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Correction: Gas Drilling-Ohio story

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — In a story Jan. 21 about an Ohio Supreme Court decision on Beck Energy Corp. oil-and-gas drilling leases, The Associated Press erroneously reported the ruling's effect on the leases. Justices deemed the leases valid; they didn't void them.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Justices side with energy firm on Ohio drilling leases

The Ohio Supreme Court has sided with Beck Energy in a long-running legal battle over 700 disputed oil-and-gas leases in southern and eastern Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court has sided with an energy company in a long-running legal battle over 700 disputed oil-and-gas leases in southern and eastern Ohio.

In a 4-3 decision Thursday, the court declared as valid Beck Energy Corp. leases that give the company 10 years to begin preparing to drill if it wants to maintain control of the properties.

Landowners had argued Beck wrote contract language that allowed the company to sit on the land indefinitely without drilling, violating Ohio policy.

The trial court had voided leases for five Monroe County landowners, but that was reversed on appeal. Justices affirmed the appellate court ruling that upheld the leases as valid.

The suit was declared a class action, which extended its potential impact to more property owners.

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