Important: OH Supreme Court Finally Rules on Dormant Mineral Act

Gavel-falling.jpgMDN has been reporting on the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA) for years (see Video: OH Lawyers Explain Dormant Minerals Act & Impact on Utica). In a nutshell, there are two DMAs in Ohio–one passed in 1989 that went into effect in 1992, and another in 2006 which added certain additional procedural requirements to the 1989 version. The DMA in its various versions provides for mineral rights that had previously been separated from surface rights to transfer back to the surface owner under certain conditions. The problem, for drillers and for landowners in Ohio, is in knowing which set of DMA rules to use (1989 or 2006) in determining who owns the mineral rights. A number of DMA cases went before the Ohio Supreme Court. Some of the minor cases have already been decided (see Ohio Supreme Court Rules in Important Dormant Mineral Act Case). However, most of the big cases remain stalled at the Supreme Court. That is, until now. Yesterday the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on the remaining big DMA cases. The Supremes issued full rulings in three cases and stated the other cases come under those three. The biggest of the three is Corban v. Chesapeake Energy, in which the justices said the 2006 law now trumps (pun intended) the 1989 law. Here’s a summary of what the court decided…

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