How Can Ohio Landowners Regain Ownership of Severed Oil & Gas Mineral Rights?

From Bricker & Eckler LLP:
Ohio’s Dormant Minerals Act (Revised Code 5301.56) provides a landowner with the opportunity to acquire title to previously severed oil and gas mineral rights if the mineral interest owner does not “use” those rights during a specific 20-year time period. If oil and gas rights are not “used” during the 20-year period, then title to those rights vests with the surface owner.
As originally enacted in 1989, the Ohio Dormant Minerals Act constituted a “use it or lose it” statute: if the mineral-interest owners did not “use” their mineral rights during a 20-year time period, then they automatically vested in the surface owner.1 The 1989 version, however, underwent substantial revision in 2006 when the General Assembly added certain notice requirements to the statute.2 Under the current version of the statute, the following multi-step process must be specifically followed in order to accomplish the merging of the surface and mineral interests:
  1. Confirm that the mineral interest at issue is not coal.
  2. Confirm that the mineral interest is not owned by the United States, the State of Ohio, or any political subdivision (for example, a county, township, municipality or school district).
  3. Ensure that the following "savings events" did not occur in the 20 years prior to the notice described below being sent to the holders of the mineral interest:
Read the rest of this enlightening article here. 

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