The first four months of 2017 have been chock full of major developments in the law surrounding oil and gas, and we have been reporting on them regularly in our podcast, Energy Law Round Up. Today, we bring you a convenient summary of everything that’s happened so far this year.
Back in January, we addressed critical new guidance from the Texas Supreme Court about when a pipeline company can qualify as a common carrier for purposes of exercising eminent domain powers; troublesome new BLM rules against flaring natural gas; and a watershed lawsuit on subsurface mineral trespass:
Then, in February, we reported that the Texas Supreme Court agreed to rule on the validity of county- and state-wide mineral conveyances (thus setting the stage for what could be a massive shake-up in oil-and-gas title disputes); keyed you into important new case law on joinder requirements in royalty mass actions; and delved into the continuing controversy over the alleged correlation between fracing and seismic activity:
Later in February, our podcast covered the Texas Supreme Court’s guidance on defamation claims in the oil patch and, also, on groundwater contamination claims predicated on abandoned wells:
In March, we got you up to speed on a host of important new decisions, on issues ranging from the intersection of fraud with disclaimers of warranties of mineral title; to proper jury charges in cessation-of-production-in-paying-quantities cases; to key developments in federal fracing regulations and emerging bankruptcy law principles affecting the midstream sector:
Last month, we focused our listeners on the nation’s first legislative fracking ban; on a lower bar for class certification in royalty underpayment actions; and on multiple decisions out of the Texas Supreme Court that could spawn a whole new wave of mineral title disputes:
Finally, also in April, we discussed the intersection of the oil patch with class actions and the Fair Labor Standards Act; the federal government’s liability for the environmental cleanup of refinery waste; and a shortsighted discovery ruling that could leave the Dakota Access pipeline vulnerable to terrorist attacks: