- Energy and Utilities
- Harvard Law School, J.D., 1992
- Washington and Lee University, B.A., 1988, summa cum laude
- TH Darmstadt, West Germany, 1989
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
Greg is a partner in the Columbus office and leads the firm’s energy group, which is one of the largest and most experienced energy practices in the Midwest. For more than 20 years, he has been advising producers and pipeline operators in Ohio on business and regulatory matters, ranging from asset transactions, to unit operations and development, to leasehold and royalty disputes. Greg's practice frequently involves appearing before state and federal regulatory agencies, such as state oil and gas and public utility commissions as well as U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
He is an adjunct professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, teaching a course on oil and gas law. Greg is also a frequent speaker on a broad range of topics impacting the natural gas industry, including oil and gas leasing and contract matters, regulatory (e.g., pooling and unitization), environmental and natural gas market issues. Recently, he served as the chair of the Energy & Mineral Law Foundation’s Special Institute on Title and Development Issues in the Utica Shale (2013).
Greg is the editor of the Vorys Energy & Environment blog. The blog highlights news and breaking legal developments involving the crude oil and natural gas industries, alternative and renewable energy resources and the latest environmental issues.
Greg serves as the general counsel of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association, and is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association, the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, and the Marcellus Shale Coalition.
Greg received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and his B.A. summa cum laude from Washington and Lee University. He received a Fulbright Grant to study mathematics at the TH Darmstadt in West Germany in 1988-1989.
Professional and Community Activities
- Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2006-present
- Ohio Oil and Gas Association, Chair, Environmental and Safety Committee, 2005-2014; Chair, Legal Committee, 2015-present
- Ohio State Bar Association, Natural Resources Law Committee, Past Chair
- Congregation Beth Tikvah, Board of Trustees, 2003-2013
Honors & Awards
- Columbus CEO, Top Lawyers in Columbus, 2015-2016
- The Best Lawyers in America, Columbus Energy Law "Lawyer of the Year," 2014, 2018
- The Best Lawyers in America, Energy Law, 2013-2018
- The Best Lawyers in America , Oil and Gas Law, 2018
- Chambers and Partners, Leading Lawyer in Natural Resources and Environment, 2012-2017
- "Who's Who in Energy," American City Business Journals, 2013-2015
- Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars, Energy and Natural Resources, 2005-2006
- 8/17/2017Twenty Vorys attorneys have been named 2018 Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers. Each year, only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.”
- 8/17/2017One hundred and eight lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018.
- 5/26/2017Vorys announced that 30 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the country in the 2017 edition of Chambers USA.
- 8/15/2016One-hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017.
- 5/27/2016Vorys announced that 36 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the country in the 2016 edition of Chambers USA.
- 8/17/2015One-hundred and eighteen lawyers from Vorys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2016.
- 6/17/2015Russell Profiled in Columbus Business First Story Titled “Vorys Attorney Reflects on First Year Teaching Oil and Gas Course at Ohio State's Law School”Greg Russell, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and the leader of the firm’s energy group, was profiled in a Columbus Business First story titled “Vorys Attorney Reflects on First Year Teaching Oil and Gas Course at Ohio State's Law School.”
- 5/19/2015Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease is pleased to announce that 39 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the country in the 2015 edition of Chambers USA.
- 11/27/2014Airey, Gormly, Keller and Russell Included on American City Business Journals' 2014-2015 “Who’s Who in Energy” ListVorys Partners Jon Airey, Kevin Gormly, John Keller and Greg Russell were included in the 2014 “Who’s Who in Energy” list, published by the American City Business Journals. According to American City Business Journals, the lawyers are among the “key players” in the energy industry.
- 8/18/2014One-hundred and ten lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015.
- 6/20/2014Russell Focus of Columbus Business First Story Titled "OSU picks Vorys Lawyer to Teach Oil and Gas Course"Gregory Russell, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and chair of the firm’s energy group, will teach the first The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law course on oil and law. This news was the focus of a Columbus Business First story.
- 6/16/2014Vorys Partner Quoted in Columbus Business First Story Titled “Utica Landowners Lose Appeal in Lease-Renewal Dispute with Chesapeake Energy"Gregory Russell, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and chair of the energy group, was quoted in a Columbus Business First story about landowners who had signed a five-year mineral extraction lease.
- 5/23/2014Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease is pleased to announce that 39 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the country in the 2014 edition of Chambers USA.
