The History Of Pennsylvania Oil And Gas Law

How did the oil boom begin in the United States? In 1859, Colonel Edwin Drake drilled the first producing oil well in North America. It was in Titusville, Pennsylvania. No one knew oil and gas were there to own before that well was drilled.

The well started the country's oil and gas development that went on to produce competition between big oil tycoons. The development of Pennsylvania Case Law concerning oil and gas commenced with The Drake Well.

But as hot as oil and gas came onto the market, the boom slowed, and the rush was over as many of those seeking oil went to Texas. For decades, there were almost no substantial developments in the law governing Pennsylvania oil and gas. That is, until another discovery at the turn of the millennium.

A New Way To Drill = Recent Developments In Law

Thousands of feet below the surface of the earth is rock called Marcellus Shale. Found in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas, there is natural gas trapped in small spaces within the rock. Previously, no one had developed a way to extract that natural gas.

However, in the early 2000s, the shale gas trend began to grow after a new drilling technique was created — drilling horizontally and diagonally into the shale.

Now, there are new developments in Pennsylvania oil and gas law because of these different techniques. Those techniques, coupled with the fact that oil and gas laws are more than a 100 years old, have lead to influx of recent case law.

Many issues exist now that did not lead to litigation in the past. Landowners are likely to negotiate for higher percentages of royalties in their transactions. In the early days, someone who had no conception of methods to drill down and get gas out of the ground, was happy to get a small monthly payment for the acquisition. Today, it is a much different environment.

An Area Of Law That Continues To Evolve

After the discovery of new drilling techniques, the last 10 years have brought about as many cases as there were the 100 years before. It continues to be an evolving area of law.

The attorneys at Delaney & Fritz, P.C., have prepared certificates of title for oil and gas exploration and production companies, for more than 40 years.

To learn more about the products and services Delaney & Fritz, P.C., offers contact the lawyers at the firm at 724-349-2255 or with email.