The 2021 Babst Calland Report Highlights Legal and Regulatory Perspectives at a Transformational Time for the U.S. Energy Industry

A Recent Conversation with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin Featured in this Report Law firm Babst Calland today published its 11th annual energy industry report: The 2021 Babst Calland Report – Legal & Regulatory Perspectives for the U.S. Energy Industry(…)

The Babst Calland Report Highlights Legal and Regulatory Challenges for the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry

The law firm of Babst Calland published its 10th annual energy industry report: The 2020 Babst Calland Report – The U.S. Oil & Gas Industry: Federal, State, Local Challenges & Opportunities; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and M(…)

Legislative Update: Ohio Governor Signs House Bill No. 197 into Law

On Friday, March 27, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Amended Substitute House Bill Number 197 (“House Bill 197”), passed by the 133rd General Assembly of the State of Ohio. The purpose of House Bill Number 197 is to provide emergency relief to Ohioan(…)

Ohio Supreme Court to Tackle Whether Marketable Title Act Applies to Severed Oil and Gas Interests

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted the appeal of the owners of a severed royalty interest in West v. Bode, Case No. No. 18 MO 0017, 2019-Ohio-4092. The sole issue before the Court is whether the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act supersedes and controls over the O(…)

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 Supreme Court to Address Whether the Dormant Mineral Act Requires Internet Search

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted mineral owner Timothy Gerrity’s appeal in Gerrity v. Chervenak, a Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) case from Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals. The Fifth District upheld the summary judgment granted by the Guernsey Coun(…)

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(…)

The 2019 Babst Calland Report Highlights Federal, State and Local Challenges and Opportunities for the U.S. Oil and Gas Industry

The law firm of Babst Calland today released its annual energy industry report: The 2019 Babst Calland Report – The U.S. Oil and Gas Industry: Federal, State and Local Challenges & Opportunities; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and(…)

Sixth District Court of Appeals Analyzes Date Marketability Determined under Ohio Marketable Title Act

Ohio’s Sixth District Court of Appeals recently ruled that Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”) extinguished restrictive covenants on a parcel located in a residential subdivision due to a gap in excess of 40 years without being identified in the p(…)

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 Supreme Court Clarifies Details Required for Specific Reference Under the Marketable Title Act

On December 13, 2018, the Ohio Supreme Court in Blackstone v. Moore, 2018-Ohio-4959, affirmed the Seventh District Court of Appeals decision preserving a severed royalty interest from extinguishment under the Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”) because o(…)

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”).(…)

The 2018 Babst Calland Report Focuses on the Appalachian Basin Oil & Gas Industry Forging Ahead Despite Obstacles

Babst Calland today released its annual energy industry report: The 2018 Babst Calland Report – Appalachian Basin Oil & Gas Industry: Forging Ahead Despite Obstacles; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producers and Midstream Operators.  This an(…)

Federal Court Upholds Constitutionality of Ohio’s Unitization Statute

A federal district court in Ohio recently upheld the constitutionality of Ohio’s forced pooling statute (R.C. § 1509.28) in Kerns v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, et al., N.D. Ohio No. 5:18 CV 389 (June 13, 2018). R.C. § 1509.28 establishes the procedu(…)

Employment & Labor Alert: Wage Hour Division Announces PAID Program to Assist with FLSA Compliance

On March 6, 2018, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (WHD) announced a new pilot program, the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, which is intended to encourage employers to identify and correct potentially(…)

Challenge to Constitutionality of Ohio’s Forced Pooling Statute Rejected on Procedural Grounds

The Ohio Supreme Court recently rejected a constitutional challenge to Ohio’s forced pooling statute in State ex rel. Kerns v. Simmers, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-256. A group of landowners (the “Landowners”) sought a writ of mandamus compelling the C(…)

Ohio Supreme Court does not Recognize Implied Covenant to Further Explore

The Supreme Court of Ohio recently ruled in Alford v. Collins-McGregor Operating Company, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-8, that Ohio does not recognize an implied covenant to further explore, separate and apart from the implied covenant of reasonable dev(…)

Deduction of Post-Production Expenses from Royalty Payments in Ohio

A federal court recently addressed two contentious issues affecting calculation of royalty payments from production of shale gas in Ohio: (1) whether operators may deduct post-production expenses (costs for gathering, compression, treatment, processin(…)

The 2017 Babst Calland Report Focuses on the Resurgence of the Appalachian Shale Gas Industry

On June 20, 2017, Babst Calland released its seventh annual energy industry report entitled The 2017 Babst Calland Report – Upstream, Midstream and Downstream: Resurgence of the Appalachian Shale Industry; Legal and Regulatory Perspective for Producer(…)

Oil and Gas Lease Did Not Terminate for Failure to Pay Minimum Rental/Royalty Payments

On June 1, 2017, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a provision in an oil and gas lease requiring the lessee to pay a minimum rental/royalty does not automatically invoke a termination provision in an unrelated delay rental clause and is not void as ag(…)

