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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 155 | Lands and Memorials

 
 
 
Section
Section 155.011 | [Amended and renumbered as R.C. 155.29 by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Applying for acquisition of minerals rights from state.
 

The owner of any tract of land in which the state has retained the gas, oil, coal, and other mineral rights and right of entry may acquire such rights by purchase from the state. Such owner desiring to purchase such rights shall make application to the director of administrative services. This application shall be in such manner and form and shall contain such information as prescribed by the director. The said application shall have a deposit of a sum sufficient to pay the appraisal fees together with evidence of title to the land in which the applicant desires to purchase the mineral rights affixed thereto.

Upon receipt of the application, evidence of title, and the deposit, the director shall cause the mineral rights to be appraised by three disinterested persons. The director shall determine the fee that each appraiser shall receive. All appraisal fees shall be paid from the deposit posted by the applicant. If the deposit exceeds the appraisal fees the balance shall be returned to the applicant.

The appraisal value when approved by the director of administrative services shall constitute the purchase price. The director shall notify the applicant of the purchase price by certified or registered mail. Upon receipt of the purchase price by the director of administrative services, the auditor of state shall prepare, with the assistance of the attorney general, a deed which shall be executed by the governor, countersigned by the secretary of state, recorded in the office of the auditor of state, and delivered to the purchaser; provided, that if the purchase price has not been received within ninety days after notice of the purchase price was delivered to the applicant, the purchase price shall no longer be valid and a new application shall be instituted, a new deposit tendered, and a new appraisal had on the mineral rights.

If the applicant fails to purchase the mineral rights within one year from the date of the initial application instituted by such applicant, a purchase by such applicant may be had only upon a determination by the director of administrative services that such sale would be in the best interests of the state.

Any deed of conveyance issued under authority of this section shall be subject to existing easements, rights-of-way, and legal highways.

Net sale proceeds shall be credited to the general revenue fund except when the rights disposed of were entrusted to the state for school or religious purposes.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:27 PM

Section 155.04 | Approved headstones at graves of soldiers.
 

(A) No trustee, association, corporation, or person in control of any cemetery or a public graveyard in this state shall make a rule or bylaw prohibiting the erection of headstones furnished or approved by the United States government or by the state for the graves of soldiers, sailors, and marines, who have served in the army or navy of the United States or of the state. Any rule or bylaw passed by any cemetery association or corporation, trustees, or persons, having control of any cemetery prohibiting the erection of such headstones is void.

(B) No person shall seek or attempt to enforce any rule or bylaw referred to in division (A) of this section.

Section 155.05 | Violating rules at prehistoric parks.
 

No person shall willfully violate a reasonable rule governing the access to prehistoric parks or historic grounds made by a person, association, or company owning or having custody of such parks or grounds nor shall any person injure or mark structures, trees, or plants therein. Whoever violates this section is liable to such owners or custodians for damages.

Section 155.27 | Certain incorporated associations may purchase or condemn battlefield or memorial sites.
 

Any incorporated association, having for its purpose the preservation of public parks and memorial sites, may acquire and hold in perpetuity for memorial purposes for the free use and benefit of the public, any real estate in the state, which is the site or scene of any battle, or other engagement, in behalf of, or in defense of, the government of the United States or of the state, or which has been used or set apart for the burial of American soldiers. Such association may improve such real estate so held by it, and may prescribe reasonable regulations for the use thereof by the public. If the association and any owner of real estate, sought to be acquired by such association, are unable to agree upon the price to be paid therefor, such association may acquire the real estate by proceedings in a proper court, in the manner provided by sections 163.01 to 163.22, inclusive, of the Revised Code.

Section 155.29 | [Former R.C. 155.011, amended and renumbered by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Applying for acquisition of minerals rights from state.
 

