Title Researchers Camp Out at Tyler County (WV) Clerk’s Office

There are at least two reliable ways to know where drilling is about to begin (or expand): One is to monitor where (and how many) permits for drilling have been issued. MDN covers that with our Marcellus and Utica Shale Databook series, each volume of which maps where permits were issued in the past four months. Drillers don’t pay for expensive permits unless they’re going to drill. But in order to get a permit, you already must have leased the land. So the other way to predict future drilling is by how busy the local county clerk’s office is–where the land records are kept. Case in point: Tyler County, WV.

According to MDN’s Databook 2013 – Vol. 1, Tyler County had 189 permits issued for 38 wells for January-April 2013. Going by the fevered activity at the county clerk’s office, however, predicts those numbers will soon go much higher. Title researchers are camping outside the county clerk’s office starting 6 pm the night before (!) in order to secure a spot in the clerk’s office the next day when the doors open. It’s becoming a problem for some residents…

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