• Ohio Amends Lease Recording Statute to Clarify Status of Oil and Gas Leases
  • February 6, 2015 | Author: Michael T. Altvater
  • Law Firm: Babst Calland - Canton Office
  • The Ohio legislature has clarified that oil and gas leases create an interest in real property. Ohio’s Substitute House Bill 9 includes a provision amending Ohio’s lease recording statute (R.C. 5301.09) as follows:

    In recognition that such leases and licenses create an interest in real estate, all leases, licenses, and assignments thereof, or of any interest therein, given or made concerning lands or tenements in this state, by which any right is granted to operate or to sink or drill wells thereon for natural gas and petroleum or either, or pertaining thereto, shall be filed for record and recorded in such lease record without delay, and shall not be removed until recorded.

    While oil and gas leases are traditionally thought to create an interest in real property, one recent federal court case called the status of oil and gas leases into question. In Wellington Resource Group v. Beck Energy Corp., a district court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled that oil and gas leases merely constitute the right to search for oil and gas on a property and are not an interest in the real property. The amendment in House Bill 9 would appear to supersede the court’s decision and conclusively establish the status of oil and gas leases in Ohio real property law. The bill is set to go into effect on March 20, 2015.