Ohio Court Of Appeals Applies Broad Application of “Holder” Under Dormant Mineral Act

The Court of Appeals of Ohio, Seventh Appellate District, recently held that (i) heirs had standing to challenge a surface owners’ notice of abandonment under the Dormant Mineral Act (DMA), and (ii) an affidavit of preservation constitutes a valid cla(…)

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Ohio Dormant Mineral Act Case

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court of the United States denied certiorari in Walker v. Shondrick-Nau, Exr. (Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-5793). As more fully explained in our Blog post discussing Walker, in September the Ohio Supreme Court held that, if a su(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Addresses Post-Production Costs

In Lutz et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C., Slip Opinion No. 2016-Ohio-7549, the Ohio Supreme Court declined to answer the certified question submitted by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio as to whether Ohio follows the “a(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Interpretation of Ohio Dormant Mineral Act

Today, the Ohio Supreme Court issued three written opinions interpreting the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (O.R.C. §5301.56) (the “ODMA”) and decided 10 related cases based upon its decisions set forth in the written opinions. Notably, in Corban v. Chesape(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Rules on Forced Pooling Issue

The Tenth District Court of Appeals issued a ruling in Simmers v. City of North Royalton, affirming the decision of the Oil and Gas Commission which overturned a mandatory pooling order of the Chief of the Division of Oil & Gas Resources Managemen(…)

Ohio EPA Seeks Comment on Draft General Permits for Compressor Stations

On April 7, 2016, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) announced a public comment period for a package of draft general permits for oil and natural gas midstream compressor stations.  Applicants seeking coverage under a general permit would(…)

Senate Bill 257 Introduced In Ohio Would Facilitate Curing Title Defects

Senate Bill 257 was introduced in the Ohio General Assembly on December 30, 2015. The Bill, introduced by Senators Bill Seitz and Michael Skindell and co-sponsored by Senator John Eklund, would revise current Ohio Revised Code Section 5301.07. The cur(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Resolves Hupp v. Beck Energy Once and For All

The Ohio Supreme Court definitively decided a case that at one time threatened the validity of thousands of Ohio oil and gas leases. As previously reported in April of 2014, the Seventh District Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the Monroe C(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Dormant Mineral Act Issue

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 minera(…)

Rice and Gulfport Enter Into Midstream Joint Venture in Utica Shale

As reported by Oil and Gas Investor, Rice Midstream Holdings, LLC, a subsidiary of Rice Energy Inc., and Gulfport Energy Corporation have teamed up to build a pipeline gathering and water line system in Ohio’s Utica Shale.  Over the next six years, th(…)

Ohio Judge Rules in Favor of Permitting Surveys in NEXUS Pipeline Case

The Medina County Court of Common Pleas issued a decision allowing surveys to be completed on tracts of land along the proposed NEXUS pipeline route. In Nexus Gas Transmission, LLC v. Houston, the Court ruled that the plain language of Chapter 163 of(…)

Ohio Oil and Gas Commission Issues First Decision on Forced Pooling

The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission issued its first decision under R.C. 1509.28 to provide for the compulsory pooling of property for oil and gas unit operations. In Gary L. Teeter Revocable Trust v. Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management, the Oh(…)

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(…)

The Ohio Oil And Gas Commission Affirms Orders Suspending Operation Of An Injection Well Due To Low-Level Seismic Events

The Ohio Oil and Gas Commission rendered a decision on August 12, 2015, affirming two orders of the Chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management that suspended operation of an injection well operated by American Water Management Services(…)

Ohio Adopts Horizontal Well Site Construction Rules

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has adopted rules requiring the approval of plans for horizontal well sites prior to the construction or material modification of the sites.  The rules, codi(…)

Ohio Adopts Oil And Gas Regulatory Changes In Its Biennial Budget Legislation

Ohio’s biennial budget legislation, House Bill 64, signed by the Governor on June 30, 2015, includes changes and additions to Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory program appearing in Chapter 1509 of the Revised Code.  The changes and additions take effect o(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Dormant Mineral Act Issue

In a unanimous decision, the Ohio Supreme Court held that under the 2006 Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”), the filing of a claim to preserve a mineral interest from being deemed abandoned is sufficient to preserve the mineral interest if it was recorded wi(…)

ODNR Releases First Quarter 2015 Utica Shale Production Data

As reported by the Wheeling Intelligencer, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (“ODNR”) recently released production data for the first quarter of 2015 for oil and gas wells drilled in Ohio’s Utica Shale formation.  The report found that natural(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Finds Forfeiture Is Not Appropriate Remedy for Breach of Oil and Gas Lease

In Hoop v. Kimble, the Seventh District Court of Appeals upheld a trial court ruling that forfeiture was not an appropriate remedy for the breach of an anti-assignment provision in an oil and gas lease. In the case, the original lessee of the lease di(…)

Ohio City Will Not Appeal Court Order Overturning Drilling Ban

The City of Broadview Heights will not appeal the ruling of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court overturning the city’s voter-approved ban on new oil and gas drilling. The trial court relied on a recent decision from the Ohio Supreme Court in State(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Reaffirms Decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp.

