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ODNR Approves Two New Unitization Orders

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) recently issued two new unitization or “forced pooling” orders for the Utica Shale in Trumbull County, Ohio. The units included land already leased by other operators who were deemed “uncommitted working interest owners.” The orders provided for a 300% penalty to BP, the unitization applicant, should the uncommitted working interest owners fail to pay their share of charges, credit and expenses for the wells drilled therein, and also provided for a 15% royalty and $2,000 per acre payment to any unleased mineral owners within the unitized acreage.