Signing a Lease

Do your own research and ask questions before you sign a lease.

The prospect of a one-time lease signing bonus and the promise of future royalty payments made by oil and gas company representatives or landmen can be extremely tempting. However, you need to consider the long term effects to not only your land, but your health and the environment.

New, modern-day industrial oil and gas development involves clearing vegetation, building of access roads and well pads, heavy truck traffic, noise and light nuisance, waste production, bad odors, toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, and air and water pollution. These operations can change your property, your way of life and your health forever.

Understand the Lease

  • Do your own research; do not rely solely on what the drilling company tells you
  • Hire your own lawyer that is familiar with oil and gas leases
  • Call the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at (614) 265-6901 to check the drilling company’s accident and violation history
  • Do not sign a lease when threatened by mandatory pooling; it is your right to say no
  • Do not be bullied – you are never under any obligation to sign, even if you change your mind at the last minute
  • Ask these questions before you sign:
    • Who will eventually own the well?
    • Will drilling go on 24 hours a day, or will they restrict their hours of operation (e.g. 8 AM to 5 PM)?
    • Who pays for any incidental or accidental damage to your home or your property caused by drilling?
    • Who is liable if you, your family, or someone visiting your property is injured by drilling operations?
    • Where will be the exact locations of the well(s), storage tank(s), access road(s), pipelines, and the holding pond for water mixed with fracking chemicals?
    • What vegetation and trees will be cleared/cut down?
    • What are the exact chemicals the company will be using to frack the well(s)?

Protect Your Property

Before drilling begins:

  • Conduct a baseline Radon test
  • Install explosive gas detectors
  • Check with your insurance company to see if your rates will increase

Be aware that gas and oil companies are exempt from:

  • Clean Air Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Superfund Law
  • Local noise ordinances
  • Weight limit ordinances

View or print our informational PDF: Before You Sign a Gas & Oil Well Lease