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Recent Blog Posts

  • Paycheck Protection Program loan necessity questionnaire By Brett Thornton    Borrowers of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans – together with their affiliates – who have loans in excess of $2 million and seek loan forgiveness will potentially need to complete necessity questionnaires according to the Small Business Administration. There are separate forms for for-profit and non-profit businesses and will likely affect 52,000 borrowers. My colleagues Jack Beeler, Cat Rice and Jack Meadows explain the purpose and questions asked in these questionnaires in this law alert.... More
  • Supreme Court of Ohio to decide three cases regarding subsurface rights By Chris Baronzzi and Porter Wright    Ohio landowners and holders of mineral interests should soon receive clarification regarding certain mineral rights. On Sept. 1, 2020, the Supreme Court of Ohio accepted Fonzi v. Brown for review, a case involving the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA). Fonzi joins Gerrity v. Chervenak and West v. Bode, as the third major case on the court’s docket that raises questions about the ODMA and/or Marketable Title Act (MTA). The Ohio General Assembly enacted the ODMA, which... More
  • Supreme Court of Ohio tolls civil deadlines during COVID-19 emergency period By Brett Thornton    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio’s legislative, executive, and judicial branches are working together to clarify requirements for civil litigants and alleviate mounting pressure on Ohio’s courts. My colleague Sean Klammer explains in this Porter Wright Law Alert.... More
  • New Ohio regulations reduce minimum spacing requirements for horizontal oil and gas wells By Chris Baronzzi    The Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Oil & Gas Resources Management (DOGRM) recently revised its rules governing spacing of horizontal oil and gas production wells. The new rules, which became effective on Oct. 10, 2019, will bring Ohio’s horizontal well spacing regulations in line with what accepted science and drilling data indicates is a more efficient and productive spacing for horizontal wells in Ohio. Under the prior version of Ohio Administrative Code §1501:9-1-04, which applied to... More
  • Reference to oil & gas royalty interest deemed sufficient under the Marketable Title Act By Jeremy Mercer and Devan Flahive    The Ohio Supreme Court recently settled an open question under Ohio’s Marketable Title Act (MTA), determining that a reference to the type of interest created and to whom it was granted is all that is necessary under the MTA to preserve the interest. And interestingly, despite the existence of the Dormant Mineral Act (DMA), the Supreme Court applied the MTA to an oil and gas interest. In Blackstone v. Moore, landowners filed a lawsuit against the... More
  • State Legislature exempts oil and gas landmen from real estate license requirements By Ryan Steele    On Dec.19, 2018, Gov. John Kasich signed SB 263 into law, which amends ORC 4735 to exempt oil and gas land professionals (landmen) from the licensure requirements imposed on real estate agents and brokers. The revisions to sections 4735.01 and 4735.023 introduce the concept of an “oil and gas land professional” (new ORC 4735.01(GG)), and exempts landmen from the definition of “real estate broker,” “real estate salesperson,” “foreign real estate dealer” and “foreign real estate salesperson” through new... More
  • New Ohio tax law clarifies and expands sales and use tax exemptions for the oil and gas industry By Mark Snider    Many thanks to Kevin Scott for his assistance in preparing this post. On June 14, 2018, Governor Kasich signed into law H.B. 430 which will go into effect in September of 2018. The bill clarifies the language covering sales and use tax exemptions for certain oil and gas industry participants. Specifically, the new law modifies the existing statute governing the sales and use tax exemption for property used directly in producing oil or gas. Following recent actions by the... More
  • West Virginia joins majority view on oil and gas leasing with new cotenancy statute By Devan Flahive    On March 5, 2018, the West Virginia Legislature passed new legislation known as the Cotenancy Modernization and Majority Protection Act, W. Va. Code § 37B-1-1 et seq. (Cotenancy Statute). This new Cotenancy Statute, which became effective June 3, 2018, is intended to facilitate oil and gas development of West Virginia properties that have numerous fractional oil and gas owners. It applies to tracts in which there are seven or more owners of the oil and gas in place,... More
  • Ohio Supreme Court rejects implied covenant to explore further By Chris Baronzzi    The Ohio Supreme Court’s latest oil and gas decision is good news for the industry. On Jan. 3, 2018, the Court decided Alford v. Collins-McGregor Operating Co., Slip Opinion No. 2018-Ohio-8, which held that under Ohio law, “there is no implied covenant to explore further separate and apart from the implied covenant of reasonable development.” Id. at ¶25. The facts are straight forward and did not seem to make much difference in the decision. The Plaintiff-appellant filed suit in... More
  • Federal district court finds that Ohio allows deduction of post-production costs from royalty payments required to be calculated “at the well” By Chris Baronzzi    Last week the Ohio Northern District Court, Eastern Division issued a decision in Lutz v. Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC, N.D. Ohio No. 4:09-cv-2256, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176898 (Oct. 25, 2017), which involved a dispute about whether Ohio follows the “at the well” rule (which allows oil and gas royalty payments to be downward adjusted to account for a lessor’s pro rata share of post-production costs) or the “marketable product” rule (which does not allow producers to adjust royalty... More