I just found out over Christmas break from a distant relative by marriage that a land owner is trying to reclaim their mineral rights and I am one of the people involved in the minerals.  I hope I have not found out too late, but not sure how I would have found out any sooner.  There are 64 acres in Richland township Guernsey Co. Ohio that we have an undivided fractional interest in.  It seems something has already happened in the court system.  I have been contacted by Carrizo, and that person informed me that they want us to sign a protection of some sorts and that will allow them to develop that area and they will give us a $1000 to sign the order and if I retain my minerals I would get $5500 per acre.  He want's to meet with us on 1-8-14.   I have not looked over the lease but the land owner has signed one already.  I seems to me I have a good paper trail that saves my interest but not sure if others (3 people) have the same. 

This site has given me a lot of good info, I hope my experience can help some one else.  This seems to be a first in Guernsey Co.  I will post my experiences here.  I hope this might be my golden ticket. 

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Kevin,

I would retain a good O&G attorney immediately. I wouldn't be real concerned about the time frame of this because the laws the law know matter when its applied. I am not clear though if you have retained the mineral rights through the abandoned mineral rights laws in Ohio or if at some point in time you have paper work that reassigns the mineral rights to the surface owner. I have done some limited research on the abandoned mineral right laws in Ohio and from my understanding it has been tested eight times in multiple county's in Ohio and has yet to be overturned. Unfortunately, I think there is going to be a lot more of this going on in the area as the O&G Industry continues to develop . People are amazing to me. minerals weren't worth anything so don't do the paper work to retain mineral right after they are passed on to you. Oh wait they are worth something now, Oh those are mine!

This depends on when these rights were reserved by whoever did it.  If its more than twenty years and there hasnt been a savings event such as , a lease, drilling, or some type of paperwork saying something about you retaining the rights.  if not your chances are slim because of all these past cases that have went with the surface owner.  this happened to a cousin of mine, he lost them


Effective January 1, 2014, lessors and surface owners will be required to file additional instruments before an oil and gas lease will be deemed forfeited or a mineral interest will be deemed abandoned.

5301.332 [Effective 1/30/2014] Forfeiture for failure of lessee, successors or assigns to abide by specifically described covenants.

(A)

(1) Whenever leases of natural gas and oil lands recorded under section 5301.09 of the Revised Code concerning lands upon which there are no producing or drilling oil or gas wells become forfeited for failure of the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns to abide by specifically described covenants provided for in the lease, or because the term of the lease has expired, the lessor or the lessor's successors or assigns may file for record an affidavit of forfeiture with the county recorder after serving notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, at the lessee's or the lessee's successors' or assigns' last known address, or if service is not obtained by certified mail, by giving notice by publication at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the land is located of the lessor's intent to declare the lease forfeited.

(2) The notice or publication shall be addressed to the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, and shall contain the name of the lessee; a general description of the land; the number of acres; the date of the lease; the volume and page of the lease record where the lease is recorded; the cause of the forfeiture; and shall state the intention of the lessor to file for record an affidavit of forfeiture with the county recorder if the lessee does not have the lease released of record within thirty days from the date of receipt of the notice or of publication.

(B) After thirty days and not more than sixty days from the date of proof of mailing or publication of the notice, the lessor or the lessor's successors or assigns may file with the county recorder an affidavit of forfeiture setting forth that such person is the lessor of an oil or gas lease; the file number or volume and page of the lease record where the oil or gas lease is recorded; that the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, have failed and neglected to comply with specifically described covenants provided for in the lease, reciting the facts constituting such failure, or that the term of the lease has expired; that there are no producing or drilling oil or gas wells on the leased premises; that the lease has been forfeited and is void; and that notice was served on the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, or that publication was made, and the manner and time thereof.

(C) If the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns claims that the lease is in full force and effect, the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns shall, within sixty days after the mailing or publication of the notice of the lessor of the lessor's intention to declare the lease forfeited, notify the person who filed the affidavit of forfeiture of the claim, and file for record an affidavit with the office of the county recorder of the county in which the land is situated stating that the lease has not been forfeited and that the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns still claim that the lease is in full force and effect.

(D) If the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns do not give such notice in writing to the lessor at any time prior to the sixtieth day after the mailing or publication of the notice of the lessor of the lessor's intention to declare the lease forfeited, then the lessor shall file for record with the county recorder a notice of failure to file. The notice shall contain all of the following:

(1) A statement that the person filing the notice is the lessor or the lessor's successors or assigns;

(2) The document number or volume and page of the lease record where the oil or gas lease is recorded;

(3) A general description of the land;

(4) The statement: "This lease cancelled pursuant to affidavit of forfeiture recorded as Document Number ....., or Official Record/Lease Vol. ....., Page ....."

Thereafter, the record of the lease shall not be notice to the public of the existence of the lease or of any interest therein or rights thereunder and the record shall not be received in evidence in any court of the state on behalf of the lessee or the lessee's successors or assigns, or against the lessor or the lessor's successors or assigns.

(E) For recording the affidavit of forfeiture, the affidavit giving notice that the lease has not been forfeited, and the notice of failure to file, the county recorder shall charge the fees provided by section 317.32 of the Revised Code.

Amended by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 72, §1, eff. 1/30/2014.

Effective Date: 10-31-1979

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/5301.332v2

At least with my interest of mineral rights, I have known that we were going to inherent them since '93, and after my father-in-law passed in '03 they were titled in our name and recorded as such. I don't think the other mineral "owners" have filed the proper paper work. Just because you have mineral rights willed to you does not mean you own them, I think it comes down to doing the proper paper work, I think, I hope. I think the land owner will get back some of the 64 acres but not mine.

You can file a "Notice To Preserve" within the county at the court house to protect yourself.

We had to do this when we were being challenged by the surface owners in Maryland.

This "Notice" will stop any action on anything more you may not know you own.

We did win the case but it sure did come out of the blue as we had no idea we owned minerals in that county because MD does not tax minerals.

Good Luck

How did you prove the minerals were yours?

I was served with a law suit by the surface owners seeking to have the judge grant ownership of the minerals using the Dormant Minerals Act.

In answer to how we found out we owned the minerals, that work was done by the surface owners.

 

Is this just for people trying to obtain mineral rights from this point on?

My parents are going through this as well.....my grandfather saved the mineral rights on a farm he owned, upon his death they transferred to my grandmother, But my parents never knew they owned them until Carrizo contacted them. They were never transferred over into my parents name until recently.......their lawyer stated that it would cost 25,000 dollars and several years to clear.

Well we meet with Carrizo on the 8th, first time I have been there, man what a dump of an office.  Why wouldn't they try to make it a little presentable?  It reminded me of a messy dorm room with very little furniture and papers and maps laying on the floor in a pile.  Talked to two kids about this protective lease they wanted us to sign.  I asked to see the lease so I could have an attorney look at it.  They said that this one is generic and they would have an other one for us to sign.  I said I need the lease you want me to sign.  They might have it on Fri.  I guess this is the first wave of land men that come around to test the waters.  This is not my first fishing trip, I have a bigger boat.  

They did inform me it looked to them that the land owner may have the upper hand, but I don't believe that.  I also went to three doctors to figure out what's wrong with my knee after a dirt bike accident, two of them were 100% wrong.  Going to Marietta today to get a real attorney.  Wish us luck, and will keep you posted. 

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