Monday, November 19, 2012

Hmmm... If Ohio Allows Natural Gas Drilling Through NatGas Storage Fields Who Ows What?

"Hey boss, every hole we put down is hitting gas!"
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Gas storage fields complicating Ohio shale energy boom
Natural gas storage fields beneath tens of thousands of acres in Ohio have become a zone of dispute as the state's shale gas development shifts from acquiring land to drilling on it.

The latest flash point is in Stark County, where landowners above the 30,000-acre North Canton storage field have filed a lawsuit (pdf) challenging the right of East Ohio Gas Co. and CNX Gas Co. to drill on their property (pdf). The plaintiffs want the suit certified as a class action, which they say could affect more than 5,000 property owners.

Meanwhile, a similar lawsuit by landowners with property astride the 30,000-acre Brinker field in Columbiana County could expand, with attorneys preparing to add another 51 property owners to a complaint that already has 53 plaintiffs. The defendant is Columbia Gas Transmission, a unit of NiSource Inc.
The main legal question is whether landowners or the companies leasing gas storage space own the mineral rights to drill for oil and gas below the storage field. The answer will shape who cashes in on what is expected to be a multi-billion-dollar energy boom in Ohio.

"There's a lot of money involved," said Cleveland attorney Glenn Krassen of Bricker & Eckler, who has over 30 years of oil and gas experience...MORE