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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gas Leasing Along the PA/NY Border

Leasing Along the PA/NY Border

What brings world-wide interest to our region when our Marcellus isn’t the thickest? Isn’t the wettest? 

Answers: Thick Utica shale just below it, solid infrastructure, the public’s growing understanding of how group strength brings fair leases, and an experienced successful firm skilled at marketing and negotiating on a major scale. 

Prior to the madcap leasing spree throughout the Marcellus most “rights” holders only knew what their fathers or grandfathers had told them about gas/oil leasing. Never mind that the heyday they were hearing about was decades past. By the time the public realized the rules had changed, that technology had found new ways to drill and a multitude of new uses existed for our subsurface resources, many had signed leases so heavily industry-friendly it was like being mired in quicksand. For them there was, there is, no way out. They received a pittance for their acres, had no owner safeguards to fall back on, and few protections had been included to protect and reclaim the environment once drilling was completed. 

 Times are different now.

Guidance to improve the situation came first from those who had been negatively affected the most … experienced unfortunates. Folks listened. Holding out for more money than a neighbor received plus a few incidentals that allowed signers to believe they had “bested” the landman was the way to go. They thought.

Good fortune actually smiled on signers who received the upfront money they were promised. Not all did. Better fortune smiled on the ones who later received promised Delay Rental money. Not all did.

And the luckiest ones in this region from those early days, are the current ones whose leases have totally run out, or will in a few months. 


Free to lease again, or leasing for the first time, people are much more knowledgeable about what makes a good lease. They have stopped listening to door-knockers (company agents) who by the way are still working for companies wanting the land. Landowners know the effects the 2008 recession, politics, market prices, continued technological growth and infrastructure’s expansion have all had on major companies wanting a piece of our shale play. 

What’s currently happening? Major groups have formed throughout the multi-state Marcellus/Utica region for the express purpose of having their acreage marketed and negotiated through strength in numbers. Billions of dollars, hard for many to comprehend but nonetheless there, have already made an impact in Marcellus states. New York has companies salivating at its borders waiting for the 4+ years of wrangling to be over, and that day is on the horizon. 

Market prices are slowly rising for natural gas across the world meaning the “glut” is subsiding as more uses are found for it. The world’s hunger for energy is constantly expanding. That is why the gas/oil event held in Houston this February marks a major opportunity for group acreage to be marketed … seeds for negotiations being sown. Across PA/NY’s 4-County region literally hundreds have come together to allow their acreage to receive maximum exposure in the world-class setting … the N.A.P.E. convention. The team @ CX-Energy representing 4-County already has an established successful reputation for making energy deals happen. Their work, timing, and a map full of committed acreage will garner the attention needed to turn this region’s economy around. Landowners who are a part of this are doing as much for our towns and countryside, as they are for themselves and future generations.

We are two states, but one people.

Janice L. Hancharick
2012 Mallard Ln., Raleigh, NC 27609 PH: 919.876.2917
E-mail: jlhanch@nc.rr.com
S. Oswayo St., Shinglehouse, PA 16748

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