PA Court Ruling Could Cause Major Problems for Frackers

Whatever the pros and cons of fracking, I can see the logic behind the ruling.


Wow, i really screwed up the formatting on the OP. Maybe a mod can fix the closing quote tag.

So under this ruling, you could only frack if you’ve secured rights for all of the land over the reservoir (however big that is), not just of the land where your operation is set up?

Is there any chance this case could make it to a federal court, and hence be applicable outside of Pennsylvania?

I doubt it, mineral rights laws are very state specific.

The problem becomes even more complex with Federal leases, which is most likely to make it to the federal system, but it is in limbo right now on overlapping oil/gas and coal leases.

Note how the BLM refused to take action in this case, which they have direct responsibility for.

I don’t think so. I think the point is that gas only flows if the rock it’s in is fractured. So to release gas from a neighboring property you would have to fracture the rock on that property. There is no connected reservoir in the usual sense.

I’d imagine that it’s difficult to tell what’s going on underground. How do you know if a given fracture extended under a neighboring property and released gas there?

If I’m reading it right, extracting hydrocarbons that flow from under the neighbor’s property to my well are ok (cue im_drinking_your_milkshake.gif), but the court has ruled that sending fluids under the neighbor’s property is a tresspass.

I don’t think (but would appreciate if someone who knows more could comment) that this is a matter of horizontally drilling under someone else’s property, but a matter of the fracking fluids permeating. Or the fractures propogating.