The owner of any tract of land in which the state has retained the gas, oil, coal, and other mineral rights and right of entry may acquire such rights by purchase from the state. Such owner desiring to purchase such rights shall make application to the director of administrative services. This application shall be in such manner and form and shall contain such information as prescribed by the director. The said application shall have a deposit of a sum sufficient to pay the appraisal fees together with evidence of title to the land in which the applicant desires to purchase the mineral rights affixed thereto.

Upon receipt of the application, evidence of title, and the deposit, the director shall cause the mineral rights to be appraised by three disinterested persons. The director shall determine the fee that each appraiser shall receive. All appraisal fees shall be paid from the deposit posted by the applicant. If the deposit exceeds the appraisal fees the balance shall be returned to the applicant.

The appraisal value when approved by the director of administrative services shall constitute the purchase price. The director shall notify the applicant of the purchase price by certified or registered mail. Upon receipt of the purchase price, the director shall prepare, with the assistance of the attorney general, a deed which shall be executed by the governor, countersigned by the secretary of state, recorded in the office of the director of administrative services, and delivered to the purchaser; provided, that if the purchase price has not been received within ninety days after notice of the purchase price was delivered to the applicant, the purchase price shall no longer be valid and a new application shall be instituted, a new deposit tendered, and a new appraisal had on the mineral rights.

If the applicant fails to purchase the mineral rights within one year from the date of the initial application instituted by such applicant, a purchase by such applicant may be had only upon a determination by the director of administrative services that such sale would be in the best interests of the state.

Any deed of conveyance issued under authority of this section shall be subject to existing easements, rights-of-way, and legal highways.

Net sale proceeds shall be credited to the general revenue fund except when the rights disposed of were entrusted to the state for school or religious purposes.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:55 PM

Section 155.30 | [Former R.C. 1509.70, amended and renumbered by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Definitions.
 

As used in sections 155.30 to 155.36 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Formation" means any of the following:

(1) The distance from the surface of the land to the top of the Onondaga limestone;

(2) The distance from the top of the Onondaga limestone to the bottom of the Queenston formation;

(3) The distance from the bottom of the Queenston formation to the basement rock.

(B) "Gross landowner royalty" means a royalty based on the proceeds received on the sale of production of oil or gas without deduction for post-production costs, but less a proportionate share of any and all taxes and government fees levied on or as a result of the production.

(C) "Post-production costs" means all costs and expenses incurred between the wellhead and the point of sale, including, without limitation, the costs of any treating, separating, dehydrating, processing, storing, gathering, transporting, compressing, and marketing.

(D) "State agency" means both of the following:

(1) "State agency" as defined in section 1.60 of the Revised Code;

(2) "State university or college" as defined in section 3345.12 of the Revised Code.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:30 PM

Section 155.31 | [Former R.C. 1509.71, amended and renumbered by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Statement of policy regarding state-owned oil and natural gas resources.
 

(A) It is the policy of the state to promote the exploration for, development of, and production of oil and natural gas resources owned or controlled by the state in an effort to use the state's natural resources responsibly.

(B) There is hereby created the oil and gas land management commission consisting of the director of natural resources or the director's designee and the following four members appointed by the governor:

(1) Two members with knowledge or experience in the oil and gas industry recommended by a statewide organization representing the oil and gas industry;

(2) One member of the public with expertise in finance or real estate;

(3) One member representing a statewide environmental or conservation organization.

(C) Initial appointments shall be made to the commission not later than thirty days after September 30, 2011. Of the initial members appointed to the commission, one shall serve a term of two years, one shall serve a term of three years, one shall serve a term of four years, and one shall serve a term of five years. Thereafter, terms of office of members shall be for five years from the date of appointment. Each member appointed by the governor shall hold office from the date of appointment until the end of the term for which the member was appointed. The governor shall fill a vacancy occurring on the commission by appointing a member within sixty days after the vacancy occurs. A member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which the member's predecessor was appointed shall hold office for the remainder of that term. A member shall continue in office subsequent to the expiration date of the member's term until the member's successor takes office, or until a period of sixty days has elapsed, whichever occurs first.

