seal  Purdue News

February 20, 2004

Coal, gas, oil seminar examines landowner issues

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Indiana landowners might not realize the valuable resources that may lie right under their feet - reserves of coal, gas or oil.

A Purdue University seminar will explore the likelihood a landowner's property contains such deposits, discuss laws and regulations for mining or extracting them, and provide guidance on leasing land to energy companies.

The seminar, What Landowners and Their Lawyers Should Know About Negotiating Coal or Oil and Gas Leases, takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. EST on March 11 at Gasthof's Amish Village, located on County Road 650 E., just north of Montgomery, Ind. Montgomery is on U.S. 50 between Washington and Loogootee in Daviess County.

Each day in Indiana, coal is mined and gas and oil extracted, said Gerald Harrison, a Purdue agricultural economist and seminar organizer. While uncommitted coal reserves are diminishing and gas and oil production has declined dramatically since the Indiana gas and oil boom of decades ago, modern technology could locate and recover untapped gas reserves, Harrison said.

During the seminar, a representative of the Indiana Geological Survey (IGS) at Bloomington, Ind., will address the possibility of finding significant untapped gas deposits in south-central and southwestern Indiana.

"If energy companies interested in coal or gas exploration approach landowners, the property owners should carefully negotiate leases and understand their legal rights and environmental responsibilities," Harrison said.

"Landowners should make sure terms in the lease protect their land during all activities: exploration, production and reclamation. A landowner could end up with damaged land, for example, from salt water. In some cases, landowners ought to consider the potential loss of crop production on the land."

Seminar topics and speakers include:

• "Geology of Coal" - Denver Harper, environmental geologist, IGS.

• "Surface Coal Mining: Reclamation and Regulatory Activities" - John Richardson, assistant director of technical services, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Reclamation.

• "Coal Leasing Considerations" - Francis Lueken Jr., Ferdinand, Ind., attorney and farmer. Lueken has coal-leasing experience with both family and clients.

• "Oil and Gas Regulations, Well Spacing and Drilling Units" - Mike Nickolaus, director, IDNR Division of Oil and Gas.

• "Finding Oil and Gas" - Charles Zuppann, petroleum geologist, IGS.

• "Understanding and Negotiating the Oil and Gas Lease" - John Rowe, Linton, Ind., attorney.

• "Tax Aspects of Mineral Leases for the Property Owner-Lessor" - Harrison.

Seminar registration is $10, with a $5 fee for spouses. Registration for attorneys and accountants wishing to receive continuing education credits is $40. Attorneys may earn 5.2 hours of continuing legal education credit, while accountants may qualify for 6.2 hours of continuing professional education credit.

The registration fee includes a continental breakfast.

To register, mail a check payable to the Daviess County Extension Education Fund to "Mineral Leasing," PUCES, Daviess County Office, 214 N. Third St., Washington, IN 47501-2720. Registration also can by completed in person at the Purdue Extension Daviess County Office between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST Monday through Friday.

The registration deadline is March 5.

For more information, contact Jan Wahl at (812) 254-8668, by fax at (812) 254-7472 or by e-mail to Questions about seminar subject matter should be directed to Harrison at (765) 494-4216, toll-free at (888) 398-4636 or by e-mail to

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415,

Source: Gerald Harrison, (765) 494-4216,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

Related Web site:
Purdue Extension Publication EC-564, "Negotiating Oil and Gas Leases on Indiana Farmland

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page