- 11/22/2013Vorys Partners Jonathan Airey, John Keller and Greg Russell were included in the 2013 “Who’s Who in Energy” list, published by American City Business Journals. According to the publication, the lawyers are among the “key players” in the Ohio energy industry.
- 8/14/2013One hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014.
- 8/14/2013Ten Vorys attorneys from three offices have been named 2014 Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers. Each year, only a single lawyer in each specialty in each community is honored as the “Lawyer of the Year.”
- 5/24/2013Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease is pleased to announce that 39 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the country in the 2013 edition of Chambers USA. Chambers USA conducts in-depth research and ranks the leading firms and attorneys in an extensive range of practice areas throughout America.
- 8/23/2012One hundred and twenty-six lawyers from Vorys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013.
- 6/7/2012Vorys announced that 35 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the country in the 2012 edition of Chambers USA.
- 8/11/2017Vorys attorneys Greg Russell and Ilya Batikov were speakers at the Review of Oil and Gas Law hosted by the Energy Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association on August 11, 2017.
- 7/21/2017Vorys Partner Greg Russell was a speaker at the 63rd Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute hosted by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation on July 21, 2017.
- 2/14/2017Vorys Partner Greg Russell was a speaker at the IPAA Strategic Planning Conference on February 14, 2017.
- 1/31/2017Vorys advisors Matt Hammond, Tom Neihaus, Todd Snitchler and Zack Space and Vorys attorneys Greg Russell and Mike Settineri were speakers at the Future of Ohio's Energy Summit on January 31, 2017.
- 12/12/2016Vorys attorneys Ilya Batikov, James Carr and Greg Russell were speakers at the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act Special Institute on December 12, 2016.
- 11/18/2016Vorys attorneys James Carr and Greg Russell were speakers at the 2016 Oil and Gas Update hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association on November 18, 2016.
- 10/19/2016Vorys attorneys Greg Russell and Webb Vorys were speakers at the Kentucky Mineral Law Conference on October 19, 2016.
- 9/7/2016Vorys Partner Greg Russell was a speaker at the 7th Law of Shale Plays Conference on September 7, 2016.
- 11/20/2015Vorys attorneys Dan Clark, Lisa Forbes and Greg Russell were speakers at the Oil and Gas Update hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association Natural Resources Law Committee on November 20, 2015.
- 3/4/2015Vorys presented a Financial Institutions Summit on March 4, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.
- 1/23/2015Vorys attorneys John Keller and Greg Russell presented a webinar titled Fundamentals of Oil and Gas Leases and Related Agreements, hosted by Lorman Education on January 23, 2015.
- 3/14/2014Vorys attorneys Greg Russell and Michael Settineri presented at the 29th Annual Ohio Environment, Energy and Resources Law Seminar hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association on March 14, 2014.
- 11/21/2013Vorys attorneys Greg Russell, Mike Settineri, Kristin Watt, Tim McGranor and Jon Airey presented at the Northern Appalachian Landman’s Association Seminar on November 21.
- 4/27/2013Vorys attorneys Greg Russell and Jonathan Airey presented Forming a Drilling Unit at the 28th Annual Ohio Environment, Energy and Resources Seminar hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association on April 26 & 27, 2013.
- 4/15/2013Vorys attorneys Shelia Gartland, Jon Airey and Zachary Simpson spoke at the Title and Development Issues in the Utica Shale – Ohio seminar on April 15 and 16, 2013. Vorys Partner Greg Russell served as the chair of the seminar.
- 1/29/2013Several Vorys attorneys spoke at the 22nd Annual Ohio State Tax Conference, that took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 29-30, 2013.
- 12/18/2012Mr. Russell presented Utica Shale Developments and Ohio's Oil and Gas Reserves at the 20th Annual Bradley J. Schaeffer Real Property Institute presented by the Ohio State Bar Association on December 19, 2012. The Institute focused on the legal ramifications of the recent oil and gas boom occurring in Ohio.
- 7/18/2012Vorys partners Sheila Nolan Gartland, Greg Russell and Scott Ziance participated in Central Ohio NAIOP’s seminar, Utica Shale Play – What it Means for Real Estate Professionals on July 18.
- 3/29/2012Vorys attorneys Greg Russell and Rob Krummen participated in the Texas Wesleyan School of Law’s Fourth Annual Energy Symposium on March 29. Their presentation was entitled, Ohio’s Experience With Preempting Local Regulations of Oil and Gas Development.
- 3/15/2012Vorys partners Anthony Giuliani and Kristin Watt spoke at the Ohio Oil and Gas Association Winter Meeting on March 15. Greg Russell moderated the panel.
