Fracking Insider

Fracking Insider

Thank You Veterans!

Posted in Key Documents

Flyover #1The Kelley Drye team was honored to host a number of veterans and others at our Washington, DC office on Friday to view the Arsenal of Democracy, an antique air armada flyover to mark the 70th anniversary of V-E Day and the end of World War II. We here at Fracking Insider are honored to work alongside a number of distinguished veterans, including our own fearless leader, John Wittenborn (USAF Ret.), and we are proud of the veterans in our families as well. In honor of this momentous event, the veterans in our lives, and all the men and women who served, we would like to re-post the following resources for helping veterans find jobs in the oil & gas industry. Giving a veteran a job is not a bad way to say thanks for their service.

  1. http://www.veteranstoenergy.org/
  2. http://military.getintoenergy.com/
  3. http://www.troopstoenergyjobs.com/

Also, don’t forget to check the job boards for companies in the oil & gas industry, including those that made the 2015 list of the top 100 Military Friendly Employers®:

  1. Baker Hughes (ranked #3!)
  2. Fugro (USA)
  3. Devon Energy
  4. Patterson-UTI Drilling Company, LLC
  5. Halliburton
  6. Berkshire Hathaway Energy
  7. BP America, Inc.
  8. Chesapeake Energy Corporation
  9. Shell
  10. Sunoco Logistics

Thanks to all who have served!

(Photos by Randy King.)

Flyover #2

Pa. Toxic Tort Settlement Shows Potential Danger in Benzene Exposure Lawsuits

Posted in Litigation

A settlement recently reached between U.S. Steel Corp. and the widow of a Pennsylvania man allegedly exposed to benzene may fuel use of toxic tort lawsuits to sue over benzene exposures. The plaintiff argued that her husband, who had worked as a pressman with former Stanford Register Co., had been exposed on a daily basis to benzene over decades and consequently contracted acute myelogenous leukemia, which caused his death three years after his diagnosis.  The terms of the settlement are confidential.

Prior to settlement, plaintiff’s counsel had submitted several days’ worth of testimony on the defendant’s knowledge and defendant’s lack of warnings of benzene’s potential to cause leukemia or other fatal blood disorders. Benzene is used in the manufacture of plastics, detergents, pesticides, and other chemicals. It is also a component of petroleum-derived fuels.  Recently, OSHA identified benzene exposure as a significant risk to upstream oil and gas workers monitoring and testing flowback and other produced fluids.

Obama Administration Releases First Installment of the Quadrennial Energy Review

Posted in Regulatory

The Obama Administration released the first installment of its Quadrennial Energy Review (“QER”), which focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution (“TS&D”). The QER was first launched in Obama’s Climate Action Plan in June 2013, and is designed to provide an overview of and guidance for federal energy policy. The QER takes the form of annual installments over the four-year period to create a “moving spotlight” on elements of the energy system. The Presidential Mandate instructed that the first such element be American infrastructure of transporting, transmitting, and delivering energy, given the importance of these segments for the continued growth of our energy industry. Continue Reading

A New Weapon in the Fight for Land Development: Use of Takings Lawsuits to Challenge Local Fracking Bans

Posted in Litigation

Owners of land with substantial oil and gas resources have begun using the “takings” concept of property law to challenge local bans on fracking. “Takings claims,” which traditionally involve the seizure of some or all of private property without just compensation to the owner, are now being expanded by plaintiffs to encompass the idea that moratoria and bans on fracking deprive landowners of their mineral rights without compensating for the lost economic value of the oil and gas that could be produced. Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 41

Posted in Legislative, Litigation

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 41 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Maryland, North Carolina, and Ohio. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate to ask. Continue Reading

Obama Hands Down Two Large Land Protection Decisions for Alaska

Posted in Regulatory

Withdrawal of Areas from Oil and Gas Leasing Regions

Earlier this year, President Obama announced the withdrawal of five zones in the Chukchi Sea and Beaufort Sea oil and gas leasing regions, totaling 9.8 million acres. These include the Barrow and Kaktovik Whaling Areas in the Beaufort Seas, and the Hanna Shoal and Subsistence Areas and 25-mile buffer zone in the Chukchi Sea. The protections were announced alongside and appear as deferrals in the draft 2017–2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program,[1] published on January 29.

Obama Hands Down Two Large Land Protection Decisions for AlaskaSource: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Some of these areas had previously been excluded from leasing plans by both Democratic and Republican Administrations, and others are newly exempted. Areas in the Chukchi and Beaufort Sea regions and Cook Inlet region are identified for potential sale in the draft Proposed Program. Continue Reading

Federal Government Releases Regulations for Fracking on Federal Lands

Posted in Regulatory

Last Friday, the Department of Interior released its final rule updating the regulations that govern hydraulic fracturing on federal public and American Indian lands. It covers standards for wells and well construction, disposal of wastewater, and disclosure of chemicals used in the fracking process. These regulations have been in the works since 2012, and Interior received more than 1.5 million comments on its draft rules.

The new rule will require validation of well integrity and strong cement barriers between the wellbore and water zones. Operators also must take measures to lower the risk of cross-well contamination with fracking chemicals and fluids, a goal that will be achieved through the mandatory submission of more detailed information on the geology, depth, and location of preexisting wells. Construction also must be guided by a specifically designed and implemented casing and cementing program that follows best practices and meets performance standards in order to protect and isolate usable water. During well construction, the site must monitor cementing operations and must take remedial action if there is an indication of inadequate cementing. If remedial action is taken, the operator must prove it was successful. Before beginning the hydraulic fracturing operation, the operator must perform a successful mechanical integrity test. The operator must also monitor annulus pressure throughout the fracturing operation. Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 40

Posted in Litigation, Regulatory

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 40 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate to ask. Continue Reading

Critical Habitat Designations Pose Substantial Threat to Oil and Gas Development

Posted in Regulatory

The federal government can restrict access to public lands for oil and gas drilling purposes through a number of means. Recently, President Obama’s proposal to designate millions of acres of land in Alaska as wilderness made the national press, as did his recent designation of forestlands in California as a national monument and his outright removal of areas off the coast of Alaska from planned lease sales. While these actions are important and deserve close scrutiny, it is both interesting and alarming that critical habitat designations under the Endangered Species Act rarely command the headlines like wilderness and monument designations. Continue Reading

Hydraulic Fracturing: State Regulatory Roundup Vol. 39

Posted in Regulatory

Fracking Insider Readers: We are pleased to bring you Volume 39 of our State Regulatory Roundup, including updates in Maryland, Oregon, and Virginia. As we explained in earlier volumes, we designed the Roundup to provide quick overviews on state regulatory activity. If you have any questions on any of these summaries, please do not hesitate to ask. Continue Reading

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