The Seventh District Court of Appeals has reaffirmed its prior decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp. In Belmont Hills Country Club v. Beck Energy Corp. and Bentley v. Beck Energy Corp., the appeals court relied on Hupp in holding that a conditional se(…)

Ohio Trial Court Rejects Local Drilling Ban

Relying on the recent authority in State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp., the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court struck down a local Ohio drilling ban. In Bass Energy, Inc. v. City of Broadview Heights, the court held that a charter amendment pr(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Municipal Ordinances Regulating Oil and Gas Operations

The Ohio Supreme Court issued a ruling in favor of Beck Energy, holding that Ohio Constitution’s home rule amendment does not allow a municipality to enforce its own oil and gas permitting scheme on top of the state system. In the case, the city of Mu(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Schedules Oral Argument in Dormant Mineral Act Cases

The Ohio Supreme Court scheduled oral argument in two significant Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) cases. Oral argument has been scheduled on Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. for May 6, 2015. As previously reported on ShaleEnergyLawBlog, the Corban(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Major Oil and Gas Lease Busting Case for Review

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction over Hupp v. Beck Energy, an important Ohio case involving the interpretation of oil and gas leases. The case involves a challenge by landowners in Monroe County to a standard form oil and gas lease. The la(…)

Ohio Court of Appeals Holds Assignment of Shallow Rights Does Not Sever Lease

The Fourth District Court of Appeals held in Marshall v. Beekay Company that continuous production from shallow wells pursuant to two oil and gas leases holds the deep rights to the property. The landowners in the case claimed that an assignment of th(…)

American Energy Appalachia Holdings LLC Completes Executive Leadership Team

The Oil & Gas Financial Journal reported on January 14, 2015 that Jeffrey A. Fisher has been named CEO of newly created American Energy Appalachia Holdings, LLC (“AEA”).  AEA was recently created through the combination of American Energy Partners(…)

Ohio Landowners Opposing OPEN Pipeline Eminent Domain

Ohio landowners are opposing the use of eminent domain in the construction of a 76 mile pipeline between Columbiana County and Monroe County. The OPEN pipeline would connect to the Texas Eastern Pipeline and was recently approved by the Federal Energy(…)

Ohio Amends Lease Recording Statute to Clarify Status of Oil and Gas Leases

The Ohio legislature has clarified that oil and gas leases create an interest in real property. Ohio’s Substitute House Bill 9 includes a provision amending Ohio’s lease recording statute (R.C. 5301.09) as follows: In recognition that such leases and(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Rules on Oil and Gas Lease Issues

The Fifth District Court of Appeals issued a ruling addressing several issues concerning the interpretation of oil and gas leases. The lessee of several oil and gas leases created a 145-acre drilling unit utilizing a small portion of one of the leases(…)

Ohio EPA, Ohio Division Of Oil And Gas Resources Management, And Ohio Department Of Health Issue A Joint Guidance Letter On Landfill Disposal Of Oil And Gas Production Waste

Ohio EPA, the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, and the Ohio Department of Health, on November 17, 2014, jointly issued a four-page guidance letter on how Ohio regulates the landfill disposal of oil and gas production waste.  The lett(…)

Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals Weighs in on Dormant Mineral Act Issue

Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals recently held that the 1989 version of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act applies to current disputes concerning ownership of severed mineral estates. The court in Wendt v. Dickerson followed previous rulings from the Se(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Decides Additional Dormant Mineral Act Issues

The Seventh District Court of Appeals decided two additional legal issues concerning application of the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) in Tribett v. Shepard. The two issues were whether application of the 1989 DMA in the lawsuit(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Overturns Trial Court in Perpetual Lease Case

The Seventh District Court of Appeals overturned the Monroe County trial court’s decision in Hupp v. Beck Energy Corporation finding that a standard oil and gas lease form was void as against public policy. The appeals court found that the delay renta(…)

Ohio DNR Opens Comment Period for Draft Rules on Well Pad Construction

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has opened the comment period on its draft rules for the construction of horizontal well sites. All interested parties may submit comments in writing by the close-of-business on Monday, October 06, 2014 to dogr(…)

Spectra Energy Corporation and Northeast Utilities Propose $3 Billion “Access Northeast” Pipeline Expansion Project

As reported on, Spectra Energy Corporation, a Houston-based pipeline operator, and Northeast Utilities, a Connecticut-based utility provider, have partnered in proposing a $3 billion pipeline expansion that will increase natural gas supp(…)

Ohio Governor Vows to Hike Drilling Tax

Ohio Governor John Kasich increased his rhetoric regarding a new severance tax on shale oil and gas production. So far, the legislature has opposed any additional increase in the severance tax that was passed in House Bill 375 in May of this year. Gov(…)

