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Pickett Bill to Formalize End Process for Leases Passes State House
6/29/2014
HARRISBURG – In an effort to provide clarity for landowners who have leases for oil or gas drilling, Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) said today that legislation she has sponsored to require a formal method for the expiration of natural gas leases has passed the state House.

“Currently, state law does not spell out a defined process when an oil or natural gas lease ceases,” Pickett said. “This can cause confusion if a landowner wishes to engage in another lease with another drilling company. That’s why I have introduced this pro-landowner legislation.”

House Bill 402 would require oil and gas producers who are party to an oil or natural gas lease to deliver a recordable surrender document to the owner of the oil/gas not more than 30 days after the termination, expiration or cancellation of a lease. The legislation would state that such surrender document would include a statement indicating that the lessee surrenders all of its interests under the lease, and would be recorded by the county recorder of deeds.
 
The legislation, which is supported by the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, would also contain stipulations for failure to provide a document or any dispute about the termination, expiration or cancellation of a lease.

“We believe the legislation will provide greater confidence among landowners that lease obligations will be managed responsibly, and enable a more positive relationship between landowner and developer,” said Joel Rotz of the Farm Bureau.

“The lack of a formal process for addressing this need has led to unnecessary delays which prove to be a significant barrier to a landowner simply attempting to continue to try and develop the natural resources under their property,” Pickett explained.

Similar requirements exist in New York, Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.

The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Jennifer Keaton
jkeaton@pahousegop.com
RepPickett.com / Facebook.com/RepPickett
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