EXCO Resources Withdraws Offer to Lease Land for Marcellus Drilling in Ford City, PA

EXCO Resources has withdrawn an offer made to the borough of Ford City, PA to lease borough-owned land for Marcellus Shale drilling:

[Ford City] Council said Monday that EXCO Resources withdrew its offer to lease about 300 acres of borough-owned property to extract natural gas.

EXCO had proposed a lease that would have paid the borough nearly $1 million up front for the drilling rights to three borough-owned parcels, and in addition a share of 18 percent royalties generated per a 640-acre unit if and when wells begin production. In the borough’s case, that would have amounted to about 9 percent (300 acres of the 640-acre unit).

The lease would have paid $127,775 for the 40-acre brownfield parcel near the Ford City Bridge, $543,171 for the 180-acre Ford City-owned ballfield property across the Allegheny River and within North Buffalo and $189,783 for the 65-acre landfill site.*

There was no official explanation why EXCO withdrew the offer, but one area resident speaking at the meeting, Renee Zacour, claimed that PPG actually owns the mineral rights beneath borough-owned land and that the borough cannot sell rights it does not possess.

*Leader Times (Mar 15, 2011) – Marcellus shale lease offer for Ford City land pulled