MECCA - When Karl Zerovich decided last year to sign a lease giving BP America the right to drill for oil and natural gas below his 100 acres, he had some reservations.
His aging mother, Harriet Zerovich, had similar reservations. But hers were so strong she decided to forgo any opportunity at oil and gas riches and opted not to lease the minerals under her adjacent 64 acres.
She was one of five property owners in a 653-acre area known as a "pooling unit" who exercised their rights not to lease their minerals.
So after several attempts by BP to obtain an agreement with Harriet and the other four reluctant land owners, the company exercised its rights and took the case to the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management, part of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, seeking a ruling to force the recalcitrant property owners to allow extraction of minerals. Their property made up about 70 of the 653 acres mostly east of state Route 46 in Mecca.
The legal process commonly referred to as a form of "forced pooling" has been on the books since 1965 and allows companies like BP America or Halcon Resources to force the lease.
Read the complete story in Sunday's Tribune Chronicle and at www.tribtoday.com.