Is the Smith - Goshen Group officially closed to the point that when/if they decide on a good lease, they will not under any circumstances accept more acreage?  It seems like the oil and gas company would entertain contiguous acreage that would help their units.  Also, there are a lot of people getting upset with some deals that haven't materialized as they were told.  Thanks.

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That will be between the State of Ohio, the ODNR and any the O&G operation working within Belmont and Monroe counties.   

Wouldn't the O&G Co. want that figured out before dishing out $5-6k an acre?

Don't get me wrong, I hope the hard working people of this county get these prices and more, but I see both sides.  I heard Murray wouldn't work with GulfPort on permitting a well earlier this year.

I am relatively certain that there are in-depth negotiations going on behind the scenes between any O&G company interested in Belmont and Monroe counties and the Murray Energy Corp.  The S-G Group committee has paved the way as being a conduit between the State of Ohio, the O&G companies and Murray Energy, all the while developing a very contiguous Belmont County landowner group.  The negotiations that the S-G Landowner Group is aware of shows positivity between all those involved, as in O&G, mining and the State of Ohio.  The S-G groups position is that we must all work together to make this event happen... and as of now, that seems to be the case.

I also must add that this is only my opinion and observation and ask other GMS members to chime in if they are seeing things differently.

I agree with you on the position Smith-Goshen has taken in promoting the open dialog between the O/G companies and the coal operators, while also involving the state of Ohio. The coal mining is an issue not only for the well pad locations but also for the transmission lines. I would bet that placing pipelines over active or future mining activity on ground which is prone to subsidence is an issue.

As a Belmont county landowner and member of the S-G group, I have been working to bring our legal rights to extract our minerals to the attention of the group and the participants. I would encourage all landowners of property where the coal was severed/sold to research the original severance deeds. Our predecessors were not without forethought, many of these severance deeds reserved the right to drill through the coal and operate wells for oil and gas. This condition on the original sale of the coal is clearly spelled out in the legal recorded document deeding the coal way from the surface owner, so the coal companies do not have Carte Blanche to stop the extraction of the landowners oil and gas.

The O/G companies has been provided many examples of these severance deeds by the S-G group. The group has been thoughtful and deliberate in their approach to marketing their acreage.

If you think about it, when our forefathers were selling the rights to the coal, the coal companies weren't using the long-wall technology they are using today.  Back then, late 1800's and early 1900's, they were using the "room and pillar" type of mining.  My thinking is that the coal operators figured they could allow this type of language in the coal sale because a simple survey would tell the coal operation to mine around a casing pipe in the ground and not disturb it.  Long-wall is a different story altogether... its difficult and costly to have to mine "around" an area.

All the more reason for relationship building between O&G and coal.

Time and the courts will tell, but ultimately, I believe those of us who have that language in our deeds where our coal rights were severed will win. Our right to access our oil and gas predates the coal companies abandoning room and pillar mining for the more profitable long walling method.

I have heard that companies can drill under our unleased land in ohio and give us only 12.5% if they have enough leased land around it.   Does anyone see this happening?  I am still waiting to sign in the smith goshen group.  Many of my neighbors have signed with enough land to have a well.  If chesapeake decides to drill before i get signed and would use my land, i dont see how that would be fair considering we are negotiating a lease.  Should I be worried? I dont want to miss out and get 12.5%. 

Deron, I think we are far away from that scenerio happening here in Belmont County.  If a company wants to drill in your area and you could possibly become a part of the unit, my guess is that any major company would do their best to get you signed up within their unit if it came down to it.

Forced pool or unitization has happened like only once in Ohio. The driller must have 90% of the unit under their control and must have the ODNR sign off on it and its not a cut deal by a long shot for them. They have to explain WHY they NEED YOUR LAND they have to state the offers made to you before they can even try to start the process! 



A lawyer once told me in conversation that the oil company would have to show that they have made you a legitimately fair offer and have tried to get you signed.  I take this as, they would at least have to offer you the same terms as your neighbors or if the current going rate.   See also Billy Park Whyde's answer for other conditions they would have to meet.

No oil company can even consider forced pooling until they have made every effort to lease your land and you have continually refused their offers. I don't believe you are in that position.

Is the Smith - Goshen Group still closed to new members? 


Is the Murray Energy coal issue affecting ALL members or only a percentage as a whole and will the Smith-Goshen Group ONLY sign a lease if the oil and gas company accepts ALL members?


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