(D) Three members constitute a quorum of the commission, and no action of the commission is valid unless it has the concurrence of at least three members. The commission shall keep a record of its proceedings. The director of natural resources or the director's designee shall serve as the chairperson of the commission.

(E) The governor may remove an appointed member from the commission for inefficiency, malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance.

(F) Members of the commission shall receive no compensation, but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the course of the performance of their duties as members of the commission.

(G) Not later than ninety days after the effective date of this amendment , the commission shall hire at least one staff member to provide clerical and other services required by the commission in the performance of its duties.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:31 PM

Section 155.32 | [Former R.C. 1509.72, amended and renumbered as R.C. 155.32 by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Notification of nominations.
 

The oil and gas land management commission shall establish procedures and requirements for publishing notice on the commission's web site of each nomination received by the commission under section 155.33 of the Revised Code for a period of not less than twenty-one days prior to the commission's approval or disapproval of each nomination. The notification shall identify the formation within a parcel of land that is the subject of a nomination and include a statement that a person may submit comments to the commission concerning the nomination. The commission also shall notify the state agency that owns or controls the parcel of land for which a nomination was received identifying the parcel of land that is the subject of the nomination and including a statement that the state agency may submit comments to the commission concerning the nomination.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:57 PM

Section 155.33 | [Former R.C. 1509.73, amended and renumbered by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Leasing formations; exclusion of nature preserves.
 

(A)(1) Beginning on September 30, 2011, and ending on the effective date of the rules adopted under section 155.34 of the Revised Code, a state agency may lease a formation within a parcel of land that is owned or controlled by the state agency for the exploration for and development and production of oil or natural gas. The lease shall be on terms that are just and reasonable, as determined by custom and practice in the oil and gas industry, and shall include at least the terms required under division (A)(1)(a) to (e) of section 155.34 of the Revised Code. On and after the effective date of the rules adopted under section 155.34 of the Revised Code, a formation within a parcel of land that is owned or controlled by a state agency may be leased for the exploration for and development and production of oil or natural gas only in accordance with divisions (A)(2) to (H) of this section and those rules.

(2) On and after the effective date of rules adopted under section 155.34 of the Revised Code, any person or state agency that is interested in leasing a formation within a parcel of land that is owned or controlled by a state agency for the exploration for and the development and production of oil or natural gas may submit to the oil and gas land management commission a nomination that shall include all of the following:

(a) The name of the person making the nomination and the person's address, telephone number, and email address;

(b) An identification of the formation and parcel of land proposed to be leased that specifies all of the following:

(i) The percentage of the interest owned or controlled by the state agency, and whether that interest is divided, undivided, or partial;

(ii) The source deed by book and page numbers, including the description and acreage of the parcel and an identification of the county, section, township, and range in which the parcel is located;

(iii) A plat map depicting the area in which the parcel is located.

(c) If the person making the nomination is not a state agency, a nomination fee of one hundred fifty dollars;

(d) The proposed lease bonus that applies to the nomination;

(e) If the person making the nomination is not a state agency, proof of both of the following:

(i) That the person has obtained the insurance and financial assurance required under section 1509.07 of the Revised Code;

(ii) That the person has registered with and obtained an identification number from the division of oil and gas resources management under section 1509.31 of the Revised Code.

(3) In order to encourage the submission of nominations and the responsible and reasonable development of the state's natural resources, only the information submitted under division (A)(2)(b) of this section may be disclosed to the public until a person is selected under division (F) of this section. Until a person is selected under division (F) of this section, all other information submitted under division (A)(2) of this section is confidential, shall not be disclosed by the commission, and is not a public record subject to inspection or copying under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

(4) When a nomination is not submitted by a state agency, the nomination is the opening bid for purposes of division (D) of this section. However, the person submitting the nomination may supplement or amend that bid by providing additional information in accordance with that division.