Ohio Court of Appeals Decision Adds New Wrinkle to Dormant Mineral Act Litigation

A recent decision from the Seventh District Court of Appeals, Eisenbarth v. Reusser, adds a new wrinkle to the ongoing legal battles concerning the applicability and scope of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). The Seventh District previously ruled in(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Dormant Mineral Act Case

The Ohio Supreme Court will review a key question of state law concerning application of the Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). In Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio certified the follow(…)

Ohio Oil and Gas Production Soars

Oil and gas production increased by 640% from 2012 to 2013 according to a report published by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. The one year increase was the largest in Ohio history and is the most natural gas that Ohio has produced since 1982(…)

American Energy Partners LP Acquiring WV Marcellus Acreage

The State Journal reports that American Energy – Marcellus LLC, a subsidiary of Oklahoma City based American Energy Partners LP, has agreed to acquire 48,000 leasehold acres in Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Tyler and Wetzel Counties in West Virginia fr(…)

Sixth Circuit Rules in Lease Extension Case

The Sixth Circuit recently affirmed summary judgment granted to Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C. by the Southern District of Ohio court, holding that Chesapeake could extend its oil and gas lease with the plaintiffs on the same terms in the original leas(…)

Babst Calland Releases Fourth Annual Energy Industry Report

“The 2014 Babst Calland Report – Appalachian Shale Industry in Transition: Evolving Challenges for Producers and Midstream Operators” comments on key issues facing producers and midstream operators from a legal and regulatory perspective, including: G(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Issues Decision on Lease Termination

The Seventh District Court of Appeals issued a decision concerning the automatic termination of an oil and gas lease. The case involved an oil and gas lease which required two wells to be put into production by November of 1989 or the lease would auto(…)

Ohio Announces Changes To The Procedure For Unitization Orders Under R.C. 1509.28

On May 9, 2014, the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management announced changes in the procedure for obtaining orders approving drilling units.  The procedure, established by R.C. 1509.28, authorizes the Division to approve drilling units that(…)

Revised bill proposes 2.5% tax rate for Ohio horizontal drillers

As part of his off-year budget bill, Ohio governor, John Kasich, has proposed a top severance tax rate increase on horizontal drilling to 2.5% as part of a tax package designed to lower income-tax rates. The bill, which is expected to be supported by(…)

Ohio Shale Jobs Report Shows 79% Increase Since 2011

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services released its quarterly report on the shale industry last Friday. The report shows a 79% increase in core shale-related industry employment in Ohio over the last two years, with an additional 1.5% increas(…)

Ohio Trial Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

The Belmont County Court of Common Pleas ruled that a recorded will is a title transaction for purposes of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act. In Albanese v. Batman the trial court held that a will recorded in the county recorder’s office qualifies as title t(…)

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(…)

Ohio Decision Results in Victory for Oil and Gas Producers

An Ohio trial court issued a decision in Marshall v. Beekay Company. The case involved an action seeking declaratory judgment as to leasehold rights for formations below the Germantown Sand Formation. The court ruled that there was no breach of the im(…)

Ohio Appellate Court Enforces Change In Ownership Clause in Lease

The Fifth District Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision in Trico Land Company, LLC v. Kenoil Producing LLC, upholding the right to have and enforce a change of ownership clause in an oil and gas lease. The case involved a property subj(…)

Ohio Announces Additional Permitting Requirements

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has changed permitting requirements after finding a probable connection between horizontal drilling activity near a previously unknown microfault and recent seismic activity in the Mahoning County area. Moving(…)

Legislation Proposed to Strengthen Penalties for Oil and Gas Violations in Ohio

Ohio House Bill 490, which would strengthen penalties for violating Ohio’s oil and gas regulations, is now pending before the Ohio House agriculture committee.  The bill was introduced in response to illegal dumping of oil field waste.  Industry offic(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Issues Dormant Mineral Act Ruling

The Seventh District Court of Appeals issued a ruling concerning application of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act. In Walker v. Noon, the appeals court upheld the ruling of a Noble County trial court finding that the 1989 version of the Dormant Mineral Act(…)

Ohio EPA Issues Revised General Air Permits For Horizontal Drilling Sites Requiring More Aggressive Methane Leak Detection and Repair

As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal Online on April 4, 2014, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency issued revised general permits for the installation and operation of air contaminant sources at oil and gas horizontal well sites to address meth(…)

Utica and Marcellus to Provide Gas to TransCanada's ANR Pipeline

TransCanada Corporation’s ANR Pipeline system has secured nearly 2.0 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas transportation commitments for the movement of oil and gas produced from the Utica and Marcellus formations through its Southeast Main Line.(…)

Midstream Company Buys Two Buildings in Ohio Village

Utica East Ohio Midstream (“UEO”) recently purchased two buildings in downtown Salineville, Ohio. The company owns natural gas processing plants in nearby Kensington and Leesville. UEO plans to use the buildings for administrative offices for its oil(…)

