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2015 Annual Oil and Gas Law Update

Jason Newman, 61st Annual Institute Proceedings (2015)

This chapter summarizes recent statutory, regulatory, and common law developments concerning upstream oil and gas development in the United States that have occurred since the 2014 Annual Institute.

§ 10.02 Federal
[1] Cases
[a] Deduction of Post-Production Costs—Warren v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C.; Potts v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C.
… the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. and Chesapeake Operating, Inc. (collectively, Chesapeake) did not breach gas royalty provisions at issue where Chesapeake computed the royalty as a percentage of the amount realized at the wellhead and subtracted post-production costs incurred downstream from the point of sale. …

[b] Class Certification of Royalty Claims—EQT Production Co. v. Adair
… the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit signaled that class certification requires district courts to rigorously analyze each Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 (Rule 23) requirement …

[c] State Law Price Fixing Claims Not Preempted—Oneok, Inc. v. Learjet, Inc.
… the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed by a 7-2 vote the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that the Natural Gas Act (NGA) does not preempt state antitrust law claims aimed at pipelines’ price manipulation …

[2] Statutes/Regulations
[a] Proposed Amendment to Royalty Valuation