The State of the Oil and Gas Play in Eastern Ohio

Long-time followers of EQUES (back when we were still White Law Office) know that we were, and continue to be, advocates for landowner and mineral owner rights regarding oil, gas, and mineral plays. While the oil and gas boom in Eastern Ohio has slowed over the years, we have it on solid authority that there will be a new development.

 

Six years ago, Dale Arnold, from the Ohio Farm Bureau, and I were sharing a coffee. We traveled a lot together in those days, educating and advocating for Farm Bureau members. And I respect Dale as a leading authority (if not the leading authority) on energy issues in Ohio.

 

During our coffee, Dale took a piece of paper and drew a map of Ohio. He then added a diagram of the geological formations across eastern, central, and western Ohio. He pointed to a corridor where he predicted the next play would develop as technology advanced. He divined that it would be about a decade. Besides his timing being off by a very acceptable margin of error, his ability to locate the next development was a bullseye.

 

In the coming days, the EQUES team will be working to address this new development. There will be issues we are familiar with from over a decade as landowner advocates and issues that will be unique to this play.

 

We will be leaning into technology by posting educational content on our website and social media. We will also meet with landowners about how this play will directly impact their property, rights, and communities.

 

With a short time between the previous shale play and this play, we can rely on something other than a hazy memory. We remember readily:

 

Landowner groups and so-called “advocates” that took advantage of the people they were supposed to protect;

 

Over-promising and underdelivering by oil and gas company representatives;

 

Promises of jobs and community impact that left when the prices fell;

 

“Hurry up and act” pitches by flippers who were out for themselves; and

 

Leases that tied landowners’ hands when it came to surface use and royalty payment.

 

We remember all this because EQUES has continued advocating for landowners and mineral holders.   We have won Ohio Supreme Court and Appellate Court cases on nuanced issues of law impacting title to minerals.   We have done hundreds of deep dives into complex titles to minerals.   We have defended and fought for ownership of minerals.   And we continue to advocate for royalty payments for lessors who are due their fair share.

 

The EQUES team has also continued to be present in the communities we entered during the middle of the last oil and gas play.   We established and still operate our two offices in Cadiz and Woodsfield. With Attorney Katherine Kimble leading our Eastern Ohio teams and distinguishing herself as a leader in the oil and gas arena. Long after oil and gas issues were the main topics of conversation, we were still investing in and providing legal services to those communities.

 

We did not come to take and leave; we came to stay.

 

We are working hard to ensure we have our information correct and are triple verifying it where possible.

 

We will be posting more soon.

 

A piece of advice that served us well in the last play is, “If you can’t sleep well at night knowing what you gave away in your lease, no amount of money will help you sleep any better.”

 

Attorney Katherine Kimble and I will be here to help you navigate this play and the ones that come after.

 

Chris White

Executive Partner

EQUES Law Group

 

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