(B)(1) Not less than thirty days, but not more than one hundred twenty days following the receipt of a nomination, the commission shall conduct a meeting for the purpose of determining whether to approve or disapprove the nomination for the purpose of leasing a formation within the parcel of land that is identified in the nomination.

In making its decision to approve or disapprove the nomination, the commission shall consider all of the following:

(a) The economic benefits, including the potential income from an oil or natural gas operation, that would result if the lease of a formation that is the subject of the nomination were approved;

(b) Whether the proposed oil or gas operation is compatible with the current uses of the parcel of land that is the subject of the nomination;

(c) The environmental impact that would result if the lease of a formation that is the subject of the nomination were approved;

(d) Any potential adverse geological impact that would result if the lease of a formation that is the subject of the nomination were approved;

(e) Any potential impact to visitors or users of a parcel of land that is the subject of the nomination;

(f) Any potential impact to the operations or equipment of a state agency that is a state university or college if the lease of a formation within a parcel of land owned or controlled by the university or college that is the subject of the nomination were executed;

(g) Any comments or objections to the nomination submitted to the commission by the state agency that owns or controls the parcel of land on which the proposed oil or natural gas operation would take place;

(h) Any comments or objections to the nomination submitted to the commission by residents of this state or other users of the parcel of land that is the subject of the nomination;

(i) Any special terms and conditions the state agency included in its comments or objections that the state agency believes are appropriate for the lease of the parcel of land because of specific conditions related to that parcel of land.

(2) The commission shall approve or disapprove a nomination not later than two calendar quarters following the receipt of the nomination. The commission shall post notice of the commission's decision on the commission's web site and send notice of the decision by email and by certified mail to the person that submitted the nomination and to the state agency that owns or controls the formation within the parcel of land that is the subject of the nomination.

(C) Each calendar quarter, the commission shall proceed to advertise for bids for a lease for a formation within a parcel of land that was the subject of a nomination approved during the previous calendar quarter. The commission shall publish the advertisement on its web site for a period of time established by the commission. The advertisement shall include all of the following:

(1) An identification of each formation and parcel of land proposed to be leased that includes all of the information specified in division (A)(2)(b) of this section;

(2) The deadline for the submission of bids;

(3) A statement that each bid must contain all of the items required under division (D) of this section;

(4) A statement that a standard lease form that is consistent with the practices of the oil and natural gas industries and adopted by rule by the commission will be used for the lease of a formation within the parcel of land;

(5) Any special terms and conditions that may apply to the lease because of specific conditions related to the parcel of land;

(6) The amount of the bid fee that is required to be submitted with a bid;

(7) Any other information that the commission considers pertinent to the advertisement for bids.

(D) A person interested in leasing a formation within a parcel of land owned or controlled by a state agency for the exploration for and development and production of oil or natural gas may submit a bid to the commission on a parcel by parcel basis that contains all of the following:

(1) A bid fee of twenty-five dollars;

(2) The name of the person making the bid and the person's address, telephone number, and email address;

(3) An identification of the formation and parcel of land for which the bid is being submitted, including all of the information specified in division (A)(2)(b) of this section;

(4) The proposed lease bonus that applies to the bid;

(5) Proof of both of the following:

(a) That the person has obtained the insurance and financial assurance required under section 1509.07 of the Revised Code;

(b) That the person has registered with and obtained an identification number from the division of oil and gas resources management under section 1509.31 of the Revised Code.

(6) Any other information that the person believes is relevant to the bid.

(E) In order to encourage the submission of bids and the responsible and reasonable development of the state's natural resources, the information that is contained in a bid submitted to the commission under this section is confidential, shall not be disclosed by the commission, and is not a public record subject to inspection and copying under section 149.43 of the Revised Code until a person is selected under division (F) of this section.

