Holmes County Court rules that a well is inactive when a disagreement over restoring electricity halts production for two years

On November 6, the Holmes County Court of Common Pleas ordered "one of the state's oldest working wells" to be plugged and all leases associated with it forfeited and canceled, Farm & Dairy reports. One lease on the property dating from 1918 terminated in June 2013.  But the defendants claimed an interest in the land under a second lease dating from 1976. After a goat pen fell during a storm that year and knocked out power to the well, the parties could not "come to agreement over restoring power to the wellsite," which resulted in no reported production – and no royalty payments – for two years. Judge Rinfret held that the leases were forfeited and canceled under Ohio Revised Code 1509.062(A)(1), which requires wells be plugged after reporting no production for a number of consecutive reporting periods. The decision is likely the first instance of a court interpreting the 2010 statute as operating to cancel and forfeit a lease. For more, including the decision, read the full story.

Ohio, Oil & Gas Litigation