Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Legislative Changes to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act and Lease Forfeiture Statute

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: Legislative Changes to Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act and Lease Forfeiture Statute

By Timothy M. McKeen and Jason Lucas |

Ohio House Bill 72 (“HB 72”), effective January 29, 2014, outlines important changes to filing for lease forfeiture or mineral abandonment under Ohio's Dormant Mineral Act by making an individual who seeks to forfeit a lease or abandon minerals file a separate document in county records in Ohio.

The two important changes to note are:

Lease Forfeiture - Notice of Failure to File - Ohio Revised Code Section 5301.332
• Lessor must file a “notice of failure to file” containing 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 in Lease Vol...., Page....”

Dormant Mineral Act - Notice of Failure to File - Ohio Revised Code Section 5301.56
• After notice period, the surface owner must file a “notice of failure to file.” The “notice of failure to file” must contain the following:

(1) A statement that the person filing the notice is the owner of the surface of the lands subject to the mineral interest;
(2) A description of the surface of the land that is subject to the mineral interest;
(3) The statement “This mineral interest abandoned pursuant to affidavit of abandonment recorded in Volume …., Page ….” After filing a “notice of failure to file”, the mineral interest then vests with the surface owner.

Click here for a full analysis of HB 72. 

Tim McKeen focuses his practice in the areas of energy and mineral law (coal, oil, and gas), and real estate transactions. Jason Lucas focuses his practice in the areas of energy and mineral law.

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