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Showing posts from November, 2015

Ohio Supreme Court Interprets Dormant Mineral Act

In Chesapeake Exploration, LLC v. Buell, The Ohio Supreme Court recently answered a certified question from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern District that involved interpretation of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act, codified as Ohio law R. C. 5301.56.  Chesapeake Exploration, LLC and several other parties claimed title to the minerals through severed mineral conveyances and leases.  The surface owners claimed to own minerals "by lapse" through the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act.

As context, a dormant mineral act, such as the one that was enacted in Ohio addresses so-called stale or abandoned mineral rights and interests. When minerals are severed from the surface, they tend to become further subdivided through inheritances or conveyances, and it becomes difficult for examiners to accurately trace and determine ownership.  The Ohio Legislature enacted their Dormant Mineral Act as a means to reunite the abandoned mineral interests with the sur…