Helping Clients With Their Energy and Environmental Needs


Supreme Court of Ohio Holds 1989 DMA Is Not Self Executing

By Ilya Batikov

On September 15, 2016, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued a number of decisions concerning the application of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (R.C. 5301.56) (DMA). In the lead case, Corban v. Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C., et al., 2016-Ohio-5796 , the Court held that:

  •  The 1989 version of the DMA was not self-executing (i.e., did not automatically transfer ownership of dormant mineral rights to the surface owner of the property by operation of law). Rather, the surface owner must have filed a quiet title action seeking a decree that the dormant mineral interest had been abandoned in order to merge the interests;
  •  The 2006 version of the DMA (“2006 DMA”) applies to claims to abandon dormant mineral interests asserted after the effective date of the 2006 DMA (June 30, 2006); and
  • The payment of a delay rental during the primary term of an oil and gas lease does not qualify as a “savings event” under the DMA.

These holdings have a significant impact upon the ownership of severed oil and gas interests located within the State of Ohio. We are currently reviewing these decisions and will be publishing a more detailed client alert shortly. Please check back here for additional information.

Click here to read Corban.

UPDATE:  Click here to read our Client Alert on Corban.  Also, see here for a Client Alert on successfully complying with the abandonment procedures under the 2006 version of the DMA.

Tags: Ohio, DMA, MTA, Energy, 'Mineral Rights', ODMA, severed minerals

Helping clients with their energy and environmental needs

You can expect to find news and breaking legal developments involving the crude oil and natural gas industries, alternative and renewable energy resources, and the latest environmental issues.