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Ohio Trial Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Decision

A Harrison County trial court issued a decision in a Dormant Mineral Act case addressing the issue of whether a release of an oil and gas lease is a title transaction affecting and preserving a severed mineral interest from being abandoned. The trial court in Schucht v. Bedway Land and Minerals ruled that a release of an oil and gas lease constitutes a title transaction under the Dormant Mineral Act. The court found that given the nature of the interest conveyed by an oil and gas lease, the release of an oil and gas lease affects title to the mineral interest as well. This conclusion was further supported by Ohio’s lease forfeiture statute (R.C. 5301.332), which provides a mechanism for oil and gas leases to be cancelled of record.