In the beginning of this great Utica play on GMS archives, landowners can read in real time the evolution of the play up to the minute today, this is phenomenal and most likely unprecedented.  The lack of knowledge and experience in a play most likely damaged landowners and yet created immediate wealth for many.

This writer who ran a sleepy land mangement company in Ohio, constantly provided insight, knowledge and understanding on GMS in order for all landowners to grasp the industry that required for their survival the minerals owned by each and every landowner in ther Utica shale. 

In the beginning, another phenomenon which sprang up immediately was the massive landgroups and this vehicle for many seemed to be the organization to protect, organize and lead the landowners.  Rather than revisit the enromous amount of information  relative to landgroups, I leave it to the reader to gain this knowledge on GMS.

What needs to be said and what has been needed from the beginning is Land Management and following is why many landowners have made serious mistakes which many times unfortunately are permanent:

1.  Land management is a team of qualified professionals with experience individuals working strictly in behalf of the landowner.

2.  Landowners require assistance from the beginning of a play and for the life of the industry in a play.

3.  Pooling resources (legal,engineering, monitoring, accounting, research) is economical and affordable allowing a landowner to continue their normal lives.

4.  Basically a land management group is identical to property management in real estate however specialized.  Sadly, land management is rare in this play.

This is an opener and is meant to further the debate and education of us landowners as we continue down this journey.  And, I strongly believe this is needed more than ever today.





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Land management is more of a passive service, and not an aggressive salesman endeavor.  You either want someone professionally to look after your property or you don't. 

Over a year ago when we first heard of Columbiana getting $1500, some of our landowners asked shouldn't we lease?  Our team studied as much as we could and came back with the wait and see approach for Mahoning county.   many of us in real estate all our lives knew that most of the time you need to see exactly what they want your land for, we felt that with the first two wells in the Utica (recent) meaning something since the second one was an $8 million investment in Milton.

If are lazy, join a land management company like the ones who rent condos for owners at ski resorts.  If you've leased mineral rights, you don't need a manager as it's out of your hands.

Nothing to see here.

I for one would love for Ron to follw up with more info and comments,I recently leased my land in Monroe Co.and went it alone. So far so good,Would I have been better served to have a proffesional on my side,I don't know. WillI I be better served to have a proffesional on my side moving forward? I don't know.Ron What say you?



"What is good for the goose is good for the gander"

Setting up a land management group enables me and others to retire while an organization (business) continues the business of land.

Ten years from now, Ohio Land Management may get a call about a problem in the calculation of royalties on a wellhead over one of our clients land.  I'm going to make sure the office is manned and a team is addressing this question.


Two years from now Mr. Penner may call Ohio Land Management concerning a ROW acquisition on his property, he is heading to Florida and OLM is responsible to look into this....thoroughly.  And while he is away, he needs someone to meet with the auditor about reducing his taxes on CAUV property.


You see, Land Management is for everyone when they no longer wish to be bothered with the day-to-day business of land.  And you only pay for the service you recieve and not 3% or a cut of your royalties.



It all depends on each and everyone's situation.  We manage several heirs of small acreage who are out of town and are not well versed on wht is happening.  Many times the compensation to OLM is a pecentage based on what is produced.  We have clients from out-of-state who elect to pay a percentage for continuous management.

 I agree with Ron's opening message and the possibilities it offers to those who don't keep up with our absolutely NON- STATIC shale industry, and all related businesses. Without laying aside a portion of each day to research and study the changes occurring that alter shale activity, it doesn't take long to become a historical shale genious ... as in what happened yesterday IS history and what will happen tomorrow is speculative. Landowner groups always have those members who simply look @ numbers, sign a lease and don't want to know anything more. Mission accomplished according to those folks.  That's fine.  Probably they also go to a doctor for an ailment, get a pill, and are satisfied.

It's very refreshing to have group members who join to be educated, come to meetings for "the latest" to see how new facts will affect their opportunities for solid leasing, and are willing to embrace the idea of timing rather than rushing willly-nilly into the first deal to come along. Do land management people see themselves in this role, or more serving needs that come after leasing?

Personally I have been involved in putting a large land owner group together that has been focused on education first. Understanding the magnitude of Marcellus/Utica shale and all it can do for individuals, towns, regions, and states  when developed wisely and fairly IS important.

What firms (not connected to gas/oil companies) have been or ARE involved solely with such management practices?  The idea may be new to this area, but certainly in OK, TX, and CA where deep drilling has been on-going for decades, some firm(s) must have been gaining experience and providing knowledgeable service for years to others under lease.

Ron's ideas are for a specialized set of services ... no room for a general practitioner here. I could certainly see a fee structure being arranged ... either for a group, or individuals ... but only after several educational sessions(free) had been held.  Then give audiences an opportunity to avail themselves of the services or not, and provide a "back-door" opportunity to get out, IF the services don't meet contractual obligations.

That's how my region's Group is run and I'm very proud of the members understanding of "all things Marcellus" and the sustained vision we've shared while watching the many changes that have come to the industry.

Timing is everything and our time has come.

 Ron, it's very possible the timing is right for what you're proposing.  I'd suggest working on fine-tuning it a bit, but I'm sure you already are.  The need is there.

Sorry Triple F that you are down on landowner groups because I believe the team efforts put forth by the members of the 4-County Group are "the GREATEST".  They are good people.

You put out a lot of good info and usually have a well-grounded perspective on things. I just disagree with you this time.

Many times land management is to advise that one does not need land management at this time.

Many times land management is the advice that landowners meet their neighbors for now and exchange current events in their area.


Many times land management is a twice in a month meeting of neighbors in an area led by a professional. 

Yes, recently one of our clients for whatever reason wished to sell their mineral rights.  Of course we strongly tried to discourage it but in the end it is always up to the landowner on what they wish to do with their property. 

One landowner a year ago lived in Florida and  wanted to sell their inherited 50 acres in PA.  we called him up and told him to wait because energy companies were coming in.  He wanted 125K for his acreage, we got him $3250 per acre from Shell and he still owns the property.  I believe on that project he paid us 5% which is cheaper than a realtor.  Land management is paid for services rendered.  Many of our clients have our general counsel provide legal work and pay directly for the work.  It really all depends on what services are rendered.


Out of state heris often wish to clear out an estate quickly and take 1st offers.

5% sounds very high. Adjacent landowners can share information and it isn't as if a 50 A gets 3500 and the 10 next door doesn't.

Gascos have set rangs thy will pay in crtain areas.


Manager's of Groups may charge 1% or  a per acre fee, 10-25$ which may amount to even less  than the 1%. 

A very busy wealthy person may pay a bigger fee, just to not have to think about it at all.  

"Royalties" is the key word my friend.

BTW, could you kindly use your real name here for a more healthy discussion. 

I apologize if this is a duplicate. In Penna the extension service provides top grade services helping landowners come to terms with leasing and development. Once past the lease stage, there are few decisions to make. Some hire a certified mineral manager to review royalty stubs, but even there, the royalty owner gets the hang of that quickly. Unless someone owns a block of land 5lk acres +, with special lease value, I don’t think anyone needs to hire a land manager..

Again Melissa, facts are that landgroups secured significantly less for landowners than the market.

What landgroup do you work for again?


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