Shale Energy Law Blog
Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Dormant Mineral Act Issue
November 9, 2015
In Chesapeake Exploration v. Buell, the Ohio Supreme Court held that oil and gas leases constitute “title transactions” under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). Under the DMA a “title transaction” constitutes a saving event to preclude severed mineral rights from being deemed abandoned and reunited with rights to the corresponding surface property. Of critical importance is whether an oil and gas lease constitutes a “title transaction” under the law. While the DMA defines the term “title transaction” it did not state whether an oil and gas lease constitutes a title transaction. The Court concluded that a “title transaction” is any transaction affecting title to any interest in land and that oil and gas leases affected title to land.