Oil and Gas

Zanesville oil and gas lawyers

Oil & Gas

Complete legal service for landowners in the Utica and Marcellus shale plays

These are promising times for eastern Ohio landowners, as oil and gas exploration and production has increased and many companies are eager to tap the potential of the Utica and Marcellus shale plays. However, landowners hoping must be cautious, choosing their production partners wisely and negotiating for the most favorable terms possible. Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A. represents landowners in a wide range of oil and gas matters. We understand that your oil and gas rights are an extremely valuable resource. Managed properly, this resource can provide significant income for landowners for many years to come. While the income is important, even more important are terms in the lease, pipeline, or other surface use agreement that protect landowners and their land.

Helping you avoid the pitfalls of oil and gas leasing

The attorneys of Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A., negotiate with oil companies in an effort to reach an agreement that is landowner-friendly and maximizes the economic benefits for the landowner. Our attorneys can review and simply provide feedback to landowners engaged in a negotiation with an oil company, or fully negotiate the agreement from start to finish. The following is a small sample of the issues that arise when negotiating with an oil company:

  • Overly broad leasing — Leases should be narrowly tailored. Which mineral formations are subject to the lease and what surface rights does the oil company have under the lease?
  • Secondary lease terms and leasehold protections — A lease has a primary term and secondary term. Exactly what actions of the oil company will allow the lease to extend into its secondary term?
  • Water contamination — How is the oil company required to test your water? What actions must the oil company take in the event of a contamination event?
  • Royalty terms — Net or gross? Market enhanced? Severance taxes?
  • Title representation — Your lease may require you to warrant your title to mineral rights. Should you make this warranty?  What if a signing bonus is paid, you’ve paid tax, and the oil company demands the money back? If you have title problems, we help our clients clear their titles so they’re free to enter into leases.
  • Unitization and pooling — Do you fully understanding unitization and pooling? How are royalties to be shared? Does your lease remain active as to all of your acreage despite having only a portion of your acreage included within a production unit?
  • Dispute resolution mechanism — In the event of a dispute with the oil company, what is your course of action?
  • Pipeline easements and surface use agreements — Many leases leave the location and number of pipelines to the discretion of the oil company. Does your lease also serve as a pipeline easement agreement, without the protection of a fully-negotiated easement? Include provisions in your lease so that you can negotiate a separate pipeline easement agreement.

Lease agreements are contracts. Our attorneys make sure you understand all the provisions of your oil and gas lease, including your rights and the oil company’s responsibilities.

Contact our Zanesville oil and gas lawyers to protect your mineral rights

Stubbins, Watson, Bryan & Witucky Co., L.P.A. offers a full range of legal services for landowners leasing oil and gas rights to energy companies. We have the experience and knowledge to help you maximize the value of your resources. To learn more about how our oil and gas attorneys can safeguard your interests, call us at (740) 452-8484 or contact our Zanesville office online.