Ohio’s Statutory Unitization Amended to Clarify Inclusion of Partially Leased Tracts

Ohio recently passed HB 166, effective October 17, 2019, amending Section §1509.28 of Ohio’s statutory unitization statute.  The prior version of Section §1509.28 did not specify whether all mineral owners in a tract must be leased to be included in t(…)

Ohio’s Marketable Title Act Quickly Becoming Preferred Method for Surface Owners Seeking Ownership of Severed Mineral Interests

Since the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision in Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al, 149 Ohio St.3d 512, 2016-Ohio-5796, many have questioned the interplay and availability of the Ohio Marketable Title Act (“MTA”) and the Ohio Dormant Mineral A(…)

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals Clarifies Past Holdings, Confirms Marketable Title Act Available to Surface Owners Seeking to Extinguish Severed Mineral Interests

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently ruled that Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”) does not conflict with the Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”), and that both statutes can be utilized by a surface owner to claim ownership of severed minera(…)

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals Rules on Marketable Title Act and Dormant Mineral Act Claims

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals recently issued three separate opinions involving Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”) and Dormant Mineral Act (the “DMA”): Miller v. Mellott, 2019-Ohio-504 (Ct. App.); Soucik v. Gulfport Energy Corp., 2019—(…)

Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals Rules on Dormant Mineral Act’s Requirement of Reasonable Due Diligence Prior To Notice by Publication

On November 26, 2018, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals in Sharp v. Miller, 7th Dist. Jefferson No. 17 JE 0022, 2018-Ohio-4740, affirmed the abandonment of oil and gas interests pursuant to the Dormant Mineral Act (O.R.C. §5301.56) (the “DMA”).(…)

District Court Upholds Primacy of Lease’s Change of Ownership Clause

On May 20, 2016, the Middle District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment in favor of Babst Calland’s client in Montrose Hillbillies II, LLP v. WPX Energy Keystone, LLP and Stern Marcellus Holdings, LLC , a case involving the extension of the prim(…)

Ohio Court Reaches Decision on Lease Forfeiture Action

On August 14, 2015, the Ohio Fifth District Court of Appeals issued a decision in Armstrong  v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., deciding that the plaintiffs may not pursue an action seeking lease forfeiture based on the nonpayment of oil and natural g(…)

Federal Court Holds Lease Extended By Shut-In Royalty Provision

On August 14th, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania adopted a magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that recommended granting SWEPI, LP’s (“SWEPI”) motion to dismiss a lawsuit regarding the extension of a le(…)

Governor Signs Legislation Permitting Pooling Of Gas Drilling Units

Senate Bill Number 259, which amends the Guaranteed Minimum Royalty Act by allowing drillers to pool land into gas-drilling units, was signed by Governor Corbett today after fast-track approval by the Senate on June 30th.  The bill allows joint develo(…)

West Virginia’s Highest Court Defines “Surface” for Conveyance Instruments

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, West Virginia’s highest court, recently overruled a point in the 1923 case of Ramage v. South Penn Oil Co. (W. Va.), which established that the term “surface” was presumptively ambiguous and always subject t(…)

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Delivers Butler v. Powers Opinion

On April 24, 2013, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an opinion in the case of Butler v. Powers, addressing the distinction between the words “gas” and “minerals” in private conveyances of land in Pennsylvania.  The case began as a quiet title(…)

West Virginia Pooling Bill Fails in Senate

Updating a previous post, The Intelligencer reports that the West Virginia Senate declined to consider legislation that would have allowed un-leased land to be included in drilling units.  Senator Brooks McCabe (D-Kanawha), who introduced Senate Bill(…)

Bill Under Consideration to Allow Pooling in West Virginia

The West Virginia Senate is reportedly considering legislation, Senate Bill No. 616, that would allow un-leased land to be included in drilling units.  This bill would not force an unwilling landowner into a unit, but rather would provide a mechanism(…)