I keep hearing different stories about Ashtabula Co. What is going on? Is there any interest to lease or not?  

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Don't know nor have we heard.
Found a Lake Cardinal in Rome Township but no Cardinal Rd. intersecting 45.
Heard about an EnerVest Test Well in Rome on or around 45 - probably the same one you're referring to.
No news however.

Has anyone that was released by NELA been approached by BP yet?

Elliemae,  perhaps you should post a new thread on this topic (your question about BP).  I think it is relevent and worthy....IMHO

All,

I'm from Washington County, Pa, just south of Pittsburgh one county.  About 30 miles as the crow flies from the city.  They are putting in wells as fast as they can with what machines are available.  That seems to be what's hamstringing them the most, not enough drills and the lower price of gas, and the lack of big enough pipelines.  We had a lot of shallow well drilling here for over 100 years, so there are loads of 4" lines, but what they are installing now is 18-24". 

We are looking at land up your way as it's cheap compared to here.  Land went from $2,500 for ag ground with rights (that no one cared about) to nearly $10K with held by production rights, and the sky is the limit if you're not HBP.  My family bought our current farm in 1936, 157 acres.  In 1974 my grandfather signed a gas lease with a local glass plant.  They established a well, and went out of business less than a decade later.  A small driller that took awful care of the well and pipes has had it since.  We knew we were held by production, and knew if they ever did come to terms with him we would get the state minimum royalty 12.5% as that's what we get for the shallow well.  This summer we saw a new truck up at the well, he was changing the sign on the well.  Bates Colonial Corp.  He didn't say much except that the wells had been bought.  It took a few days, but it's really Rice Energy, a big player in my area. 

So they spent nearly $20mil I hear for this little company to gain control of our farms.  They approached a neighbor about 6 weeks ago and said, they would be putting a well pad on his property in 2 weeks.  There is now a D11 dozer and lots of other iron making 15 acres flat 24/7.  No real notice, didn't come ask if one spot would be better than another, etc. 

When the neighbors did see the drilling plans, right at the very top of our hill, guess what... a 18 acre well pad.  They showed up about two weeks ago to layout for a pipeline.  No notice, and they weren't friendly.  Obviously we asked who the hell they were and what were they doing there.  They had a copy of the 1974 lease in their pocket and a letter from their attorney to the xxx family, handed that to me and walked away.  They called Tuesday and said we had to remove all the hunters from the farm, as they needed more points for the new pipeline (it's crossing under I-70 that cuts through our farm too).  I told them we would not do that, their surveyors should wear orange and be courteous and there would be no problem. 

Our farm was strip mined for coal in 08... the 18 acres they are leveling is the last untouched ground on the farm.  If you haven't seen a strip mine, it doesn't do nice things to your farm, let me put it that way. 

There are going to be 2 well pads on the neighbors and one on ours, each will have 9 to 15 legs, they are putting in a 36" main line to take out the gas.  So they are looking at some very serious drilling.  This is all DRY Marcellus, not Utica here. 

Talk about feeling violated, they don't ask, they just come on to our land.  We understand we are HBP, but can you be friendly and ASK to be here politely?  If they would move the well pad over 1000' on to the strip mined ground that would be far better for us.  They won't even return a phone call to have a meeting. 

They used the language in that old deed to beat us over the head.  When my grandfather signed it, it gave access to the creek for water, they could drill where they wanted to, they could lay pipe where they wanted "to extract ANY gas or oil from said land".  We won't be paid for the pipe or well pad damage.  My grandfather could have never imagined in his wildest dreams what would happen.  Us hillbillys never knew other layers of gas existed deeper than the 1,200' they used to drill.  Basically they STOLE it from us. 

Along with the 36" main they run 2 plastic 6" lines, one with fresh water and one with frac water, so they don't have to have so many trucks on the road.  They build huge ponds and draw from those and pump the water for miles.  I think that's a good idea as it really cuts down on the truck traffic. 

I've only been to your County twice to get farm equipment.  I know it's flat and you won't have such big pads as we do with the steep hills. 

Are they offering anything for leases up there??  If so what?  I see $100/ac to $6000/ac.  I'm not sure if I would lease of not, I probably would if they wouldn't come on the land.  It would be a big factor in our decision to buy a farm there. 

Randy,
I think you ought to keep an eye on the legislation and modifications to some of them being contemplated here in Ohio.
Seems to us there are some pretty quirky rules and rule changes being discussed which may affect your decisions.
There are some landowners involved in Force Pooling situations.
Severance Tax rule changes are being discussed.
Leasing in Ashtabula County seems to be slow but there are folks who think that may change soon.
Most recently NELA has cancelled some of their agreements with landowners and judging from some of their posts don't know the reason why.
Things seem to be in flux / fluid.
That's about the best description we can muster for now.
Good luck neighbor.

So I shouldn't expect to lease that land anytime soon?  It's near 11 and I-90. 

I'm sure we could sue the gas company at our farm, but they have far far deeper pockets than we do. 

We have land in Washington County and Allegheny (Pittsburgh airport area) and the rights to the old farm in Mannington, WV and haven't got a cent from all this!! 

Thanks for the fast reply! 

Land near 11 and I-90 is supposed to be in what some of the E & P companies have identified as the Oil or Black Oil zone.
But being that close to (2) two major freeways may make it very desirable for some sort of infrastructure implementation(s).
I know they've been working on I-90 for a couple of years (widening).
Don't know how you view that kernel of information Randy
But for what it's worth to you anyway.
J-O

Black Oil Zone?  Not familiar with the term.  Is that good or bad?  Financially speaking. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't think all this drilling is bad, we need our own energy sources, but they don't need to be so cut throat.  Being fair to a couple of us farmers isn't asking too much when they are talking it's lifetime value in our area is several million per acre.  The coal was sold under this country here for $10/ac in the 1890's, people thought they were wealthy.  Today CONSOL is mining those same reserves for $1 million/acre in PROFIT!  People 100 years from now could laugh at us what we let go of these reserves for. 

Thanks

Black Oil as I understand the term refers to it's darker color than the lighter and more volatile oils being recovered from the Utica Shale.
They're using quite a bit of their own particular jargon descriptions which has helped keep things most difficult to understand.

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