Gateway Royalty to Pay Utica Shale Landowners for Rights to Future Royalties

Gateway Royalty, LLC, a royalty acquisition company based in Carrollton, Ohio, has raised $58.5 million to pay Utica shale play landowners for rights to their future royalty payments. Gateway’s goal is to invest in a broad range of oil and gas royalti(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction in Additional Dormant Mineral Act Case

The Supreme Court of Ohio has agreed to hear a question certified from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, regarding the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act (the “ODMA”), in Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Kenneth Buell. The tw(…)

Advocates From PA, Ohio, West Virginia Urge Common Approach To Shale Gas Taxation

As reported by Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station, 90.5 WESA, three advocacy groups, Leaders of Policy Matters Ohio, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, and the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy, sent a letter to the governors of Ohio, Pen(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction in Dormant Mineral Act Case

The Ohio Supreme Court has accepted jurisdiction of a discretionary appeal in Dodd v. Croskey, which involves Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). Under the DMA there are several “savings events” which may occur in the previous twenty years that will p(…)

Ohio Department of Health Issues Guidelines for Drilling Waste

The Ohio Department of Health has issued guidelines for sampling and analysis of Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (TENORM) commonly found in drilling wastes. The guidelines were issued in conjunction with Ohio House Bi(…)

ODNR Releases Draft Rules on Horizontal Well Site Construction

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, on February 21, 2014, published  several draft rules concerning horizontal well site construction and an update to the industry standards referenced in its rules on oil and gas well drilling, permitting and sa(…)

Updates to Ohio's Proposed Severance Tax Increase

The Ohio House Ways and Means Committee updated House Bill 375, which proposes changes to the severance tax on natural resources. Among the updates are an increase in the proposed severance tax to 2.25% from 2% for horizontal wells, a reduction in the(…)

Consol Announces Natural Gas Production Plans

Consol Energy has announced that it expects to spend $1.5 billion this year to further its natural gas exploration and production activities.  The company also announced that it has selected the former vice president of the Appalachia South Business U(…)

Ohio Trial Courts Issue Additional Rulings on the Dormant Mineral Act

Two Ohio trial courts issued new decisions on Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) addressing an unsettled issue of law concerning whether the 1989 or 2006 version of the DMA should apply to current disputes over the ownership of severed mineral rights.(…)

Utica East Ohio Adds Capacity to Natural Gas Processing Plant

A third, 160-foot demethanizer tower was completed January 11th at the Utica East Ohio Kensington Plant in Columbiana County, Ohio.  The plant serves as a collection and compression point for harvested natural gas from the Utica Shale. The tower, whic(…)

Ohio EPA Director Resigns

The director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Nally, abruptly resigned yesterday after three years on the job. Nally departed his position on short notice and did not give a specific reason for his resignation. Craig Butler, a senior(…)

Utica Production Surges in Quarterly Update

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources released its first quarterly production update thanks to a new law that requires production to be reported on a quarterly versus annual basis. The report showed that Ohio’s 245 horizontal wells produced a total(…)

Ohio Adopts New Guidelines for Applications for Facilities that Manage or Dispose of Drilling Wastes

Ohio legislation enacted earlier this year imposes new requirements on facilities that store, recycle, treat, process or dispose of brine or other waste substances associated with the exploration, development and operations of oil and gas wells. Under(…)

KMP to Develop Utica Shale Pipeline

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (KMP) announced that its subsidiary, Kinder Morgan Cochin LLC, signed a letter of intent with NOVA Chemicals Corporation to develop a new $300 million products pipeline for the Utica Shale, coined Kinder Morgan Utic(…)

Utica Shale Drilling Permits Surpass Expectations for 2013

The State of Ohio issued nearly than double the amount of Utica shale drilling permits than first expected for 2013. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources initially predicted that it would issue 525 permits for 2013. According to ODNR’s most recent(…)

Ohio House of Representatives Proposes Increase In Severance Tax

A bill to increase the severance tax on oil and gas drilling has been proposed in the Ohio House of Representatives. House Bill 375 would increase the severance tax for horizontal shale wells to 1% for the first five years of production, and to 2% aft(…)

ODNR Releases 2012 Ohio Oil and Gas Summary

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources released its annual oil and gas summary for 2012. The summary provides a comprehensive review of oil and gas permitting, drilling and production activity across the entire state of Ohio. The report can be acces(…)

Trial Court Issues Key Ruling on Ohio's Dormant Mineral Act

An Ohio trial court issued a key ruling on Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”). The Carroll County Court of Common Pleas in Dahlgren v. Brown Farm Properties, LLC departed from a series of trial court decisions adopting the legal theories of surface ow(…)

Successes in Ohio Utica Wells Lead to Continued Growth in 2014

The Akron Beacon Journal reports that Gulfport  Energy Corp. of Oklahoma and Chesapeake Energy Corp. are producing increasing amounts of natural gas from Utica wells in Ohio and anticipate continued growth in 2014.  Gulfport’s operations are led by it(…)

