Roughly 15 years ago, many Pennsylvania landowners entered into oil and gas leases in the expectation of receiving royalties for the extraction of shale gas and oil underlying their properties. Today, as natural gas prices remain low, and fossil fuels generally—including methane leaks specifically—encounter policy and regulatory resistance because of attention to climate change, lessees may not move as rapidly to develop marginal leaseholds. Indeed, some may not continue exploration or production at all, raising the question of when a lease ends. Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court offered some guidance in SLT Holdings v. Mitch-Well Energy, No. 6 WAP 2020 (Pa. Apr. 29, 2021).

Continue reading the full Legal Intelligencer article, “Is the Oil and Gas Lease Over? Court Ruling Offers Guidance.

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Photo of David Mandelbaum David Mandelbaum

David G. Mandelbaum represents clients facing problems under environmental laws. He regularly represents clients in lawsuits and also has helped clients achieve satisfactory outcomes through regulatory negotiation or private transactions. A Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, David teaches Superfund, and…

David G. Mandelbaum represents clients facing problems under environmental laws. He regularly represents clients in lawsuits and also has helped clients achieve satisfactory outcomes through regulatory negotiation or private transactions. A Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, David teaches Superfund, and Oil and Gas Law in rotation at the Temple University Beasley School of Law as well as an environmental litigation course at Suffolk (Boston) Law School.

Since United States v. Atlas Minerals, the first multi-generator Superfund contribution case to go to trial in 1993, Mr. Mandelbaum has been engaged in matters involving allocation of costs among responsible parties, especially under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).  He has tried large cases and resolved others as lead counsel.  He has written, spoken, and taught extensively on the subject.  More recently he also has been engaged to assist lead counsel from this firm and others:

  • to develop cost allocation methodologies;
  • to craft expert testimony in support of a favored methodology (given a definition of “fairness,” why one methodology better tracks it than another);
  • to develop efficient case management approaches; and to assist private allocation as part of the neutral team.

Concentrations

  • Air, water and waste regulation
  • Superfund and contamination
  • Climate change
  • Oil and gas development
  • Water rights