Belmont Co. Landowners File Suit Against Oil Company

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A group of landowners claim Oxford Oil Company may be over-stretching a clause in their gas leases to extend the term of the leases without production, according to a lawsuit filed in Belmont County.

Fourteen landowners have filed a lawsuit against Oxford Oil Company in Zanesville, which is using a force majeure clause in a 2006 oil and gas lease to keep the leases in effect. 
The leases have expired, but the landowners cannot sign another lease because Oxford Oil won't let the leases expire.
The company claims the clause allows the lease to be extended because the oil and gas company was prohibited from drilling, due to the actions of Murray Energy, a coal company, and the village of Barnesville.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages for slander of title, attorney fees and punitive damages. 
In addition, the plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against Oxford Oil to take any gas or oil from their property.