The commission shall select the person who submits the highest and best bid, taking into account the financial responsibility of the prospective lessee and the ability of the prospective lessee to perform its obligations under the lease. After the commission selects a person, the commission shall notify the applicable state agency and send the person's bid to the agency. The state agency shall enter into a lease with the person selected by the commission.

(G)(1) Except as otherwise provided in section 155.37 of the Revised Code, all money received by a state agency from signing fees, rentals, and royalty payments for leases entered into under this section shall be paid by the state agency into the state treasury to the credit of the state land royalty fund created in section 131.50 of the Revised Code.

(2) All money received from nomination fees and bid fees shall be paid into the state treasury to the credit of the oil and gas land management commission administration fund created in section 155.35 of the Revised Code.

(H) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, a nature preserve as defined in section 1517.01 of the Revised Code that is owned or controlled by a state agency shall not be nominated or leased under this section for the purpose of exploring for and developing and producing oil and natural gas resources.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:33 PM

Section 155.34 | [Former R.C. 1507.74, amended and renumbered by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Rules; standard surface use agreement; scope.
 

(A) Not later than one hundred twenty days after the effective date of this amendment , the oil and gas land management commission shall adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code establishing both of the following:

(1) A standard lease form that shall be used by a state agency for leases entered into under this chapter that is consistent with the practices of the oil and natural gas industries and that contains all of the following:

(a) A prohibition against the use of the surface of the parcel of land for oil and gas development unless the state agency, in its sole discretion, chooses to negotiate and execute a written surface use agreement established under this section;

(b) A one-eighth gross landowner royalty;

(c) A primary term of three years;

(d) An option for the lessee to extend the primary term of the lease for an additional three years by tendering to the state agency the same bonus paid when first entering into the lease.

(2) Any other procedures necessary to implement sections 155.30 to 155.36 of the Revised Code.

(B) Not later than one hundred and twenty days after the effective date of this amendment , the commission shall establish a standard surface use agreement that a state agency shall use to authorize the use of the surface of a leased parcel of land.

(C) Section 121.95 of the Revised Code does not apply to rules adopted under this section and the commission is not subject to any requirements of that section.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:36 PM

Section 155.35 | [Former 1509.75, amended and renumbered by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Oil and gas land management commission administration fund.
 

There is hereby created in the state treasury the oil and gas land management commission administration fund consisting of the proceeds of nomination fees and bid fees credited to it under section 155.33 of the Revised Code. Money in the fund shall be used by the oil and gas land management commission to pay the administrative expenses of the commission regarding the implementation of sections 155.30 to 155.36 of the Revised Code. Money in the fund also shall be used to pay the actual and necessary expenses incurred by members of the commission in the course of the performance of their duties.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:40 PM

Section 155.36 | [Former R.C. 1509.77, amended and renumbered by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Formation of drilling unit for certain properties.
 

A state agency that owns or controls a parcel of land for which a nomination for that land has been denied under section 155.33 of the Revised Code may enter into written agreements to use that parcel of land to form a drilling unit that conforms to the minimum acreage and distance requirements established under section 1509.24 or 1509.25 of the Revised Code.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:59 PM

Section 155.37 | [Former R.C. 1509.78, amended and renumbered by H.B. 110, 134th General Assembly, effective 9/30/2021] Disposition of proceeds for state park expenses.
 

Not less than thirty per cent of the proceeds from a lease executed on and after September 30, 2011, for the exploration and production of oil or gas within or under a state park established under Chapter 1546. of the Revised Code shall be credited to the applicable fund created in the state treasury that supports the state park. The department of natural resources shall use the money credited to the applicable fund from a lease for expenses associated with the state park within or under which the oil or gas exploration and production occurred. Money credited shall be used for capital improvements.

Last updated September 27, 2021 at 5:54 PM

Section 155.99 | Penalty.
 

(A) Whoever violates division (B) of section 155.04 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

(B) Whoever violates section 155.05 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.