Ohio Supreme Court: Oil and gas royalty reservation preserved under the Ohio Marketable Title Act

On December 13, 2018, in Blackstone v. Moore, 2018-Ohio-4959, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a reference that includes the type of interest created and to whom the interest was granted is sufficiently specific to preserve the interest in the record title under the plain language of the Ohio Marketable Title Act (OMTA). The Court rejected the appellant’s claim that the oil and gas royalty was extinguished because the reference did not provide the volume and page number where the interest was created or the date the interest was created.

The sole issue was whether the reference to an oil and gas interest in the deed was sufficient to preserve that interest under the Ohio Marketable Title Act. Here, the property was conveyed to the Blackstones in 1969, with the following exception: “Excepting the one-half interest in oil and gas royalty previously excepted by Nick Kuhn, their [sic] heirs and assigns in the above sixty acres.” The Court reasoned that “one-half interest,” and “Nick Kuhn and their [sic] heirs,” was free from ambiguity because it included the type of interest created and who originally reserved that interest. According to the Court, the royalty interest had been sufficiently identified by the plain language of the exception contained in the 1969 deed, and as a result, the oil and gas royalty interest had not been extinguished by the OMTA.

In her concurring opinion, Justice DeGenaro noted that the majority opinion was not to be read to affirmatively state that the OMTA applied to oil and gas interests in light of the “more specific” Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (ODMA). Thus, according to Justice DeGenaro, the Court still needs to consider the question of whether the ODMA, the OMTA or both can be used in seeking to quiet title in oil and gas interests in Ohio. That question is already being hotly litigated in the State of Ohio. Check back with ShaleOhio for updates in this area.


Rick Perry expects Appalachia to take global petrochemical market share

In a speech at the annual National Petroleum Council Meeting on Tuesday, Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that the Appalachian region will advance the U.S.’s global petrochemical market share, according to the Washington Examiner. However, he also said the region needs an ethane storage hub to realize this potential. For more, read the full story.



Live interview breaks down impacts of new Royal Dutch Shell plant

Dan Brockett, Extension Educator of the Penn State Extension, discussed the impending impacts of Royal Dutch Shell’s $6 billion ethane cracker plant near Monaca, Pa., including new construction and manufacturing jobs, in an interview with The Business Journal. He also discussed potential uses and geographic areas for the abundant polyethylene products created. For more, watch the full interview.



Top U.S. shale firms pledge $100 million to negatively affected areas

The new Permian Strategic Partnership, comprised of 17 top energy companies, formed to contribute $100 million to ease substantial negative effects felt in the Permian Basin from the regional shale oil and gas boom, according to Reuters. The money will aim to improve labor and housing shortages, overtaxed health care, traffic congestion, and more social and economic woes.  For more, read the full story.


Equitrans Midstream finalizes “spin-off” from EQT Corporation

Equitrans Midstream Corporation, a prominent natural gas gatherer and pipeline operator with a significant hold in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region, has officially “spun-off” from EQT Corporation and has begun “regular-way” trading, according to the Cincinnati Business Courier. Thomas F. Karam, president and CEO of Equitrans Midstream expressed much optimism for Equitrans Midstream, given its strong fundamentals and potential. For more, read the full story


Transco Pipeline wins “precedential” eminent domain case

A small group of affected landowners in Lancaster County, PA opposed a new Transco Pipeline endeavor, the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project, and blocked its construction, according to Marcellus Drilling News. Transco originally sued and won thanks to the right of delegated eminent domain granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but the case made its way to federal court. For more, read the full story


Shale Crescent recognizes regional goals

Greg Kozera, the director of marketing for Shale Crescent USA, recently penned an op-ed for The State Journal detailing his team’s progress towards achieving their dreams for the once economically depressed Shale Crescent Region. He chronicled their motivations, increased respect from the 2017 to 2018 World Petrochemical Conferences, and future actions. For more, read the full story.  

Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia

Chesapeake sells Utica Shale assets to Encino Acquisition Partners

Chesapeake Energy, the pioneering Utica Shale drilling company in Ohio, completed its asset sale of 900,000 acres, approximately 900 wells, and related property and equipment within the Shale to Encino Acquisition Partners for $2 billion, according to the Times Reporter. The company then closed its quarter with a profit of $60 million. For more, read the full story


Pennsylvania court upholds local land-use ordinance permitting “fracking”

A group of environmentally concerned residents challenged an Allegheny Township zoning ordinance that regulates where oil and gas drilling takes place after CNX Resources Corp. confirmed a drilling project in their county, according to Law360. A Pennsylvania appeals court decision threw out the challenge because it should have addressed the state agencies that issued the operating permits, not the municipality. For more, read the full story


NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline begins operations

The NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline began operations in its mainline facilities Sat., Oct. 13, and informed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of its commencement in a letter sent Tuesday, according to the Times Reporter. The pipeline crosses Stack, Summit and Wayne counties. For more, read the full story.   

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