Permitting Activity Up in the Southern End of Ohio’s Utica Shale Play

Several counties in the southern end of Ohio’s Utica Shale play, including Guernsey, Noble, Harrison and Belmont counties are showing big gains in the number of drilling permits filed by oil and gas companies.  More specifically, drilling permit activ(…)

America Energy – Utica Aquires 24,000 acres in Guernsey County

America Energy – Utica, headed by Aurbrey McClendon, recently completed a purchase of 24,000 acres in Guernsey County, Ohio. According to paperwork filed in the Guernsey County Recorder’s Office, America Energy – Utica aquired the lease holdigs from S(…)

Ohio Considers New Rules for Wastewater Storage

State officials are considering new rules to regulate storage of wastewater used to stimulate wells for the production of oil and gas. The new rules would potentially create new options for shale well producers to store millions of gallons of water in(…)

Lawsuit Filed Against Ohio Water District for Leasing and Water Sales

Two Ohio groups recently issued a press release regarding a lawsuit which has been filed against the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District over its oil and gas leasing practices and its sale of water for hydraulic fracturing.  The MWCD, tasked with(…)

McClendon’s New Company Securing $1.8 Billion in Financing

Aubrey McClendon, former CEO of Chesapeake Energy, is planning to close on $1.8 billion in equity and debt financing to fund American Energy Utica, his new exploration and production company, as reported by CNBC.  American Energy Utica will buy and de(…)

Ohio Shale Drillers Must Report Chemicals Locally

Ohio officials notified companies that a federal chemical disclosure law trumps a 2001 state law requiring that information regarding chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process only be filed with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, a law(…)

Northwest Ohio Community Passes Fracking Ban

The Bowling Green City Council unanimously passed an ordinance banning “fracking” and the disposal of waste fluids within the city limits. In an apparent move to side-step the authority of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, which maintains auth(…)

Ohio Business Turns Drill Cuttings into Clean Fill Dirt

In one example of how development of the Utica and Marcellus shale formations are contributing to the Ohio economy, one expanding business has recently been awarded approval to use microbes to rehabilitate soil contaminated by petroleum products.  Lon(…)

William Kinney Receives Oilfield Patriot Award

William Kinney of the Twinsburg-based Summit Petroleum Inc. was the winner of the 2013 Oilfield Patriot Award given by the Ohio Oil and Gas Association. The award recognizes individuals who “protect, promote and advance the common interests” of Ohio’s(…)

Essroc Cement Files Lawsuit To Halt NiSource/Hilcorp Pipeline In Lawrence County

Essroc Cement Corporation, with locations scattered across the Midwest and Northeast, has filed a federal lawsuit in Pittsburgh, seeking to stop a planned pipeline from crossing property in Lawrence County. The pipeline is a joint venture operation be(…)

Ohio Drilling and Permitting Update

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has released information regarding oil and gas permitting and drilling activity, indicating that 32 drilling rigs are currently operating in the state and that 832 total horizontal well permits have been issued(…)

Details Emerge on Sale of EnerVest Acreage

EnerVest announced details of the sale of over 22,500 acres in Harrison, Guernsey and Noble counties. EnerVest did not identify the buyer of the acreage, but confirmed the sale amount of $284.3 million or $12,900 per acre. The publicly held portion of(…)

New Processing Plant and Pipeline Coming to Ohio

A midstream joint venture between Houston-based Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and Denver-based MarkWest Utica EMG LLC announced Wednesday that it has plans to build Ohio’s sixth natural gas-processing plant and a new pipeline to carry liquids from(…)

Eastern Ohio Natural Gas Processing Plant Begins Operations

A newly constructed natural gas processing and fractionation complex is now online in Columbiana County. The plant was constructed by M3 Midstream and includes an extensive gathering system, a 200-million cubic-feet-per-day cryogenic processing facili(…)

Rockies Express Pipeline To Increase Gas Supply

Rockies Express Pipeline LLC, owners of the 1,698 mile long Rockies Express Pipeline, announced that it has executed an agreement for the transmission of processed gas from the Utica Shale formation, adding significant natural gas supply to the pipeli(…)

Bluegrass Pipeline to Connect Utica and Marcellus Gas Fields with Gulf Coast

The Akron Beacon Journal has profiled the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline, a proposed pipeline that would deliver gas from the Utica and Marcellus gas fields to processing facilities on the gulf coast.  The pipeline would be constructed by Williams and Pi(…)

Ohio Budget Passes With No Increase in Severance Tax, Contains Other Regulatory Changes for Oil and Gas Production

Ohio’s biennial budget was signed into law on June 30. The new budget legislation does not include an increase to the oil and gas severance tax, which would have only applied to operators of horizontal wells. The budget also includes several changes t(…)