- 3/14/2012Several Vorys attorneys presented at HalfMoon LLC’s Development of the Utica Shale in Ohio seminar on March 14.
- 1/4/2018Oil and Gas Alert: Supreme Court of Ohio Rejects Implied Covenant to Explore Further in Oil and Gas LeasesIn a January 3, 2018 decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio held that Ohio does not recognize an implied covenant to explore further as a distinct implied covenant in oil and gas leases.
- 11/9/2017Greg Russell, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and the chair of the firm's energy subgroup, authored an article for the OOGA Bulletin titled "Legal Issues Facing Ohio Producers."
- 12/16/2016Greg Russell, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office and the leader of the firm’s energy group, authored an article for the Energy Mineral Law Foundation titled “Statutory Unitization in Ohio: A Brief Primer.”
- 11/3/2016Oil and Gas Alert: Supreme Court of Ohio Declines to Answer Certified Questions on Whether Ohio Follows the 'At The Well' Rule for Post-Production CostsIn an opinion published yesterday, the Supreme Court of Ohio declined to answer a certified question from the Northern District of Ohio regarding whether Ohio follows the “at the well” rule or the “marketable product” theory with respect to post-production costs, leaving it up to the federal court to interpret the parties’ contracts under traditional cannons of contract construction.
- 9/15/2016Oil and Gas Alert: Supreme Court of Ohio Issues Sweeping Decision Interpreting the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act - Holds That 1989 DMA is Not Self-ExecutingOn September 15, 2016, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued numerous decisions concerning the application of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act.
- 3/23/2016Oil and Gas Alert: Bankruptcy Court Issues Opinion Allowing the Rejection of Certain Midstream AgreementsOn March 8, 2016, a New York Bankruptcy Court issued a bench decision in the Sabine Oil & Gas Corporation Chapter 11 case. The Court’s decision concerning a producer’s request to reject certain portions of its midstream agreements has sent shockwaves through the oil and gas industry.
- 3/22/2016Oil and Gas Alert: Ohio Court Of Appeals Issues Decision on Effect of Pugh Clause, Expansion of Drilling Units, Equitable TollingOn March 4, 2016, the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals in Summitcrest, Inc. v. Eric Petroleum Corp., et al., addressed several issues concerning oil and gas leases in Ohio.
- 1/25/2016Only one month after oral argument, the Supreme Court of Ohio has issued its decision in the consolidated cases of Hupp v. Beck Energy Corporation (renamed on appeal as Hustack v. Beck Energy Corporation) and Claugus Family Farm L.P. v. Seventh District Court of Appeals, affirming the holding of the Seventh District Court of Appeals that the leases at issue were not perpetual and thus void as against public policy.
- 11/6/2015Oil and Gas Alert: Supreme Court of Ohio Decides That Oil and Gas Leases Are Title Transactions Under the Ohio Dormant Mineral ActOn November 5, 2015, the Supreme Court of Ohio answered two questions concerning the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA). In Chesapeake Exploration, L.L.C. v. Buell, the Court held that under the DMA: (1) a recorded oil and gas lease is a title transaction that serves as a savings event that prevents minerals from being abandoned to a surface owner; but (2) that the unrecorded expiration of an oil and gas lease is not a savings event.
- 11/2/2015Oil and Gas Alert: Ohio Court of Appeals Issues Decision on Scope of Granting Clause, Effect of Well Permit Application on Lease Terms and Lessee’s Fiduciary DutiesOn October 26, 2015, the Ohio Fifth District Court of Appeals in K and D Farms, Ltd, et al. v. EnerVest Operating, L.L.C., et al. addressed several issues concerning oil and gas leases in Ohio.
- 8/21/2015Oil and Gas Alert: Supreme Court of Kentucky Adopts 'At The Well' Rule For Post-Production Costs; Producers Solely Responsible for Severance Tax PaymentsIn companion decisions released on August 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of Kentucky confirmed that Kentucky follows the “at the well” rule with respect to post-production costs, but held that the payment of severance taxes must be borne solely by the producer.
- 8/18/2015Oil and Gas Alert: Ohio Secretary of State Refuses to Place Proposed County Charter Petitions Banning Oil and Gas Activities on the November BallotOn Thursday, August 13, Secretary of State John Husted issued a decision finding that the proposed charter petitions for Athens, Fulton and Medina counties are invalid. The secretary’s decision tracked analysis provided by Vorys’ attorneys Jonathan Airey, Gregory Russell, Lisa Babish Forbes and Aaron Williams in an amicus brief submitted on behalf of the Ohio Oil and Gas Association and the Ohio Gas Association.
