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Tag Archives: Oil and Gas

Supreme Court of Ohio to Hear DMA Case

Posted in Energy
The Supreme Court of Ohio accepted a case involving the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA), Fonzi v. Brown, but held the case until the Court decides Gerrity v. Chervenak. In Fonzi, the Court will consider issues over the extent of a landowner’s duty to exercise reasonable diligence in notifying mineral owners of an abandonment under… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Again Addresses the Level of Due Diligence Required under the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act

Posted in Energy
On June 1, 2020, the Seventh District Court of Appeals once again addressed the level of diligence required to identify holders of a severed mineral interest under the 2006 version of Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (2006 DMA). In Fonzi v. Gary D. Brown & Eclipse Res., 2020-Ohio-3631, the appellee-surface owner filed his notice of abandonment… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rules for Producer in Royalty Dispute

Posted in Energy
On May 21, 2020, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for a lessee in an oil and gas lease dispute, finding that the lessee properly considered post-production costs when calculating the landowners’ royalties.  See Henceroth v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC, 6th Cir. No. 19-3942. The lessee, Chesapeake Exploration (Chesapeake), produced oil and gas from the… Continue Reading

Ohio Appellate Court Holds that Words of Inheritance are Required to Reserve Oil and Gas Interests

Posted in Energy
Recently, in Peppertree Farms v. Thonen, 2020-Ohio-3043, Ohio’s Fifth Appellate District considered whether certain ancient royalty and fee oil and gas reservations terminated upon the grantor’s death. The Court held that they did because the grantors failed to include words of inheritance in their reservation clauses. As a result, each grantor’s reserved oil and gas… Continue Reading

Update Regarding Ohio Land Professional Registrations

Posted in Energy
The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing, recently reached out to Ohio’s “land professionals” (i.e., oil and gas landman registered with the Division) concerning renewing their registerations. Ohio law requires land professionals to renew their registrations annually on or before April 30. However, in light of House Bill 197, land… Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Refuses to Toll Statute of Limitation in Oil and Gas Royalty Case

Posted in Energy
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently ruled that a certain group of landowners were not entitled to have Ohio’s 4-year oil and gas royalty statute of limitation tolled against Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, finding that Chesapeake did not engage in fraudulent concealment. In Lutz v. Chesapeake Appalachia, L.L.C., No. 19-3315, certain… Continue Reading

PA Supreme Court Holds the Rule of Capture Applies to Hydraulic Fracturing Operations

Posted in Energy
On January 22, 2020, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided Briggs v. Southwestern Energy Prod. Co.  The issue before the Court was whether the rule of capture applies when a developer drains oil and gas from an adjacent property by drilling a well “using hydraulic fracturing solely within the developer’s property.” (emphasis in original). The… Continue Reading

The Supreme Court of Ohio To Address Due Diligence Under ODMA

Posted in Energy
In July, we wrote about Gerrity v. Chervenak (5th Dist., Guernsey County), involving the level of due diligence that the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act requires surface owners to use when notifying mineral holders of abandonment proceedings. On October 15, 2019, the Supreme Court of Ohio agreed to hear Gerrity.  The Court will consider the following… Continue Reading

Court Reaffirms Ohio’s Marketable Title Act and Dormant Mineral Act are not in Conflict

Posted in Energy
The Seventh District Court of Appeals reaffirmed that claimants can use both Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (“MTA”) and Dormant Mineral Act (“DMA”) to extinguish and abandon, respectively, mineral interests. In West v. Bode, 2019-Ohio-4092, the appellant-surface owners attempted to extinguish a severed oil and gas royalty interest under the MTA. The holders of the royalty interest… Continue Reading

USGS: Big Increase in Undiscovered Marcellus and Utica Gas

Posted in Energy
The Marcellus and Utica Shales contain around 214 tcf of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment.  “This is a significant increase from the previous USGS assessments of both formations. In 2011, the USGS estimated a mean of 84 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Marcellus… Continue Reading

Update for Ohio’s Oil and Gas Land Professionals

Posted in Energy
The Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing issued new guidance for Ohio’s Oil and Gas Land Professionals (“Land Professionals”).  First, the Division updated its Land Professional Disclosure Form. Ohio law requires Land Professionals to provide this disclosure form to landowners prior to or at its first meeting with landowners.  Second, the Division is requesting… Continue Reading

Ohio’s 5th Appellate District Addresses the Due Diligence Standard Under the Dormant Mineral Act

Posted in Energy
The Fifth Appellate District recently addressed whether an internet search to identify / locate the holders of severed mineral interests is always required under Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act (“ODMA”). See, Gerrity v. Chervenak, 2019-Ohio-2687. In 1965, Jane Richards obtained title to certain severed mineral interests located in Guernsey County, Ohio (“Gerrity Minerals”). In 1997, Ms.… Continue Reading

Ohio Court of Appeals Addresses Interplay of Oil and Gas Lease and Statutory Unitization Order

Posted in Energy
On June 19, 2019, Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals decided a case involving the interplay of a private oil and gas lease and Ohio’s statutory unitization law.  See Paczewski v. Antero Resources Corp., 18 MO 0016.  When signing an oil and gas lease, the original contracting parties struck a voluntary unitization clause.  Unable to… Continue Reading

U.S. EPA Finalizes New Owner Clean Air Act Audit Program for Oil and Natural Gas Sector

Posted in Energy, Environment
On March 29, 2019, U.S. EPA finalized a New Owner Clean Air Act (CAA) Audit Program for new owners of upstream oil and natural gas exploration and production facilities – i.e. well sites, tank batteries, and vapor control systems (the “Program”). The Program encourages new owners voluntarily to conduct a self-audit of newly acquired facilities,… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Court Rules on Unfair Trade Practices as to Natural Gas Leasing

Posted in Energy
On March 15th, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court issued its opinion in Anadarko Petro. Corp. v. Pennsylvania, No. 60 C.D. 2018 (Pa. Commw. Ct. March 15, 2019), holding that the Pennsylvania Attorney General could file action for unfair lease negotiations under Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (the “Unfair Trade Law”), but could not… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals Signals Ohio’s Marketable Title Act Applies to Fee Mineral Interests

Posted in Energy
Ohio’s Seventh District Court of Appeals was recently asked to analyze whether a fee oil and gas reservation can be extinguished under Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (the “MTA”). In Miller v. Mellott,  2019-Ohio-504,  two different groups claimed ownership over the oil and gas. The surface owners claimed title under the MTA. The mineral owners claimed… Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Ohio Clarifies Ohio Marketable Title Act

Posted in Energy
On December 13, 2018, the Supreme Court of Ohio clarified the preservation of interests under the Ohio Marketable Title Act (OMTA). See Blackstone v. Moore, Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-4959. In its decision, the Court held that under the OMTA, a deed reference to a previously reserved royalty interest is sufficiently-specific to preserve that royalty interest where the… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Continues Rulings Against Municipal Zoning Authority

Posted in Energy, Environment
On August 3, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court vacated another municipal zoning decision favorable to oil and gas development.  In its per curium order of Delaware Riverkeeper Network v. Middlesex Township (N0. 270 WAL 2017), the Supreme Court directed the Commonwealth Court to reconsider its previous decision upholding a local zoning ordinance that permitted oil… Continue Reading