Read the rest of this Q&A by clicking here.Shale-related development is bringing Ohio more than $12 billion in economic development projects, according to a recent report cited in Columbus Business First—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. None of this development would be possible if landowners were not leasing their oil and gas mineral rights. The oil and gas lease defines the rights of the landowners and the oil and gas company. Here are some issues landowners and developers alike should keep in mind regarding oil and gas leasing issues.Question: Do I automatically own the rights to oil and gas that may exist beneath my property?Answer: No; it is possible for you to own the surface of a piece of land without owning the mineral rights underneath it. That’s because the mineral rights can be severed from the surface rights. Usually, this happens when the property owner sells the surface rights to someone else, but keeps (or “reserves”) some or all of the mineral rights. This is called a mineral rights reservation.Q: How do I know who owns the rights to oil and gas under my property?A: The best way to figure out who owns what interests in the land is to have a reputable, experienced mineral rights title abstractor conduct a search of the public records in the county where the land is located.
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