Morgan County OH Utica Shale Leasing on the Rise

by Kenneth E. DuBose on August 4, 2011

Morgan County, OH, oil & gas leasing continues as landowners are approached with offers from landmen from around the country. Chesapeake Energy’s latest announcement that it has over 1 million acres and believes the play will have great economic returns isn’t going to deter leasing. Current offers are in the hundreds of dollars per acre, but you can bet rates will rise as drilling closes in on the County.

The offers, made for a potential boom in natural gas and oil extraction from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations, have escalated to $100 to $200 or more per acre, according to Chris Penrose, the Morgan Extension educator for agricultural and natural resources.
And, Penrose said, “as you see the wave (of mineral rights leasing and/or drilling) coming over from western Pennsylvania into Ohio, as close as 20 miles east of us, over in Noble County, offers have gone as high as $3,000 an acre.

“It is my impression that there are more wells drilled (in western Pennsylvania) than the infrastructure can support right now,” Penrose said. “They are still developing the pipelines there to move the product. So, depending on how that (Pennsylvania’s) supply and usage (of natural gas) goes, and how productive exploratory wells in our area might be, that will dictate somewhat how soon it gets over here to our neck of the woods.”

One thing is for sure, Penrose said. And that is that landowners being approached with mineral rights lease offers, and Morgan County’s government and business decision makers as well, need to have the most accurate and up-to-date information about both the potential positive and negative impacts of Marcellus/Utica shale drilling for natural gas and oil.

Read the full news release at

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