It sounds like one of your close neighbors might get a chance at some of the better money offered for acres now if they don't get something started before the old lease expires . Also I heard some pits are worth $10,000 per . The companies are all trying to get some drilling in now to hold some of the leases that were paid real cheap before this rush came on . 6 years ago it was $5 an acre . Now it is listed in places valued at 5000 an up since Utica is compared to both the Eagleford and the Bakken in production . One place says Eagleford average is $20,000 per acre and Bakken also up high .Make sure to check for the current going rates for your needs and get a solid agreement on all details you want .Good luck
Steve,your lease, somewhere says what amount of activity on you will hold it. Spent some time in Bradford Co. with a man who wrote checks for pads and ponds,as I recall it was $500 per acre per year,5 year period.Not Chesapeak. Leases there were writen,$100,000.00 per well for a pad. As it was explained. The leases were writen for the Trenton formation,which would only require one well per pad. They followed the contract. Marcellus was 8 wells per pad.Easy math. Maybe gives you some idea of the value or money potential.
Usually the drilling bit must start drilling for leases to be held. Placing a pad would not hold a lease. You should ask for more $ since it will save them from releasing others.