On May 3, 2017, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (the Division) issued revised guidelines for statutory unitization applications. The guidance document–largely rewritten from the previous version (issued in May 2014)—contains a number of notable changes, including the following (among others):

  • Unitization applications will now be processed on a rolling basis (the prior guidelines required that applications be submitted 120 days prior to a scheduled hearing date). Upon receiving an application, the Division will perform a completeness review and notify the applicant of any deficiencies. Once the application is deemed complete and accurate, the Division will set a hearing date.
  • The application must include six separate interest exhibits, including one that lists all tracts within the unit subject to Ohio Dormant Mineral Act disputes.
  • Applications must be accompanied by the pre-filed testimony of a geologist, engineer and landman (applicants have typically included these testimonies with their applications, but their submission was not required under the previous guidelines).
  • Hearing notices can now be published in weekly or daily publications. For weekly publications, the notice must be published for four consecutive weeks, at least two weeks prior to the hearing.
  • Any revisions to an application must be submitted in two sets—a set of only the revised documents, and a full application with the revised documents incorporated. Additionally, with any revised application, “Exhibit A-2” must include an additional column explaining all changes that apply to a given tract.
  • At the hearing, the applicant must provide the Division with a PowerPoint that contains all of the information required by the guidelines, along with copies of affidavits attesting to the fact that the applicant holds a lease for all the acreage that the applicant claims to own in the application, along with an affidavit attesting that the applicant possesses the right to drill and produce from the unitized formation.

Check out the new guidelines here.