Ohio Supreme Court Accepts Jurisdiction in "Home Rule" Case

The Ohio Supreme Court accepted jurisdiction over the closely watched “home rule” case State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp. At issue are the state laws which give the Ohio Department of Natural Resources sole and exclusive authority to regulate(…)

ODNR Implements Guidelines for Unitization Applications

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has published guidelines for  the unitization application process.  The guidelines clarify the application process that is required before the division chief of ODNR’s Oil and Gas Resources Management can make(…)

Consol Has Big Plans for the Utica

Consol Energy, a company that has roots in coal mining in Columbiana County, Ohio since the 1860s, now sees a promising future in natural gas production in the area. Speaking at the 5th annual Columbiana Chamber of Commerce Business Breakfast on June(…)

Ohio Appeals Court Enforces Lease Provision Disclaiming Implied Covenants

The Fifth District Court of Appeals held in a recent decision that a general disclaimer of implied covenants in a lease effectively disclaims any implied covenants to reasonably develop the leased property. In Bilbaran Farm, Inc. v. Bakerwell, Inc., t(…)

Ohio's Drilling Rig Count On the Rise

Ohio’s drilling rig count currently stands at 32 according to Ohio Oil and Gas Association Executive Vice President Tom Stewart. That is up from 19 in 2012 and now surpasses the 23 drilling rigs in West Virginia. According to Stewart, it will take man(…)

Ohio and West Virginia Defend Fracking in Letter to U.S. EPA

On Friday, June 7th, twelve energy-producing states, including Ohio and West Virginia, signed a letter to the EPA defending the industry practice of hydraulic fracturing. The letter was in response to recent threats to sue the EPA for not assuming reg(…)

Ohio Governor Revises Drilling Tax Plan

Ohio governor John Kasich revised his proposed drilling tax after it has been rejected by the Ohio legislature. The new proposal would increase the proposed tax of 4% to 4.5% and direct 25% of the revenue generated by the tax to 33 Appalachian countie(…)

Utica and Marcellus Dubbed Most Prolific Wet Gas Play in the World

Speakers at a recent conference in Columbus, Ohio expect the Utica and Marcellus shale fields to become the most prolific source of natural-gas liquids in the world.  While there is plenty of oil and gas in the ground, producers are restrained by the(…)

Reduced Assessments Likely for 500,000 Ohio Property Owners

Residents in the Muskingham Watershed Conservancy District are likely to see reduced property assessments as a result of recent shale leasing and water sales. The Muskingham Watershed Conservancy District stretches across eighteen Ohio counties and ro(…)

Sixth Circuit Rules on Ohio Oil and Gas Law

Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on a case of first impression involving Ohio’s four-year statute of limitations on lawsuits arising from miscalculation of royalty payments in oil and gas leases. It had been successfully argued in t(…)

"State of the Play" Event to Unveil 2012 Utica Production Numbers

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources will unveil the long-awaited 2012 Utica shale production numbers on May 16, 2013 at 2 p.m. The event is being held in Columbus and will be live-streamed at

Crosstex Building Third Compressor Station in Ohio

Crosstex Energy has announced that it is constructing a third natural gas compressor station in Ohio. Crosstex previously announced in March that it would make a $50 million investment to build two compressor stations in Noble and Monroe counties. Now(…)

Anti-Fracking Amendment Decisively Rejected in Youngstown

Voters rejectedan anti-fracking referendum proposed by Frackfree Mahoning Valley by an unofficial count of 57-43. The proposal was denominated as the “Community Bill of Rights” and would have banned hydraulic fracturing inside of Youngstown city limit(…)

Utica Shale Production Brings Newly Proposed Natural Gas Pipeline to Eastern Ohio

DTE Energy, Spectra Energy Corp. and Enbridge Inc. are jointly developing the proposed Nexus Gas Transmission Project, a proposed 250-mile natural gas pipeline which would connect production in eastern Ohio to the existing pipeline grid in southeaster(…)

Chesapeake Expects Success in Utica Shale

Chesapeake Energy Corp. remains poised to take advantage of the Utica shale once the infrastructure is in place for gas transportation and processing.  Chesapeake currently has 66 wells in production in Ohio, with 183 more awaiting either pipelines or(…)

Ohio House Democrats Call for Ban on Fracking Waste

Ohio House Democrats introduced a bill on Wednesday that would make it illegal to dispose of oilfield waste, also known as brine, in any of Ohio’s 179 active Class II injection wells. Under current state law, brine must be either reused at another wel(…)

NiSource Provides Update for Ohio Operations

NiSource Midstream Services expects that the first oil and gas well servicing its Hickory Bend gas gathering and processing facility will be in production in the next few weeks. NiSource is also accellerating the construction of their gathering system(…)

First Quarter 2013 Shale Deals Reach $882 Million in Pennsylvania and $283 Million in Ohio

Three transactions involving Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale have reportedly totaled $882 million in the first quarter of 2013, the second-most for any formation in the country.  Ohio’s Utica Shale formation was the subject of two deals worth $283 mill(…)

