Johnson & Johnson Law Firm
Legal matters can spring up unexpectedly throughout our lives. Luckily, the attorneys in the Canfield, Ohio law office of Johnson & Johnson provide sound legal guidance to a breadth of individuals, at varying stages of life. Have recent headlines stirred your thoughts about a living will or trust? Are you thinking about buying or selling your home or business property? Have you been approached by a oil and gas company about drilling on your land? At Johnson & Johnson our local attorneys are capable of providing legal assistance to residents throughout Ohio in all matters relating to:
- Estate Planning – creating wills, living wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, medicaid planning and other tools.
- Probate – full and partial estate administration, estate inventories, estate valuations and appraisals.
- Real Estate – preparing deeds, purchase and sale agreements, title opinions.
- Business Formation and Organization – Limited Liability Companies (LLC), Partnerships, Corporations, Charitable organizations, litigation.
- Oil and Gas – leases, operating agreements, royalty planning, purchase and sale of mineral rights, litigation.
Johnson & Johnson has been family owned and operated since our founding in 1921. Our attorneys are experienced, and continue to learn as we aim to serve the legal needs of the community, of which we have been a significant part of for more than 90 years. From preparing for a more secure future to the resolution of legal crises that affect you today, a skilled Youngstown, Ohio lawyer will provide your case with the attention and respect it deserves.
Before drilling an oil and gas well in the state of Ohio, a driller must first apply for a permit from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Part of the driller’s permit application includes a map indicating the leased lands the driller wants to include in the drilling unit. Several considerations dictate the size this drilling unit can be. The underlying oil and gas lease, for example, might specify a maximum unit size. Ohio law also speaks to minimum well unit sizes. Generally speaking, the deeper the well, the larger the unit size must be. A vertical well drilled deeper than 4,000 feet requires 40 acres of unitized land. Horizontal wells, like those drilled in the Utica shale have different requirements. Let’s use an example to demonstrate how Ohio’s unitization/pooling laws operate. Let’s say Company X wants to drill a vertical Clinton sandstone well that will be 5,000 feet deep. ODNR regulations promulgated via 1509.24 require this Clinton sandstone well to include a minimum of 40 acres in the drilling unit, that the well needs to be 1,000 ft away from any neighboring wells, and that the well must be farther than 500 ft from all unleased property lines. If Company X can’t lease enough acreage to meet all of these three requirements, and has acquired, say, 98% of the required acreage, they could request that ODNR loosen some of these restrictions via 1509.27. After a hearing, the Chief of ODNR may then make minor adjustments to certain requirements if Company X demonstrates that they made a reasonable attempt to obtain the necessary leases. This is a very fact-based determination. Our firm has litigated the reasonableness of these determinations in the past (see Johnson v.…Read More
In a previous post… I wrote about certain terms that are implied in all mineral leases: the covenant to reasonably develop. In that article I described how a judge might cancel a certain area of an oil and gas lease if the producer hadn’t reasonably developed all of it. This same idea can be applied to unused geological formations. Let’s assume an energy company (the “lessee”) takes a lease for a 200 acre farm. Let’s also assume that the lessee successfully drills five 40-acre wells on the acreage thirty years ago. These five wells are all relatively shallow, and seek to produce oil and gas from the Clinton Sandstone geological formation. Now, it should be pretty clear that the lessee has reasonably developed all of the farm’s 200 acres (5 wells x 40 acre units = 200 acres). But, what can be said about the lessee’s duty to develop other geologic formations?Read More