OH Judge Says Filing Paperwork is Enough to Extend Lease

Ohio landowners should be aware of an important court case just decided that says, in essence, filing paperwork is enough proof of a driller’s intent that a lease can be extended beyond the initial signing period. Several landowners in Jefferson County, OH signed a lease with Fortuna Energy in 2006 that was later sold to Chesapeake Energy (in 2010). The lease was for a 5-year period. Three days before the end of the lease Chesapeake filed a Declaration of Pooled Unit (DPU) with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. That is, they told ODNR in essence “here’s a group of properties we intend to drill on soon” requesting permission to “pool” them together into a drilling unit. That simple act was enough proof, according to a U.S. District Court judge, to allow Chesapeake to extend the original lease beyond the original 5 years.

And so now the landowners are stuck waiting for Chesapeake to actually do something other than file paperwork. Good luck with that…

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