Drilling and Producing

Articles in this section pertain to gas and oil issues that arise after a lease has already been signed, but before royalties are paid. These articles touch on a range of topics, from explaining how wells are drilled, to how existing wells affect a landowner’s gas and oil rights. Information about well units and permitting procedures can also be found here.

Written by
about Drilling and Producing + Leases + Pipelines
on July 4, 2012

Notes from the Utica – July 2012

Six months ago I wrote an update on Ohio oil and gas leasing. Since that time, lease activity in Ohio has changed somewhat. New Utica wells continue to be drilled, but it can take a while to learn about their production capabilities. Some of these wells will be drilled and left alone for a period of at least  4 weeks. This is done for geological reasons and has to do with the pressure of the reservoir. Drilling companies also like to keep the success of their wells secret lest they inform their competitors of valuable drilling strategies. For the most part, the same energy companies I mentioned in January are still around: Chesapeake, Devon, Hillcorp, Shell, Anadarko, Hess, Gulfport, Consol, and XTO (Exxon).…

Written by
about Drilling and Producing + Leases + Royalties
on January 4, 2012

Oil and Gas Lease Forfeiture or Expiration in Ohio

Recently, I’ve been receiving a number of calls from prospective clients who are looking for ways to extract themselves from an old lease that covers their property. Various scenarios exist: (1) an old lease was signed years ago, but no well was ever drilled; (2) a well was drilled, but has sat idle for some time, with no royalties being paid; (3) a well was drilled and royalties have been paid, but they are sporadic or of a very small amount. With the recent increase in leasing in Ohio, and considering the large sums being offered, these clients want to know if they can cancel the old lease to allow them to sign a new lease for large dollars.…

Written by
about Drilling and Producing + Leases
on June 22, 2011

Notes from the Utica – July 2011

Oil and gas leasing in Ohio has continued at a rapid pace. Columbiana County, Jefferson County, Mahoning County, Caroll County, Stark County and Harrison County continue to generate signing bonuses in the $2,000/acre and up range, with prices in Harrison County (where a rumored huge well has been drilled) reportedly hitting over $3,000 per acre. Outside of that core area, in Trumbull County, Portage County, Summit County, and Tuscarawas County, activity is pretty brisk, but at lesser per acre amounts. Going beyond those counties, we are seeing new entrants, besides Chesapeake Energy, into the Utica shale play who are leasing in Medina County, Ashland County, Wayne County, Holmes County, Coshocton County, Belmont County and other areas.

Gas and Oil Leasing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About Oil and Gas Leasing and Drilling

Q. How long does an oil and gas lease last?

A. Usually, a long time. Most leases have two terms that affect their duration. The primary term is a fixed period of time (e.g. five years) during which the lessee has to achieve a certain result. If that result is achieved, then the secondary term kicks in, which is of indefinite duration. Most often, a lease will specify that a well must be drilled within the primary term and that once this happens the secondary term commences and continues for so long as there is production from the well.

Written by
about Drilling and Producing + Leases + Ownership and Transfers + Royalties
on January 4, 2011

Oil and Gas Law 101

The first commercial well drilled for oil was the “Drake” well, which was drilled in 1859 in eastern Pennsylvania,. Many years and many wells have passed since that time and, as would be expected, many disputes have arisen concerning the leasing, drilling and operation of oil and gas wells in the United States.

Since I began practicing law in 1983, I have been involved in all manner of such disputes – some of which ended up in court. Some involved claims between landowners (Lessors) and the company who took an oil and gas lease (Lessees). Some involved claims between co-owners of a lease rights.…

Written by
about Drilling and Producing + Leases
on November 8, 2010

Notes from the Utica – November 2010

During the summer of 2010, the oil and gas leasing situation in Ohio changed markedly. Prior to this point in time, oil and gas leasing and drilling in Ohio was conducted primarily by smaller, local companies. In 2010, an influx of larger companies changed the oil and gas landscape in Ohio. The primary company behind this move was Chesapeake Energy — a huge oil and gas producer based out of Oklahoma. Another large company, East Resources (recently purchased by Shell Petroleum) has also made a move into Ohio. Other out of state companies of varying size have also begun leasing — seemingly following at Chesapeake’s heels.…