November 13, 2014 Articles

Disputes in the Unconventional Oil and Gas Sector: A Historic Overview

Royalty, leasehold, and land-rights disputes continue to develop across a wide range of issues.

By Michael P. Emmert – November 13, 2014

Since 2009, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in shale-oil and shale-gas production (often termed unconventional production) that has reshaped the domestic and international energy markets. Domestically, this increase has resulted in cheaper natural-gas prices, more jobs and economic growth, a manufacturing renaissance, and reduced reliance on energy imports, as well as renewed debates involving electricity production and oil and gas transportation. However, the new production techniques of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling, among others, have led to concerns about inadequate regulation, increased air and water pollution, and other environmental and public-policy concerns. Consequently, as experienced and novice stakeholders flood the energy industry, the market has rapidly expanded, driving an increase in energy-related regulatory, legislative, and commercial disputes.


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