ARLINGTON, TX — “If property owners refuse deals, Chesapeake and its land men have made clear their plans to take the oil and gas from beneath the land by using little-known laws in Texas, Ohio and other states. The terminology varies from state to state – a Rule 37 exception in Texas, mandatory pooling or unitization in Ohio. But the result is often the same: getting state regulators to enable the company to drill, sometimes against the owner’s will.
The economic argument for granting access to unleased land is logical. Difficulty in stitching together large plots leaves holes in drilling units that can make development less profitable. Large, contiguous plots enable drillers to pump more oil and gas. Allowing companies to access remaining land means that property owners who want to sell their mineral rights aren’t shortchanged by a few holdouts.
‘Under Ohio law, it’s not legal for one or a few land owners to keep the vast majority of land owners from exercising their rights to develop their minerals and get the benefits,’ said Heidi Hetzel Evans, a spokeswoman with the state’s Department of Natural Resources, which rules on such requests.”
— Brian Grow, Joshua Schneyer and Anna Driver, Reuters