On June 28, 2016, Ohio Governor John R. Kasich signed into law House Bill 390, combating the substantial delays in unit designation orders whenever a prospective pooling application impacts the Ohio Department of Transportation’s mineral rights. Among other things, this new law demands that the Chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management determine whether to grant a declaration of pooling within forty-five days after the law’s effective date (i.e. 90 days after signing). However, this time frame limitedly applies to applications where the Chief held a hearing, prior to the law’s effective date, concerning pooling such lands. This law will impact applications where a private mineral owner's land abuts or adjoins the Department of Transportation’s mineral rights and/or applications where the Department of Transportation’s mineral rights constitute the entire pool. Importantly, if the Chief grants an order pooling such lands, the applicant is not required to begin operations within twenty-four months.
Full text of the new law can be found below.
SECTION 715.10. For each application submitted under section 1509.28 of the Revised Code that encompasses a unit area for which all or a portion of the mineral rights are owned by the Department of Transportation and for which the Chief of the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management has held a hearing before the effective date of this section, the Chief, not later than forty-five days after the effective date of this section, shall either issue an order denying or providing for the unit operation of a pool or part of a pool. However, the applicant is not required to commence any unit operations within twenty-four months of the effective date of any order issued in accordance with this section.