Marcellus and Utica shale: Barnesville couple files lawsuit against Oxford Oil Company

legal scales

BARNESVILLE, Ohio — A Belmont County judge stopped Oxford Oil Company from drilling a new well onto a property in Barnesville, Ohio.
Shane and Peggy Skinner, of Barnesville, Ohio filed a lawsuit against the Oxford Oil Company, of Zanesville, in December 2012.
The Skinners own approximately 59 acres in Belmont County. The couple signed a oil and gas lease in January 2008 with the Oxford Oil Company.

Drilling stopped

According to the court documents, Oxford Oil Company planned on constructing an entrance and well pad on the property Dec. 11, 2012.

However, that did not happen. Common Pleas Court Judge John M. Solovan II, stopped the plans with a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction.

According to the lawsuit, the Skinners had tried to work with the company on finding an agreeable drilling site, but couldn’t come to an agreement.

The Skinners have consented to the location of two well sites and access roads, but third-party coal rights stopped the permits for those locations.

The third location chosen by the Oxford Oil Company is a hayfield that the Skinners reportedly do not want destroyed.


In the lawsuit, the Skinners claim the lawsuit is void because the notary held a financial interest in the lease at the time and the notary was not present at the time it was signed by the couple.

The lawsuit also accuses the Oxford Oil Company of fraud with regard to the lease because the lease was returned to the parties as having been properly notarized and that was not the case.

The Skinners also accuse the Oxford Oil Company of withholding information about the development of the Marcellus and Utica shale from them. According to the court documents, if the couple had known about the shale potential, the decision to sign the lease would have been different in 2008.

Messages were left with Oxford Oil Company’s attorney, Bill Taylor, but they were not returned.

Other cases

This lawsuit brings the total number of acres being involved in Oxford Oil Co. leases being disputed in the court system  to 1,386 acres, according to a tally by the Farm and Dairy.

For more Utica and Marcellus news visit Farm and Dairy’s Shale Gas Reporter


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  1. What,,they signed the lease,they got the money for signing the lease and now they are screaming”they done us wrong”these people are the ones doing wrong..

    • Oxford Oil Company is in the wrong. Their practices are obsurd as is your comment. How would you like to have your property drilled and the company only produce 100 cubic feet of natural gas just to hold the well open and you receive only enough money in royalties to buy groceries every month. While they are only holding the lease to keep it from expiring. They waited one month before this couples lease was to expire before coming out to start drilling. This is done so any other drilling lease cannot taking over at the end of the lease with Oxford Oil Company. I suggest that you do your research before judging this couples motives.

      • Thats awesome logic but they don’t put in a pad site to get 100 cubic feet a month of natural gas. That would be a bad investment for Oxford and pointless to install. RunningDoe they only put in a pad site if they can make profit, and 100 cubic feet is not that. I suggest you do your research and actually understand what you are talking about.

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