Anyone receive and/or sign a oil & gas lease offer in Lorain County?  If so, how much and with whom. 

I received an initial offer of $1000/acre with a 15% royalty from Cobra about a month ago and I am trying to find out what companies are actively leasing in my area (Lorain County, Camden township).  Based upon my research this offer seems low for Utica Shale land.

The average rate for 2011 was $2500/acre with some landowners in the eastern portion of Ohio receiving $4000-5000/acre.  Since oil is more valuable than gas (the Utica Shale in Lorain County should contain more oil than gas based upon state DNR geological studies), it follows that the lease value should be in the higher range.   Of course if there are no other companies leasing in this area then it makes sense that Cobra can get people to sign a low ball lease offer.

Your thoughts on what a fair offer would be? 

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There's a reason that nobody's interested in Lorain county on a massive scale.  The geology at the moment doesn't support spending huge dollars to lease land up there.  

Could you elaborate on what you mean by the geology doesn't support huge dollars to lease land in Lorain County? 

You have to follow the money.  If there are four companies bidding up prices in Carroll county then something in the data tells you that it's a worth while venture.  If there is one company in Lorain county then it shows you the higher risk factors associated with that area.  Devon is going to drill a well in Ashland that is a stone's throw from the Huron county line.  If that well is good then you can assume operations will head a little further north into Huron county.  If you're in Lorain, you have to look at how the majors are playing it.  No permits, no wells, no leasing activity on a large scale.  That tells me that the geology is a bigger question mark than in a lot of other areas.  Most of these shale plays end up being reduced to smaller, core areas of strong production.  The Haynesville started out covering over 1,000,000 acres and the only profitable production is coming from five of the 65+ townships that were originally leased.  There is a finite pool of money that invests in shale drilling, along with all of the midstream operations.  Companies don't go spending a fortune in an area that has high risk factors when they can instead compete in the core areas.  Lorain county may end up being a good place for oil production, but for now it's simply an area that generates little interest.  

My understanding is that there is less gas in this area, thus a higher percentage of oil, but the amount of oil is still in question.  Currently there is a deep well being drilled outside Lodi in Medina County.  If this becomes a producing well, then the interest in this area is sure to increase, along with the potential offers.  I have also heard that Cobra is a small company, and should not be taken too seriously.

Cobra has drilled hundreds of wells over the last decade and a half.  They're not a major producer like CHK, but "small" isn't quite accurate.  

Heard that Cobra is no longer interested in leasing in Lorain county.  Anyone confirm?

We had signed with them last year and the offer was rescinded---no explanation. Our parcel is not in but on line of Lorain/Erie County. I figured they backed out either due to local environmental push-back issues or lack of monetary incentive. Looks like the latter.

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