Josh Becker and Beverlee Silva participated in this conference sponsored by HB Litigation Conferences. The firm was a sponsor of this program and Josh Becker served as conference co-chair. Beverlee Silva moderated the session, "Examining a Fracking Contamination Case or Injury.” Beverlee’s session addressed the following topics.
What a typical injury or contamination case looks like
- Legal theories alleged – negligence, nuisance, etc.
- Strategies for building your case or defense
- Case structures
- Deciding when and if there is an opportunity for resolution
- Potential liability to working interest owners in mineral leases where fracking is being done
The conference focused on the environmental and legal challenges the increased use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract natural gas from underground rock formations. The following topics were covered during the program.
- What are “unconventional natural gas drilling”, “shale gas,” and “hydraulic fracturing – or fracking”- a technical discussion of what it is, when it came to be and its use today.
- Pre-drilling and exploration injuries
- The chemical make up of the “fracking” brew – some chemicals include diesel fuel, benzene, methanol, formaldehyde, etc.
- The hottest shale gas plays with the most drilling
- The incentives and benefits of unconventional natural gas drilling to landowners and others
- The potential harms of unconventional natural gas drilling
- Discussion of recent spills and contaminations
- What state and federal agencies like the EPA have to say about the process
- What options are available to landowners
- Potential third-party liability insurance recovery for energy companies facing allegations of fracking-related liability
- Potential first-party property and business interruption insurance coverage for energy companies engaging in fracking