I have a situation where we have owned land for 12 yrs now. It is all the sudden in a "hot spot" for leasing of gas. We received papers from an attorney stating that the previous owners of the mineral rights were not abandoning their rights. These papers come at a time when everybody in that county are being approached to sign leases for big money. Apparently these mineral interests were held onto when the land was sold in 1957. At this point I do not believe that they have done anything over the years to hold onto the mineral rights until now. At some point in time, when there isn't any activity, doesn't the mineral interests transfer to the surface owner? Thanks!
An attorney spoke at a seminar in Youngstown OH recently (saw video on Go Marcellus Shale website), and he stated something about Ohio law requiring action on mineral rights not connected to surface owner every 20 years or so. You might want to check it out and consult an attorney. Good luck.
I may be wrong but ,I think that is up to the state you live in.
According to A Landowner’s Guide to Oil and Gas Development: "In North Dakota and Ohio, if minerals have lain dormant for 20 years the surface owner can claim them."
Check out (google) ORC 5301.56 , the Ohio State mineral rights abandonment law.
I'm not an attorney, but it "seems" that if the mineral rights owner has flied to protect his claim then the mineral rights are preserved.
In other words, just because the mineral rights owner (or his leasee) not extracted or otherwise "used" his mineral property, does not suggest that the mineral right then become part of the surface estate.
Furthermore, the surface estate owner must attempt to contact the mineral rights owner (or publish) notice of intent to aquire the mineral rights by abandonment process. That gives the mineral rights owner the opportunity to file notice to protect his property and the that the mineral rights are NOT abandoned.
Thanks, I've read ORC 5301.56 and Ohio Dormant Mineral Law. It seems to me that the original owner needed to do something in the last 50yrs to keep claim to the minerals. At this point in time, I would think that the minerals would have already, without legal action, transferred to the surface owner due to the length of time that the has lapsed in the minerals being claimed. I do agree that this is a lot to try to decipher and an attorney is needed at this time.