This post is also available at my LinkedIn page.
Earlier this year I wanted to sate my desire to write and publish a law review-esque article as that has been a goal of mine for a few years now, and I am pleased to say that I did and it is now ready at this link. I waited until I thought of a topic that would be both professionally interesting to myself and others, as well as a learning experience for me – it’s not a fun exercise to write something that long on something that doesn’t interest you. Given that there has been a lot of activity in my home state of New York in terms of hydrofracturing first being under a moratorium – and then outright banned per a state-issued report with little evidence but many general postulations – I thought it would be interesting to analyze the circumstances around it from the viewpoint of the general energy market downturn that we have been experiencing since late 2014. More specifically, I knew that there was some talk of legal challenges being waged against New York State, but due to the current environment I believe and write that no meaningful legal challenges will likely be fought against the ban.
In 2014 and early 2015 I had read quite a bit on this issue and debate, but much of it was either New Yorkers with no real energy industry experience talking at length, or those with more energy industry experience who may not have been as familiar with New York as I was. In that way, I wanted to lend a somewhat fresher perspective on the particular topic – a former New Yorker who is now a Texas oil and gas attorney / landman, and perhaps can flesh out some of the subtlety and nuance in the debate to which others back home would not necessarily be privy. My colleagues and cohorts know that Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia are very active states for Marcellus and Utica oil and gas production (mainly gas production), but some are not aware that a large portion of New York State rests on those shale formations, as the below picture demonstrates (credit to oilindependents.org):
Ultimately, my goal was to get the article published in a law review but I knew that realistically I faced long odds. I also sent it to industry publications like AAPL’s “Landman” magazine, telling them that a pared down version might be a good read for other colleagues in the industry. Ultimately, I chose to publish it online – I spent several months writing it, and while I don’t think that it’s groundbreaking or a must-read, it does provide analysis of a debated issue from a fresh perspective. Thank you in advance to anyone who does decide to read it in part or in whole.