The Vinson & Elkins Shale and Fracking Tracker
Our Shale and Fracking Tracker focuses on legal, regulatory and other newsworthy developments that affect our clients involved in recovering oil and gas from the emerging shale plays using the critical techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Our Fracking Tracker is a product of our Shale and Fracking Practice Group, a cross-disciplinary and international team led by senior members of our Litigation, Environmental, Transactional, and Intellectual Property practice groups. Visit our V&E Fracking Practice Group page to learn more about our attorneys and our practice in this dynamic area.
NEW Vinson & Elkins U.S. State Hydraulic Fracturing Resources
Vinson & Elkins Global Hydraulic Fracturing Resources
V&E Fracking Flashes
August 29, 2016 - Colorado Anti-Fracking Measures Fail to Satisfy Signature Validation Requirements
State officials in Colorado have indicated that supporters of two anti-fracking initiatives did not collect enough valid signatures to qualify the initiatives for the November ballot. Supporters of the initiatives initially submitted more than the required 98,492 signatures for each initiative, but fell short of meeting the required threshold after the Secretary of State’s office screened the signatures to determine their validity. The measures would have authorized local communities to limit or ban hydraulic fracturing and created a 2,500-foot setback requirement, which could have severely limited oil and gas production throughout the state. The announcement marks another high profile defeat for anti-fracking activists following the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year that municipal regulation of hydraulic fracturing is preempted by existing state law. Proponents of the initiatives have 30 days to appeal the decision to the Denver District Court.
July 15, 2016 - EPA Continues to Aggressively Target Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector
On May 12, 2016, EPA issued three final rules all related to the regulation of air emissions from oil and gas operations. The most significant of these regulations was a set of new requirements to limit Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and methane emissions from certain new, modified, and reconstructed upstream and midstream sources in the oil and gas sector. As previously discussed, these regulations, known as Quad Oa, are likely to have a major impact on businesses in the oil and gas industry, including operators engaged in hydraulic fracturing.
EPA has signaled that it plans to expand its air regulations to apply to additional sources in the sector. Specifically, at the same time that it issued the new Quad Oa regulations, EPA also issued a draft Information Collection Request (ICR) that will inform EPA’s efforts to regulate emissions from existing oil and gas sources. In addition to the mandatory ICR, EPA recently issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice seeking additional information that “may be key in addressing emissions from existing oil and natural gas sources under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act (CAA).” Read our full post discussing these developments on V&E’s Climate Change Blog.
V&E Fracking Resources
Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Disclosure Requirements
Vinson & Elkins’ Shale & Fracking Practice Group has updated its comprehensive Hydraulic Fracturing Fluid Disclosure Requirements chart that summarizes state law for both current and proposed hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure requirements. The chart updates the hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure laws for Ohio, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. States that currently require disclosures related to hydraulic fracturing fluids include Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia and Wyoming. States with proposed disclosure requirements include California, Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, and New York. Additionally, Michigan is currently considering legislation to change its disclosure requirements. The chart also covers the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed hydraulic fracturing fluid disclosure requirements for drilling on federal lands.
The chart notes required disclosures, any trade secret or proprietary information protection provisions in the disclosure requirements, how the disclosure must occur, and when operators must make the required disclosures. Click here to view the chart. We will update the chart as new rules are proposed and adopted, so please check the website periodically for updates.