Recent Posts

Written by
about Ownership and Transfers
on February 26, 2015

Obtaining Unexpected Profits from Ohio’s Dormant Minerals Act


Ohio’s dormant minerals act (DMA) is designed to rejuvenate abandoned oil and gas reservations by granting them to the surface owner (a more detailed explanation of the DMA can be found here).

A basic DMA process with one oil and gas holder:

In a very basic scenario, the Surface Owner notifies the oil and gas Holder that their rights will be declared abandoned in 60 days.  In order to retain their interests, the Holder must record a claim form prior to the 60th day.  A timely filed claim form shuts down the whole process: the Surface Owner cannot re-capture the Holder’s interests.…

Oil and Gas Lease Ownership Challenges – Seminar Materials

Below are the materials the National Business Institute asked me to prepare for a seminar on Oil and Gas law.


A.  Recent case law and litigation trends

Though Ohio was one of the earliest states to have commercial production of oil and gas, surprisingly, it has not developed much of a body of case law in the field of oil and gas.  Frequently, the laws of other states must be reviewed to find cases on point – Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana seem to have the most published opinions concerning oil and gas.

The advent of the Utica shale has changed things. …

Written by
about Leases + Ownership and Transfers
on October 2, 2014

Non-Consenting Landowners and Conflicts Between Leases

This article discusses situations arising when several people own the same piece of land, and only some of them sign an oil and gas lease.  Resolving this issue requires a discussion of basic property ownership principles.

Types of Land Ownership

Ownership in land takes many forms.  Some individuals are the sole owner of their land.  Another piece of land could be owned by several people, such as when brothers and sisters inherit land from a parent.  This joint ownership of a piece of property is usually called a tenancy in common, with the owners themselves known as tenants in common , or co-tenants.

Written by
about Pipelines

Ohio Pipeline Map and Proposed ET Rover and Leach XPress Routes

Ohio has so many pipelines that if I tried to put them all on one map, you wouldn’t be able to see much. What I’ve done here is shown what I consider to be the major, state-wide pipelines. All of these lines are interstate (crossing into at least PA, WV, IN or KY). They carry different products. They are different sizes. They have different destinations. What unifies them is their scale- each of these pipelines was a massive undertaking and involved a large number of Ohio landowners.

This map also shows two newly proposed pipelines: ET Rover and Leach XPress. These projects are just getting off the ground now (September of 2014).…

Why am I Still Receiving Royalty Checks?

I sold my property but did not reserve the mineral rights. Why am I still receiving royalty checks?

If you did not reserve mineral rights when you sold your property, you are almost certainly not entitled to royalty checks anymore. The reason the oil and gas company keeps sending them is simple: they don’t know that the property has been sold. Somebody has to tell them. Just because they keep sending checks does not mean that you are entitled to them.

Typically the new owner takes this responsibility upon themselves because they want to start receiving royalty checks. Sometimes, however, they forget.…

Getting an Oil and Gas Company to Change Who They Pay

I bought property with an existing lease on it. What do I do? How do I get an oil and gas company to update their records and add me as the current owner?

Most oil and gas leases (even really old ones) contain some variation of this phrase: “No change of ownership shall be binding on the Lessee until it is duly notified.” This is legalese for: the oil and gas company will keep paying the old owner until the new owner speaks up and shows ownership.

When you think about it, this makes sense: oil and gas companies cannot be responsible for watching every courthouse in the state to see when a property changes hands.…

Written by
about Pipelines

Announcing the ET Rover and Leach Xpress Pipelines

Statistics suggest that 75% of landowners will sign the pipeline agreements and negotiate a settlement without getting an attorney involved. The pipeline companies hope that you make that mistake. Be smarter than the 75%– learn about how you can protect your bottom line and your property by joining a landowner group.

Johnson & Johnson has recently teamed up with attorneys Steve Davis and Craig Vandervoort, also known as the Ohio Pipeline Attorneys. Steve, Craig and Molly are currently forming pipeline groups for both the ET Rover and Leach Xpress pipelines. We use our own tried-and-true method of individual representation within a group setting.…

Written by
about Pipelines

Pipeline Installation – Wet Spots

What are Wet Spots?

When a property is known to be wet (or have wet spots) it needs to be dealt with specially. This issue is not to be confused with wetlands, which require substantially different treatment. When a property is simply muddy, the heavy construction equipment can sink. This is bad news for you because it can cause more damage to your property than necessary. It’s bad news for the pipeline company because it can damage their equipment and delay the project (and time is money).

My Land is usually pretty wet – can a pipeline company even utilize it?