PA High Court to Consider Whether Rule of Capture Applies to “Tres-Frac”

Ted Tredennick Energy

By: Ted Tredennick and Elliot Deese (DT previously blogged on this developing legal topic on April 26, 2018 and Feb. 7, 2019.) Last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case with wide-reaching implications for the entire hydraulic fracturing industry.1 As discussed in previous blog posts, at issue is: Whether the rule of capture precludes trespass liability …

Class Actions for Oil & Gas Royalty Owners

Ted Tredennick Energy

Like chili cook offs, high school football, and Texas toast, legal disputes over oil & gas royalties are a time- honored tradition in Texas—a tradition dating back to when oil was first discovered at Spindletop Field over 100 years ago. Two recent cases, Verde v. Burlington and Verde v. Koerner, demonstrate an unusual wrinkle to this common Texan squabble. In …

Drilling? Know Your Rights Below And Above

Mary Crawford Energy

A recent court opinion from West Virginia’s Supreme Court has provided another reminder to operators that, when drilling for minerals below neighboring tracts, a surface agreement is their safest bet to avoid disputes with surface owners. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals recently ruled on EQT Production Co. v. Crowder et al., a case related to mineral owners’ surface …

Pennsylvania Supreme Court to decide future of “Tres-Frac” (Trespass-Hydraulic Fracturing)

Kyle Wittenbraker Energy

In a decision which could unleash a “flood of litigation” the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will determine whether the “Tres-Frac” cause of action is viable in that state. At the end of January, Southwestern Energy Corporation filed its brief with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, appealing a Superior Court order in Briggs v. Southwestern Energy Co. that was discussed in an earlier …

Pennsylvania Court Dismantles Rule of Capture for Hydraulic Fracturing

Ted Tredennick Energy

By: Sabrina Tour Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania Superior Court held that the rule of capture is inapplicable to hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking. The longstanding rule of capture means that oil and gas resources belong to the person able to capture them through drilling wells. The rule of capture protects drillers from liability for draining of free-flowing oil …