We did a project over there when my family was drilling shallow wells ourselves, and mapped all the NFG holdings. It's a great area, but unfortunately the old boys apparently knew that, so bought up everything they could!
Bad news - National Fuel Gas owns the gas under your land, and the Healy Heirs and others have the oil rights. It looks to me like you just have the surface rights there. A very common situation in that area - NFG has almost all the gas rights for miles, and operates several gas storage fields nearby that help them keep their system up and running during cold winter periods. Those reservations would have taken place roughly 100 years ago or more - no wonder you weren't aware of them.
If you can tell me where you're located, I could check my old maps and see who (if anyone) is claiming the OGMs under your property. I have pretty good data for the old South Penn and NFG holdings. A tax map # or warrant/lot information would be best.
OGM is oil, gas and minerals, by the way - how you describe the rights if they've been severed from the surface estate. Which is very common in Wetmore Township - very few landowners there also have their oil and gas rights. If you do, you're quite fortunate.
If you can tell me what warrant or lot you're in, I may be able to give you more quidance. The market for oil is much more promising than for gas right now - shallow oil drilling might be a possibility if you're in the right place, but the prospects for substantial Marcellus or Utica drilling in that area are pretty slim. There may be some testing by the companies that own large fee OGM blocks nearby, but unless you fit into their plans perfectly, 52 acres won't attract much interest as far as the deep rights are concerned. We've had good luck leasing our shallow rights in Wetmore Township, however, and have gotten nice oil royalties from some of them.
Your best bet in Wetmore Township is Catalyst for shallow wells. Deeper wells would be either Shell or Seneca, although neither appears to be leasing much since they have plenty of fee OGMs to develop.
What makes this site so great? Well, I think it's the fact that, quite frankly, we all have a lot at stake in this thing they call shale. But beyond that, this site is made up of individuals who have worked hard for that little yard we call home. Or, that farm on which blood, sweat and tears have fallen.[ Read More ]