Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC


 Contact Spilman's Marcellus Shale Practice Group 



Morgantown, W.Va.

Morgantown, W.Va.

Morgantown, W.Va.

Court Strikes Down Morgantown, W.Va. Drilling Ban

As previously reported in the July edition of Marcellus Fairway: The Play Today, Spilman litigators, namely James A. Walls, Michael S. Garrison and Tamara B. Williamson, were diligently working to have the City of Morgantown's fracking ban overturned. On this topic, we are pleased to report the following information.

The Circuit Court of Monongalia County, W.Va. entered summary judgment on Aug. 12, 2011, overturning the City of Morgantown's ordinance banning horizontal drilling and fracking in and around the city. The Court determined that the drilling ban is preempted by the State's regulatory scheme and is therefore invalid, ruling in favor of Northeast Natural Energy ("Northeast").
Judge Susan B. Tucker's order came in a  lawsuit filed by Northeast shortly after the ordinance was enacted in late June. Northeast has two Marcellus natural gas wells at a decades-old industrial site across the  Monongahela River from Morgantown. The two wells were fully permitted by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection three months before the ordinance was enacted.
Northeast is represented by Walls, Garrison and Williamson, each of whom is a skilled litigator with experience in the natural gas industry.



Pa. Marcellus Commission Makes Recommendations to Gov. Corbett

by Kevin M. Eddy

Pittsburgh, Pa. 


On July 22, 2011, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission in Harrisburg, Pa. forwarded to the Governor several recommendations to allow Pennsylvania to develop a comprehensive, strategic proposal for the responsible and environmentally sound development of the Marcellus Shale.

Back in March 2011, the Governor created the Commission to address changes to the laws and rules for gas drilling in Pennsylvania. The Commission is chaired by Lt. Governor Jim Cawley and consists of 29 other members from government, business and environmental groups. The Commission was broken down to four working groups focusing on environmental protection, economic development, infrastructure and local impact. Each of the working groups presented their report to the full commission for a vote with an opportunity to make amendments. The Commission took testimony at its monthly meetings which were held in various locations throughout Pennsylvania. Click here to read highlights of the recommendations.




In the News
Flame Marker

Pa. PUC Exercises Jurisdiction Over Marcellus Developer
by Barry A. Naum

Harrisburg, Pa.  

In an Order entered on June 14, 2011, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission ("PUC") approved a Certificate of Public Convenience for Laser Northeast Gathering Company, LLC ("Laser") to act as a "public utility" within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Although there are two additional cases pending before the PUC on similar issues, the Laser Order constitutes the PUC's first exercise of jurisdiction over a Marcellus Shale developer, and it signifies a potential new realm of governmental oversight and regulation that all similar developers should carefully consider.

Read the full article on our website.


Flame Marker

W.Va. Stimulus for Development of Downstream Manufacturing

by Dale W. Steager

Charleston, W.Va.   


There has been much discussion about building one or more ethane cracking plants within the Marcellus gas footprint. However, there has not been as much discussion of building downstream manufacturing facilities that use products produced at the ethane cracking facility. Recently, the West Virginia Legislature enacted revisions to the tax code to stimulate development of downstream manufacturing facilities in West Virginia. The focus of this article is on those changes.


Read the full article on our website.  


Flame Marker

Chesapeake Announces Oil Find in Utica Shale Acreage 


Chesapeake Energy Corp. has been very open about the discovery of petroleum in the company's Ohio Utica Shale acreage. CEO Aubrey McClendon estimates the find could be worth $15 billion to $20 billion to the company and its shareholders. Click here to read more about this find.


Flame Marker

CONSOL to Sell Half Its Marcellus Wells & Acreage 


CONSOL Energy Inc. will sell half its interests in Marcellus Shale acreage and wells to Noble Energy Inc., in  a deal worth $3.4 billion. The deal is expected to close Sept. 30. Click here to read more.


Flame Marker

Five Gas Industry Vehicles Crash in a Week     


Five natural gas industry vehicle accidents occurred in one week in the Upper Ohio Valley Region of W.Va. The trend of increasing crashes has local authorities concerned. To read more, click here.  

Bill Herlihy

Marcellus Shale Team Member

William M. Herlihy (Charleston) 

Bill has worked for more than 25 years in the areas of natural resource and energy law throughout the Appalachian Basin. His practice includes:  the acquisition and sale of assets; the preparation and interpretation of leases, service contracts, sales contracts and other agreements; real property matters; conflicts between the gas and coal estates; regulatory disputes; and financial services. Bill has performed these services for exploration, production and midstream companies in the oil and gas industry. To view Bill's full professional biography, click here.  


Please be aware that this email publication is distributed with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor are not rendering legal or other professional advice on specific facts or matters and, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use.

Responsible Attorney: Michael J. Basile

This email was sent to tfridley@spilmanlaw.com by news@spilmanlaw.com |  
Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC | Spilman Center | 300 Kanawha Blvd., E. | Charleston | WV | 25301