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Friday, August 24, 2012

State Rep. Okey Promotes Bill to Protect Landowners From "Predatory" Drillers

From Columbus Business First:
State Rep. Mark Okey is trying to turn up the heat on Republican leaders at the Statehouse to get behind a bill to protect landowners from oil and natural gas companies developing the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in eastern Ohio.
Calling such companies “predatory,” the Democrat from Carrollton is urging Gov.John Kasich and other Republican leaders to support his Truth in Leasing Act. It would establish regulations for the oil and gas leasing process and require companies to pay property owners a minimum royalty of 15 percent on oil and gas extracted in the shale plays.
Okey and Rep. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, introduced House Bill 493, in March but it has yet to receive a hearing in the House. They are pushing Republicans, the majority party in the House and Senate, to consider the proposal when lawmakers are back in session this fall.
Okey told Columbus Business First he saw the need for regulation of oil and gas company leasing representatives, commonly referred to as “land men,” in his law practice in Carroll County. With more than 40 wells drilled and nine producing oil and gas as of July 15, the county has more Utica shale play activity than any other in the state.
Read the rest of the article here.

Considering all of the stories we have heard about pushy land men who have threatened to cut landowners completely out of their royalties if they won't sign amended leases, it will be interesting to see what happens with the legislation that Okey is putting forth.

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