- 6/18/2015Oil and Gas Alert: The Supreme Court of Ohio Publishes its First Decision Analyzing the Ohio Dormant Mineral ActOn June 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of Ohio issued its first decision analyzing one aspect of the much contested Ohio Dormant Mineral Act.
- 6/5/2015Greg Russell, Pete Lusenhop and Steven Chang, attorneys in the Vorys Columbus office, co-authored an article for the June 2015 edition of the Oil and Gas Journal titled “Ohio Weighs Post-Production Costs, Royalty Calculations.”
- 4/3/2015Oil and Gas Alert: U.S. District Court Certifies Question to Supreme Court of Ohio Relating to Deduction of Post-Production CostsThe U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio recently certified an important question of law concerning the deduction of post-production costs to the Supreme Court of Ohio: Does Ohio follow the “at the well” rule (which permits the deduction of post-production costs) or does it follow some version of the “marketable product” rule (which limits the deduction of post-production costs under certain circumstances)?
- 4/1/2015On March 18, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that those engaged in crude petroleum and natural gas extraction, drilling, and related support activities are engaged in “high hazard” activities and will be subject to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The program has been in effect since 2010, when it replaced the prior Enhanced Enforcement Program. When the program started, OSHA placed its national emphasis on the “high-hazard” industries that involved fall hazards and hazards from amputations; combustible dust, crystalline silica; excavation and/or trenching; lead; and shipbreaking. This announcement is an expansion of the program’s “high hazard” activities. This is important for the oil and gas industry because OSHA concentrates the majority of its resources to inspecting employers from “high-hazard” industries.
- Over the past year, Pennsylvania has continued to lead the northeastern United States in natural gas production. According to a report published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on November 25, 2014, Pennsylvania became the second-largest shale gas producing state in the nation in 2013, and production continued to increase throughout 2014.
- 2014 was a year of continued growth and expansion for Ohio’s oil and gas industry. Drilling and production increased dramatically, with more than 50 Utica rigs operating in Ohio at year end and over 550 new drilling permits having been issued as of October 2014, which is more than all of 2013.
- 2/18/2015In a significant victory for the oil and gas industry, on February 17, 2015, the Supreme Court of Ohio, in State ex rel. Morrison v. Beck Energy Corp., affirmed the State of Ohio’s “sole and exclusive” authority over the regulation of oil and gas operations in the state.
- 12/17/2014Vorys Partners Greg Russell and Pete Lusenhop authored an article for the Oil & Gas Monitor titled “‘It’s All About that Basin, Bout Dat Basin…No Trouble (Well Maybe a Little).” The article highlighted the lessons that can be learned from recent and pending cases in U.S. shale plays. According to the authors, the main lesson is “Proceed with Caution.”
- 9/30/2014On September 26, 2014, the Ohio Seventh District Court of Appeals in Hupp et al. v. Beck Energy Corp. et al. reaffirmed the ongoing viability of several typical oil and gas lease terms in Ohio, reversing a lower court decision that had held that commonly-used habendum clause and delay rental provisions created no-term leases that violated public policy and were therefore void from their very inception.
- 5/12/2014On May 8 the Ohio Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (the Division) made several changes to its Procedural Guidelines for Unitization Applications filed under Section 1509.28 of the Ohio Revised Code. The changes below will undoubtedly present new challenges to applicants submitting applications to the Division.
- 4/22/2014With the boom in oil and gas production issues in Ohio, irrespective of the type, charter bank and thrift lenders can find a significant resource for safe and sound lending guidance in the newly issued addition to the Comptroller’s Handbook on “Oil and Gas Production Lending.”
- 4/11/2014In Walker v. Noon, the Seventh District Court of Appeals recently addressed two issues concerning the 1989 version of the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA). In Walker, the Court of appeals held: (1) for the purposes of the DMA, a severed mineral interest was not the “subject of” a title transaction that conveyed the surface with a restatement of a prior mineral reservation; (2) the 1989 version of the DMA automatically vested a surface owner with a severed mineral interest where no savings events occurred within the statute’s look-back period, and that such vesting was not disturbed by the amendment of the DMA in 2006.
- 3/18/2014On March 12, 2014, the Supreme Court of Ohio accepted an appeal in Dodd v. Croskey (7th Dist. 2013) on one issue pertaining to the 2006 version of the Dormant Mineral Act, Ohio Revised Code § 5301.56. The Court will consider whether a notice of preservation timely filed after an abandonment notice was effective to preserve a mineral interest where no savings events occurred within the 20 years preceding the abandonment notice.
