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Ohio Governor Signs Law Exempting Landmen from Licensing Requirement

On December 19, 2018, Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Ohio Senate Bill No. 263, which amended O.R.C. 4735.01 to exempt oil and gas land professionals (landmen) from the real-estate licensing requirement made necessary by the Ohio Supreme Court in Dundics v. Eric Petroleum Corp.No. 2017-0448, 2018 WL 4727711 (Ohio Sept. 25, 2018).

The bill defines an “oil and gas land professional” as a person “regularly engaged in the preparation and negotiation of agreements for the purpose of exploring for, transporting, producing, or developing oil and gas mineral interests, including, but not limited to, oil and gas leases and pipeline easements.” 

In granting exemption from the real estate broker licensure requirements, the bill distinguishes between landmen employed by a company for which they are acquiring property interests and independent landmen. Consistent with an existing, general exemption for the “regular employees” of Ohio real property owners, employee landmen appear to be fully exempt under the new law. In contrast, independent landmen are prohibited from engaging in fee transactions, and they must comply with certain additional conditions to receive exemption and subsequently remain exempt.

To receive exemption, independent landmen must:

  1. Register annually with the superintendent of real estate and pay an annual fee not to exceed $100;

  2. Maintain membership in an established professional organization that develops a set of performance and ethical standards for landmen (such as the American Association of Professional Landmen); and 

  3. Provide certain disclosures to landowners on forms approved by the superintendent. 

Click here to read the full text of the bill. The new law goes into effect on March 19, 2019. 

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About this Author

Jason Lucas, Energy Attorney, Steptoe Johnson Law Firm
Member

Jason Lucas focuses his practice in the areas of energy and mineral law. Mr. Lucas regularly assists clients with mineral title examinations and title opinions and coordinating and performing due diligence and mineral acquisitions throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania. Mr. Lucas also advocates for client interest through his leadership positions in various regional and national oil and gas associations.  Mr. Lucas is one of the founders of the Appalachian Basin Association of Division  Order Analysts and serves as an Officer of NADOA, the National Association of Division...

(304) 231-0464
Timothy McKeen, Energy Attorney, Steptoe Johnson Law FIrm
Member

Tim McKeen focuses his practice in oil and gas law throughout the Appalachian Basin, specializing in title, due diligence and mineral acquisitions.  Mr. McKeen is the author of the American Association of Professional Landmen's Ohio comparative law article on oil and gas and is a frequent speaker for industry groups on oil and gas issues throughout Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  He has also authored several law review articles on Ohio oil and gas issues.  Mr. McKeen is the Leader of the firm's Mineral Title and Energy Real Estate team and is also the Managing Member of the Wheeling, West Virginia office.

(304) 231-0473