Leases Near Expiration for Many OH Utica Landowners – Tips for Re-Leasing

lease agreementIt was four years ago last month that BP entered the Utica Shale in a big way by signing a lease with members of the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley (ALOV) group to lease 84,000 acres in Trumbull County, OH (see BP’s Big Utica Shale Deal, Leases 84K Acres in Ohio). BP and ALOV was all hush hush about the terms of the deal–but MDN found out and blabbed it to the world. Landowners got a $3,900 per acre signing bonus, and when/if their property is drilled, they would get a 17.5% royalty. When was the last time you heard about BP drilling a well? Yeah, us too. Like, never. Last year this time BP announced they were calling it quits in the Utica Shale (see BP Calls it Quits in the Utica Shale – Total Write-off). ALOV members were not the only group, or individuals, to sign leases 4+ years ago. There’s plenty more–and many of them never got drilled. So those 5-year leases are now coming up to expiration. What should landowners do? Re-sign with the same company? Try to renegotiate a new rate? Look for a different company to sign with? You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again from MDN: YOU NEED A LAWYER to review any such agreements. The legal beagles at Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell have just issued a memo with some great tips for landowners–things to mull over as you think about whether or not to re-lease, and if you do, under what conditions…

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