Huge OH Landowner Group Close to a Lease Deal for 80K Acres

The Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley (ALOV) landowner group in eastern Ohio met on Saturday for an update on negotiations with energy companies to lease what may be the largest tract of land offered by a single landowner group in the entire Marcellus and Utica Shale plays. A deal is not yet done, but the president of ALOV, Robert Rea, says they may well have a deal done in the next several weeks.

Some landowners were leaving Packard Music Hall Saturday with dollar signs in their eyes, gossiping about their neighbors already getting $1,500 to $3,000 per acre to sign a lease with the shale drillers.

But the more than 1,000 members of Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley (ALOV) that gathered inside Warren’s Packard Music Hall Saturday afternoon are banking on a better deal if they stand united and allow the organization to negotiate for them as a group.

”We might be country, but we know how to stick together. They tell me there has never been so many pickup trucks parked outside Packard Music Hall at one time,” said Robert Rea, president of ALOV, who called the meeting for the 1,100 Trumbull County landowners who have at least five acres to join the group.

The landowners paid a $60 buy-in fee to join for up to six months. Saturday they were signing re-commitment cards to extend their memberships for another six months while negotiations on bidding continue.

Right now, according to Rea, the 1,100 members with a total of 80,000 Trumbull County acres is the largest acreage package offered for oil/gas leasing in any single county in the state.

Expectations have been high as gas companies begin leasing and drilling into the Utica shale formations.

The plan is to ban together and lease oil/gas drilling rights to a drilling company.

He urged those at the meeting to be patient, after telling them the story of the farmer who signed a lease quickly for money to fix his combine. ”He was embarrassed later,” Rea said.

But he also said they may be striking a deal in the ”next couple of weeks” and signing a lease in the near future.*

*Warren Tribune Chronicle (Nov 20, 2011) – Details on drilling leases attract crowd