PA DCNR Recovers $1.3 Million in Shorted Gas Royalties

paybackThe Pennsylvania Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) used to, once upon a time, lease a small fraction of the land under its oversight to allow Marcellus Shale drilling. And like any private landowner, the DCNR received bonus payments when leasing, and royalties when the gas began to flow. In fact, when Marcellus drilling had hit its peak in 2013, the DCNR received almost enough just from bonuses and royalties they were nearly self-funding (see PA DCNR Nears Total Self-Funding from Marcellus Leases/Royalties). All good things must come to an end. When Democrat Tom Wolf assumed the governorship in PA, he banned any new leases/drilling on state-owned land, plunging the department deeply into the red (see PA Gov. Wolf Bans Leases on State Land & Busts DCNR Budget). However, even before the Wolf disaster, the DCNR felt like some landowners–that they may be getting screwed out of royalty payments by some of the drillers who have leased state land (see DCNR Says PA May be Getting Shorted on Royalties for State Land). Seems that DCNR’s feeling was correct. The agency got themselves a new accountant and went over the books with a fine-toothed comb, and over the past year, they’ve collected $1.3 million in royalties they had been shorted…

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