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Four years after the Supreme Court of Ohio struck down the City of Munroe Falls’ attempt to regulate oil and gas development through zoning, a lower appeals court held that the City and its law director could not sanctioned for attempting to enforce ordinances that required Beck Energy to obtain a zoning certificate and/or variance prior to drilling wells within the city.  See State of Ohio, ex rel. Thomas W. Kostoff v. Beck Energy Corp…
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 reference identifies the type of interest created and the person to whom the interest was granted. Check out the decision …
In Browne v. Artex Oil Co., Case No. 17 CA 20, the Fifth District recently determined that an action to declare an oil and gas lease terminated due to a lack of production was subject to a breach of contract statute of limitations period of either eight or fifteen years (for more, see here).  On August 2, 2018, the Fifth District determined that its ruling in Browne was in direct conflict with a decision…
On June 13, 2018, a federal district court rejected a takings challenge to a unit order issued by the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management under the state’s statutory unitization law, R.C. 1509.28    The court found that “the statutory unitization procedure set forth in R.C. § 1509.28 operates to protect the correlative rights of landowners….and it was passed as a valid exercise of Ohio’s police power.”  See Kerns v. Chesapeake Exploration, LLC ,…
A newly filed collective action in Ohio federal court against an oil and gas company highlights the importance of wage-hour law compliance and the potential ramifications for failing to do so. The case, Casarez v. Producers Service Corp., pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, involves the proper calculation of overtime compensation for employees paid under a “Belo” plan.  Read more about this case in our Client Alert.
In Browne v. Artex (May 31, 2018), Ohio’s Fifth District Court of Appeals held that a claim that an oil and gas lease expired for lack of production is governed by Ohio’s statute of limitation for contract claims—not the state’s longer statute of limitations for recovery of possession of real property. In Browne, the plaintiffs alleged that their oil and gas lease had lapsed for lack of production from 1981-1999.  The defendant-lessee asserted that plaintiffs’…
On May 25, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a district court’s decision that Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation could reject certain gathering service agreements in bankruptcy.  The agreements, with Nordheim Eagle Ford Gathering, LLC, provided that Nordheim would supply Sabine with certain gathering, transportation and treatment services for Sabine’s natural gas and condensate production.  The Court of Appeals determined that the agreements were not “real covenants that run…
Today, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management invited comments on a draft rule package that would amend the Division’s existing well spacing rules for conventional and horizontal wells.  As the Division explains in its Statement of Intent: The DOGRM intends to amend the existing well spacing rule by revising the minimum acreage requirements for conventional wells and establishing new provisions pertaining to the minimum distance requirement from which a…