- 3/14/2014On March 10, 2014, U.S. EPA published proposed revisions and confidentiality determinations for the petroleum and natural gas source category of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Rule, 40 CFR Part 98, Subpart W. The proposed revisions to Subpart W include amendments of general applicability, revised calculation methods and reporting requirements for specified emission sources within the source category, and confidentiality determinations for the new and substantially revised data elements associated with the proposed amendments to the rule.
- February 2014This past year proved active for Ohio’s oil and gas industry. We saw exploration and drilling operations increase substantially and migrate further south (there are currently 44 rigs operating in Ohio, and some operations have extended further south into Washington County). We also saw the first quarterly production report issued by the Division of Oil and Gas Resources Management (“Division”), showing strong production results for the third quarter of the year (33.6 Bcf of natural gas and 1.33 MMbbls of oil). And we saw significant midstream infrastructure growth throughout the year, including the opening of the Momentum processing and fractionation plant and the opening – and temporary closing – of Dominion’s Natrium processing and fractionation plant right across the Ohio River near Natrium, W.Va.
But the activity hasn’t been only on the operational side – there have been several substantial developments on the legal side of Ohio’s oil and gas industry as well. To assist our clients and friends, we have summarized a number of those developments.
- February 2014In 1878, the nation’s first commercial natural gas well was drilled in Murrysville, Pennsylvania. Since then, oil and natural gas have played a vital role in Pennsylvania’s economy. Despite this history of oil and natural gas production, the Commonwealth has relatively little case law and legislative regulation to guide the industry. Due to the recent surge in production of Marcellus Shale gas, Pennsylvania’s production of natural gas increased by 72% from 2011 to 2012. According to a report issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration on December 17, 2013, Pennsylvania is the fastest-growing natural gas-producing state, and preliminary data suggests that Pennsylvania may have been the second-largest producer of natural gas in 2013. Not surprisingly, the current state of oil and gas law in Pennsylvania reflects the Commonwealth’s attempts to manage this rapid increase in natural gas production.
The judiciary, legislature and regulatory agencies have attempted to balance the benefits of natural gas production against the concerns of the public. However, many issues remain unresolved. To assist our clients and friends in navigating this quickly developing area of the law, we have summarized a number of the important decisions and enactments of the past year.
- 1/8/2014Oil and Gas Alert: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Certifies DMA Questions to the Supreme Court of OhioThe U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio recently certified two important questions of law concerning the Ohio Dormant Mineral Act (DMA) to the Supreme Court of Ohio.
- 11/13/2013Oil and Gas Alert: New Procedural Step Added in Ohio to the Lease Forfeiture Statute, Dormant Mineral ActA new Ohio House Bill (HB 72) adds a requirement that a lessor or surface owner record a “notice of failure to file” in connection with the statutory procedures used to forfeit an oil and gas lease; and abandon mineral interests to a surface owner. HB 72 focuses on the modernization of the county recorders’ offices and appears innocuous. However, it includes a new step to the procedures relating to the oil and gas lease forfeiture statute (Ohio Revised Code 5301.332) and to the Dormant Mineral Act (Ohio Revised Code 5301.56). As such, surface owners, lessors, lessees, operators, lawyers, landmen and the like should be aware of the additional step and incorporate it into their practices.
- 9/19/2013House Bill 59, which becomes effective on September 29, 2013, amended several sections of Ohio law governing the disposal of waste substances generated from oil and gas production operations. On September 16, 2013, Ohio EPA released three draft Guidance documents to facilitate the implementation of the new oil and gas-related waste management requirements.
- May 2012Gregory D. Russell, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office, outlined the review of Ohio’s oil and natural gas regulations conducted by the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations Inc. (STRONGER Inc.), a stakeholder organization consisting of environmental, state and industry representatives with expertise in the exploration for and production of oil and natural gas resources, in Crain’s Cleveland Business.
- Nov/Dec 2011Sheila Nolan Gartland, a partner in the firm’s Columbus office, authored an article on Ohio’s oil and gas regulatory structure for the November/December 2011 edition of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Ohio Lawyer magazine. Gregory D. Russell and John K. Keller, partners in the firm’s Columbus office, authored an article entitled “Ohio’s Dormant Mineral Act,” which also appeared in the November/December 2011 edition.
- November 2010
- March/April 2007
- 2005 (26 Energy & Min. L. Inst. ch. 9)