Major OH Court Victory for Beck Energy & XTO in Lease Case

A court case with big implications for all Ohio landowners–and drillers–was decided in March 2013. In Hupp v. Beck Energy Corp, three landowners filed suit claiming that their leases with Beck Energy Corp. were void and should be terminated because Beck never drilled wells on their property and that a provision allowing Beck to pay a nominal delay fee was against public policy. The court agreed and granted summary judgment (see OH Lawsuit Victory: 600-700 Landowners Can Terminate Beck, XTO Leases). Beck had sold the leases–in Monroe and Belmont counties–to XTO Energy, so XTO got involved in the lawsuit too. The court then granted class certification to the lawsuit brought by the three landowners–meaning between 600-700 landowners would also be able to invalidate their leases. A few weeks later both Beck and XTO filed an appeal (see XTO, Beck Energy Appeal OH Case Allowing Lease Termination). On appeal, this week the Seventh District Court of Appeals in Ohio overturned the lower court ruling and ruled in favor of Beck and XTO–a major victory for Ohio’s drillers and a major defeat for the landowners who say their land never got drilled and they wanted to re-sign with different company…

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