In this week's news update, Goodrich Petroleum is selling part of its Eagle Ford holdings, and lawsuits brought by landowners protesting land seizure for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline are assigned a trial date.

A judge in Nebraska has scheduled an October trial on a Holt County lawsuit aimed at keeping TransCanada Corp. from seizing land to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Seven landowners filed lawsuits after the state Supreme Court tossed out an earlier similar lawsuit, with three justices saying the plaintiffs in the case didn’t have standing to sue because they didn’t prove TransCanada was seeking their land.

In January, the company filed legal papers in nine counties to invoke eminent domain for land that’s needed to construct, operate and maintain the pipeline. The pipeline would go from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

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The nonjury trial date of Oct. 19 was set by District Judge Mark Kozisek.

Goodrich Petroleum Selling Eagle Ford Acreage

Goodrich Petroleum Corp. says it will sell a portion of its leases in the Eagle Ford Shale in a $118 million deal, the company announced July 27.

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The company, based in Houston, says it expects to see a gain of $50 to $60 million on the sale after adjustment. It will use the new money to pay down its short-term debt and boost the amount of cash it has on hand.

Goodrich did not reveal who bought the acreage.

Marcellus, Utica Shales Provide 85 Percent of US Shale Gas Production Growth Since 2012

The productivity of natural gas wells in the Marcellus and Utica shales is steadily increasing because of improvements in precision and efficiency of horizontal drilling and fracking, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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Since January 2012, natural gas production in the two shales has accounted for an 85 percent increase of the overall U.S. production.

The Utica Shale also experienced significant gains in rig productivity and production. In January 2012, new-well gas production per rig averaged 0.31 MMcf/d. In July 2015, new-well gas production per rig was at 6.9 MMcf/D.

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