the new president of EnerVest Ltd, according to Globe Newswire. In this capacity, he will be responsible for managing the direction of EnerVest alongside CEO John B. Walker. For more, read the full story


Eclipse and Blue Ridge Mountain Resources plan to merge

Eclipse Resources Corp. will merge with Blue Ridge Mountain Resources in an all-stock transaction with a value of $908 million, according to Pittsburgh Business Times. The deal calls for Blue Ridge shareholders to receive 4.4259 shares of Eclipse Resources common stock for each share of Blue Ridge common stock. For more, read the full story


Shale boom turns 10

In 2007, the U.S. was expected to be one of the largest importers of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), according to Susanne Buckley, partner at Scioto Energy. Since that time, import terminals are being rapidly modified to export LNG to the global markets, positioning the U.S. to be one of the largest exporters by 2025. For more, read the full story


Proposed Pennsylvania legislation supports redefining brine

Pennsylvania State Senator Scott Hutchinson proposed a redraft of the Oil and Gas Act that redefines brine as non-waste used for environmental protection measures when it presents no significant threat, according to the Times Observer. The piece even mandates the Department of Environmental Protection should encourage its use when possible. For more, read the full story.



Current abandoned well-plugging conundrum in PA

Alabama-based Diversified Gas & Oil PLC operates by acquiring smaller companies, and their old and gas wells, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. However, the Pennsylvania DEP is cracking down on this business model, worried the cost for plugging its mass amounts of idle wells may fall on the state. For more, read the full story



Airport authority receives $219,000 royalty payment

The Jefferson County Regional Airport Authority received a royalty payment in the amount of $219,000 per its lease with an oil and gas company drilling under its property, according to the Herald-Star. County Commissioner Tom Gentile and the Airport authority President Brandon Reese both shared the sentiment that the payment will benefit the airport. For more, read the full story

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