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(…)

District Approves of Water Sale for Utica Shale Drillers

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District approved the sale of water from Seneca Lake and Clendening Reservoir for use in Utica shale oil and gas wells. Antero resources will have the right to draw up to 184 million gallons of water from Seneca Lak(…)

Chief of Ohio Department of Natural Resources Testifies In Support of State Control of Hydraulic Fracturing

The House Natural Resources Committee recently heard testimony from representatives of Ohio, Texas and Utah on the necessity of federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing.  Richard Simmons, Chief of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, testified(…)

Utica Shale Offers Midstream Business Opportunities

Typically, midstream or infrastructure investments by oil and gas companies follow drilling. But in Ohio billions of dollars are currently being poured into pipelines and facilities, including those currenlty under construction in Kensington and Scio,(…)

Magnum Hunter Spuds First Well in Utica Shale

Magnum Hunter, working through its subsidiary Triad Hunter, spudded its first horizontal well in Ohio’s Utica Shale formation. The well is located in Washington County, just north of Noble County. It is just the second well permitted in Washington Cou(…)

Akron Approves First Natural Gas Filling Station

Akron city council has approved plans for the first natural gas filling station and truck terminal in the city, operated by J Rayl Transport. The company plans to convert their entire truck fleet from diesel to natural gas, or a combination of the two(…)

Chesapeake Introduces New Technology to Utica Shale Play

The Winter 2013 edition of Chesapeake Energy Corporation’s quarterly newsletter, “The Play,” introduces a new technology to readers.  Chesapeake subsidiary Nomac Drilling is using a new type of rig called a PeakeRig, which is able to “walk” on a multi(…)

Anticipation Grows for Ohio Well Production Reports

On March 31st, energy companies must report data showing well production for 2012. Industry watchers say that the annual production report will provide the most insight yet about whether the Utica is the next big oil and gas play in North America. Som(…)

PDC Energy Partners with MarkWest for Midstream Operations

PDC Energy Inc. will be sending its Utica production to MarkWest Utica EMG for processing.  Under the terms of a new agreement, liquids-rich gas from Guernsey county will be processed in the Seneca complex in Noble County.  PDC joins Antero Resources(…)

Utica Shale Play May Extend Farther West

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources posted revised maps last week, indicating that drilling opportunities for oil and natural gas may extend further west and south than initially expected. Information gleaned from wells drilled last year, as well(…)

Opposition Growing to Ohio Governor's Proposed Severance Tax Increase

Governor John Kasich recently proposed an increase in the severance tax rates on the production of oil and gas to 4% for oil and natural gas liquids and 1% for gas. This is up from the current rates of 20 cents per barrel of oil and 3 cents per 1,000(…)

Proposed Ohio Legislation Would Stiffen Penalties for Illegal Dumping of Wastes

The Ohio House and Senate introduced legislation this week to impose tougher penalties for illegal dumping of oil and gas drilling wastes. If passed, the legislation will elevate illegal dumping to a felony and impose a minimum prison term of three ye(…)

Kinder Morgan Eyeing Tuscarawas County for Fractionation Plant

Kinder Morgan is reportedly eyeing Tuscarawas County for a natural gas processing plant and a fractionation plant. The reports surfaced when EV Energy Partners referenced a “recent announcement” by Kinder Morgan on the two plants. Kinder Morgan has si(…)

Infrastructure Investments to Unlock Access to Utica Shale

Industry officials announced at a conference in Columbus, Ohio, that a series of infrastructure investments over the next year will begin to unlock access to the Utica Shale play. Projects currently underway by Dominion Transmission Inc. and Enterpris(…)

Gulfport Plans to Accelerate Utica Drilling in 2013

Gulfport Energy Corp. announced that it plans to accelerate its Utica shale drilling program in 2013. Gulfport currently holds about 128,000 net acres in the Utica shale play. Gulfport’s third party engineers estimate that its year-end 2012 probable r(…)

Unimin Corporation Opens Proppant Distribution Terminal in Navarre, Ohio

Unimin Corporation has announced a new facility for distributing proppants used in hydraulic fracturing.  The facility will be located in Navarre, Ohio, about 10 miles west of Canton.  Strategically placed to be accessible by rail and highway, the fac(…)

Ohio Budget Includes $25,000 Horizontal-Well Impact Fee

Ohio Governor John Kasich’s budget proposal includes additional provisions regulating the oil and gas industry in Ohio. The proposals include a $25,000 horizontal-well impact fee to be paid into county escrow accounts, a requirement to notify landowne(…)

Youngstown Council Approves Proposed Ordinance Banning Fracking

Youngstown city council approved a citizens group’s charter-amendment proposal to ban fracking in Youngstown and placed the proposal on the May 7 primary election ballot.  Backed by over 3,800 signed petitions, the group, Frack Free Mahoning Valley, a(…)