We are seeing a lot of situations where our clients have learned that they own mineral rights that were earlier reserved by an ancestor. They typically learn of this through an oil and gas company who has researched title on a parcel they are interested in leasing (or sometimes on a parcel that has already been drilled). The company discloses who reserved the minerals and describes its...Read More
A previous article discusses more generally the notice requirements in Ohio’s Dormant Minerals Act
Who must be notified?
Before declaring a mineral interest as abandoned, a surface owner must first provide adequate notice to the “mineral holder.” Many times, the mineral holder is deceased and has been for many years. If that’s true, the surface owner must notify the...Read More
What’s a Protection Lease?
Suppose there is an issue with the title to minerals under a 100 acre farm and it is clear that either Party A owns those minerals or Party B owns them. Suppose further that this farm sits in the middle of a planned unit for a horizontal Utica shale well. What can an oil and gas producer do to fix that situation? More frequently, producers are using...Read More
Some of the issues discussed below have been clarified by Ohio courts. Read more here.
Over the past few years, Ohio’s courts, at all levels, have dealt with a number of issues pertaining to O.R.C. 5301.56, often referred to as Ohio’s dormant mineral statute. At this point in time, several such issues are about to be ruled upon by Ohio’s Supreme Court. One issue of importance,...Read More
Below are the materials the National Business Institute asked me to prepare for a seminar on Oil and Gas law.
LEASE / OWNERSHIP CHALLENGES, DISPUTES AND NEGOTIATIONS
A. Recent case law and litigation trends
Though Ohio was one of the earliest states to have commercial production of oil and gas, surprisingly, it has not developed much of a body of case law in the field of oil and gas....Read More
Recently I wrote about Ohio’s mechanisms for forcing unleased mineral owners into a drilling unit. Oil and gas producers have increasingly started to rely on these mechanisms to drill horizontal wells to the Utica / Point Pleasant shale formation in eastern Ohio. These same laws require transparency for these procedures, and as part of a public records request, I obtained several...Read More
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,...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...Read More
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