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Oil and Gas Lease Questions and Answers

Frequently Asked Ohio Oil and Gas Lease Questions

Ohio oil and gas lease questions and answersOhio is an active state when it comes to oil and gas leases. Many people  in Ohio have questions about their existing oil and gas lease or a proposed lease from an energy company.

To answer these questions, we offer free consultations with an experienced Ohio oil and gas lease attorney to discuss the details of your lease. Contact us by calling 1-888-534-4850, email slaterzurz@slaterzurz.com or fill out the Free Case Review on the right.

My oil and gas lease was notarized after I signed it and I was not present when it was notarized. Is my lease valid?

In general, yes.  While there may be a question as to whether the lease is valid between subsequent parties, case law states that since you intended to sign the lease, and did in fact sign the lease, it is valid between you and the lessee.

There is currently no oil or gas well on my property. However, a leasing company has told me that my land is held by production and thus cannot be leased. How can this be?

Your land may once have been part of a larger parcel where a well had been drilled.  Alternatively, your parcel may have been part of a larger drilling unit, and a well might be located on your neighbor’s property, but your property was part of that drilling unit.  Thus, your property may still be held by production.

There is a gas well on my property which is paying me only a few dollars per year.  Can I void my lease for lack of production?

In general, no.  As long as you are receiving some form of royalty, even if it is extremely small, courts have been reluctant to void leases for lack of production.  On the other hand, if the well truly has not produced for some period of time, then you should definitely consult with an attorney to see if the lease can be voided.

I have been told that I do (or do not) own the mineral rights to my property.  How can I be sure?

The only way you can be sure is to have a title search performed.  Depending on the size of your parcel and its transfer history, this can become an expensive proposition.  A title search can cost anywhere from $1,000.00 to $3,000.00 and up.  Alternatively, if you do sign a lease with an oil and gas company, that company will perform a title search at its own cost.  The oil and gas company may not give you a copy of their title search, but they may at least tell you what the situation is.

I have read about the Dormant Minerals Act and how it may be used to reclaim (or take away) mineral rights.  How does this work?

The Dormant Minerals Act is an extremely complex and intricate piece of legislation.  In fact, there are actually two Dormant Minerals Acts, one from 1989 and one from 2006.  The exact interplay of these Acts is still up in the air.  The landscape of these Acts changes from day to day, and only experienced oil and gas attorneys can explain to you all of the possible ways in which the Act may or may not affect your land.

Most times, litigation is required between landowners and mineral owners to settle their rights.  Frequently, these two parties end up agreeing to somehow divide bonus money and royalties since litigation can take years and be very expensive.

Can I afford an attorney to examine my oil and gas issues?

Yes!  Probably the better answer is, how can you afford not to?  At Slater & Zurz LLP we are always willing to talk to potential clients at no charge and with no obligation.  Feel free to contact us via email or telephone.  Some cases we take on a contingency basis, which means you pay nothing unless we succeed on your behalf.  However, if a title search is required, the client will often be asked to advance that money.  Sometimes we will also work at an hourly rate if the client has a desire to pay the rate.

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