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Pennsylvania Mineral Owners Beware!

by Elizabeth Alford on December 17, 2017

Pennsylvania mineral owners…beware! The state has made it easier for oil and gas companies to take advantage of landowners.

Pennsylvania Bill Affects Mineral Owners Right to Negotiate

The Pennsylvania Fiscal Code contains a provision that will make it easier for oil and gas companies to restart old and expired leases, often without the willing consent of landowners.

Old wells dot the Pennsylvania countryside and the status of the leases is often unclear. One of the ways companies are staying in the game is to send a ‘payment’ for an old well to the mineral owner. By cashing the check, the owner might be agreeing to the company’s interpretation of their agreement and inadvertently restarting a lease.

The bill states that simple non-production isn’t enough to cancel a lease and that the lessor can waive their right to seek lease termination if he/she:

1) Accepts payment

2) Doesn’t object within 90 days of notification that drilling will commence

“Acceptance of royalty payment shall constitute acknowledgment of an existing lease with the operator.”

Mineral owners are being advised not to cash royalty checks on old or expired wells, without first talking to an attorney.

Read more here.

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Public Lands for Sale in Michigan

by Elizabeth Alford on November 27, 2017

Michigan plans to auction more than 1,200 acres of public land next month.

Mineral Auction for Public Land Draws Protest

Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNC) announced this week it will sell 80 parcels of surplus land ranging in size from less than an acre to more than 146 acres. The acres for sale are in Alpena, Arenac, Barry, Bay, Cheboygan, Dickinson, Gladwin, Iron, Kalkaska, Lake, Menominee, Midland, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oakland, Oscoda and Roscommon Counties.

“These lands are isolated from other DNR-managed public land, are difficult to manage and provide limited public outdoor recreation benefits. Several of the parcels are forested and have riverside or lake frontage and are better suited for private ownership. The proceeds from the sale of these surplus public lands will help provide future outdoor recreation opportunities in keeping with the DNR’s mission” – Michigan Department of Natural Resources

The land will be auctioned off from December 12-January 10th. For more information, visit

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Colorado Divided Over Drilling

November 10, 2017

The citizens of Colorado are divided over oil and gas drilling near neighborhoods. Colorado Attempts to Limit Forced Pooling Last month, a crowd swarmed the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to protest drilling near neighborhoods in Weld and Boulder counties. “Barbara Binder, an Adams County resident whose neighborhood would be just over 1,000 feet from […]

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West Virginia Gives up on Forced Pooling

November 2, 2017

The West Virginia Senate has decided to side with property owners and will not pursue further efforts to allow forced pooling. Related: Colorado Addressing Mineral Owners’ Issues State Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, spoke to the press last week saying the legislature has decided that forced pooling has no place in the state. While the lawmaker […]

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Mineral Rights Dispute Slows Development in Bakken

October 27, 2017

Bakken development around Lake Sakakawea is being delayed over a mineral rights dispute. Related: North Dakota’s Complex Mineral Rights Issues Continental resources filed a lawsuit last week over questions surrounding who owns the mineral rights under Lake Sakakawea. Attorneys for Continental assert that the state and the federal governments both claim ownership to the mineral rights […]

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Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act Passes

October 15, 2017

U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson has been leading the fight to protect oil and gas production in the Allegheny National Forest. His efforts paid off last week when the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed HR 2316; The Cooperative Management of Mineral Rights Act of 2017. “Federal courts have ruled that the U.S. Forest Service does not […]

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Mineral Owners Sought in New Mexico

October 3, 2017

Carlsbad City, New Mexico has voted to move forward with plans to drill on its massive oil reserves in and around the city. Related: Mineral Rights Dispute Slows Development in Bakken In August, Santo Petroleum LLC was awarded mineral interests on 800 acres of land owned by the city. Now, the operator has the daunting task of identifying […]

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Colorado Addressing Mineral Owners’ Issues

September 24, 2017

Colorado legislators met last week at the state capital for an Energy Summit to discuss key issues facing mineral rights owners. Colorado Attempts to Limit Forced Pooling Sen. Vicki Marble and Rep. Lori Saine hosted one of three informal meetings designed to get stakeholders to the sit down and discuss best practices and possible rule changes […]

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Pennsylvania Bill Affects Mineral Owners Right to Negotiate

September 14, 2017

Pennsylvania legislators are considering a bill that threatens longstanding principles of property law that could hinder mineral rights owners. North Dakota’s Complex Mineral Rights Issues Last week, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed HB 453, a budget bill with a provision in a Pennsylvania that might make it harder for landowners with depleted oil and […]

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North Dakota’s Complex Mineral Rights Issues

August 28, 2017

A controversial oil and gas drilling project in North Dakota highlights the complex mix of private, state and federal mineral rights on tribal lands. Related: North Dakota Fighting for Millions in Royalties Within one week’s time, the federal government halted and then allowed drilling on a series of wells near Lake Sakakawea in Mountrail County, North […]

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