Some Landowners in Tioga, PA Area Receive Six-Figure Royalty Checks – Each Month

gas money flameAn article discussing the potential impacts of shale gas drilling in the area around Erie, PA does a good job in exploring the benefits of shale gas drilling that have already occurred in Tioga County, PA. Tioga County is one of the most densely populated drilling regions in the entire Marcellus Shale play. A few facts from the article:

Almost all corners of Tioga County have been leased, with most of the land, approximately 290,000 acres, now controlled by Royal Dutch Shell.

In 2010 alone, 564 drilling permits were issued and the drilling of the 261 wells started in Tioga County, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

By the time the drilling is over, there could be a 3-acre well pad every square mile, each hosting six wells, said Earle Robbins, a former Penn State Cooperative Extension agent who is a consultant to landowners in Tioga and other counties.*

Landowners Jackie and Clifford Root receive monthly royalties from the production of two wells on their land. Their smaller producing well generates around 400,000 cubic feet of gas per day, bringing them $2,000-$3,000 per month. The other well? Around 4 million cubic feet of gas per day, giving them around $11,000 per month in royalties. And Jackie Root says, “I know people collecting six figures per month” in royalties. That’s over $100K per month!

What’s the potential in the Marcellus? Possibly 18 times bigger than the already huge Barnett Shale play in Texas:

The geologists whose predictions helped fuel the boom are Terry Engelder, of Pennsylvania State University, and Gary Lash, of the State University of New York at Fredonia. They calculated in 2008 that the formation contains 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas — more than 18 times the content of Texas’ Barnett shale, the formation currently leading the nation in natural gas production. The geologists have since doubled their estimate of Marcellus shale gas, to 1,000 trillion cubic feet.

As the news about Marcellus sank in, bids for leases in Tioga County went up, to $1,500, $2,500, $5,000 per acre. Jackie Root knows of one lease signed for $6,500 an acre and royalties of 20 percent.*

Jackie Root’s advice to landowners who have  not yet leased their land?

  • Don’t take the first offer.
  • Get a lawyer to review the deal.
  • Band together with your neighbors in a coalition.

The article also tries to strike “balance” by presenting the viewpoint of one Tioga, PA resident opposed to drilling, along with a reference to the recent drilling accident in Tioga State Forest where fracking fluids were spilled on top of the ground (which happened on Jan. 17). All in all, a well researched and well written article, worth your time.

*Erie Times-News (Jan 30) – Times In-Depth: What can Erie expect from the Marcellus shale boom?

  • mcbetsy

    Great- so there’s one family getting rich off of everyone else’s detriment. I bet their neighbors all hate them. But, the money’s what’s important, right?
    Welcome Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack MDN!

  • mcbetsy

    Great- so there’s one family getting rich off of everyone else’s detriment. I bet their neighbors all hate them. But, the money’s what’s important, right?
    Welcome Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack MDN!

  • Kilmerrebecca

    Erie isn’t in Tioga county??????

  • http://marcellusdrilling.com Jim Willis

    Correct, Erie is not in Tioga. In my opening paragraph I pointed out (perhaps not visibly enough) that the article was highlighting what is happening in Tioga County as an indicator of what may lie ahead for Erie when/if drilling takes off there.

  • http://marcellusdrilling.com Jim Willis

    Correct, Erie is not in Tioga. In my opening paragraph I pointed out (perhaps not visibly enough) that the article was highlighting what is happening in Tioga County as an indicator of what may lie ahead for Erie when/if drilling takes off there.

  • http://marcellusdrilling.com Jim Willis

    Thanks for reading & commenting. Let me ask a few questions: Why would should families who have worked their fingers to the bones for generations, living at or below the poverty line, not profit from their land? Is there something wrong with success? So long as it does not harm their neighbors, and it does not, why is it wrong for them to enjoy this success?

  • http://marcellusdrilling.com Jim Willis

    Thanks for reading & commenting. Let me ask a few questions: Why would should families who have worked their fingers to the bones for generations, living at or below the poverty line, not profit from their land? Is there something wrong with success? So long as it does not harm their neighbors, and it does not, why is it wrong for them to enjoy this success?

  • mcbetsy

    If they want to build a business ON TOP of their land that will not pollute the environment for the rest of us…something that is verifiable, obvious, easily tested, be my guest. If it is of their own ingenuity, an effort all their own that requires them to DO SOMETHING useful to to make that money off their land, I’m all for it.

    But when you introduce huge corporations that do everything they can do to strong arm, cut corners, hide liability, and run away from their obligations, in an endeavor that is difficult for regular folks to recognize problems in and test for damages at a reasonable cost, then NO. I don’t think others should benefit. Poisoning the land and water is a pretty devastating and difficult to cure infraction. It doesn’t go away overnight- and it effects more than just your health today. It has lasting effects that cannot be measured at the time that liability is being evaluated.

    Someone opened a pig farm on the land right behind our 100 acres. It was disgusting and polluted the water on our block. It was forced to be shut down. It took years for the wells around us to be deemed safe- and that was just pic feces. Please don’t tell me what I should and shouldn’t accept. We have enough land that we enjoy lots of quiet, lots of fresh air, creeks and trees as well as renting it for farmers to employ as well. When you own an acre in a town, it’s simply not the same. They will rape the land in our area without regard and ruin the landscape. People who live on smaller lots in more concentrated areas will not feel this the way we do.

    It IS NOT OKAY for people to profit- by sitting on their butts and not by actually being productive citizens- at the detriment of others.

  • GGG

    Don’t lie, Jim, it DOES harm their neighbors. Stop shoving your dangerous untruths down our throats. The extraction of natural gas is a filthy process and very very dangerous to the health of us, animals, and the earth. Drink up!

  • http://marcellusdrilling.com Jim Willis

    Thanks for reading GGG. But if drilling for natural gas using hydraulic fracturing were really harmful, why haven’t we seen more “problems” with it after tens of thousands of wells have been drilled? The facts don’t support your position that its dangerous to animals, the earth, people, etc. If it were, we would hear about it. Look at how the very few incidents are already trumpeted (like Dimock, PA). No, gas drilling is not inherently unsafe. It is the opposite.

  • Yerkes5

    Dear McBetsy and the like,

    You are obviously not at all educated on this topic. It’s clear that you are just green with envy over someone else’s gain. stop your propaganda, you only make yourself look unintelligent. You accuse the gas industry of many untruths, do your homework before spouting off. You may not be receiving royalties, however many of the small mom and pop businesses will benefit greatly from the trickle down effect. This whole situation can be nothing but good for the state of Pennsylvania! So you too will indirectly benefit. Stop your whining and lying.

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  • Anonymous

    Jim, thanks for sharing your knowledge and common sense here. Keep up the good work. As long as people take the time to get educated about the technology, the safeguards, regulations and so forth, they will begin to understand the minimal impact on the environment, and the great economic benefits from the landowner  to the local, state and federal governments. We shouldn’t be envious of others that have basically found gold under their dandelions.

  • http://marcellusdrilling.com Jim Willis

    Thank you! Appreciate the encouragement. Sometimes it’s lonely out on the front lines.

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