Lease Bonus Payments for Marcellus & Utica Reach New Highs

Because the sale price of domestically produced oil and natural gas has gone down over the past year, royalties for landowners have gone down as well. However, the bonus payments landowners receive when signing a new lease agreement have gone up—way up in the Marcellus and Utica Shale.

A newly released survey (embedded below) from Farmers National Co., a real estate management company for property owners, shows a dramatic increase for bonus deals in West Virginia (up 1.75 times), in Pennsylvania (more than doubling, up 2.3 times), but most dramatically, in Ohio (up nearly 13 times from a year ago). The largest reported lease signing bonus in Ohio for 3Q12 was a whopping $8,200 per acre.

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Carrizo Says Owego, NY Well Vertical Only (for Now)

Yesterday MDN told you about an exploratory shale well being drilled in Tioga County, NY, just a few miles outside of the Town of Owego by Carrizo Oil & Gas (see this MDN story). We said that Carrizo was drilling a vertical well with plans to turn it horizontal when and if the fracking moratorium in New York is lifted. Were we wrong?

According to an interview given by Carrrizo to NGI’s Shale Daily publication, the well being drilled near Owego will not be turned horizontal. This is what was said:

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Who is Behind

A so-called “grassroots coalition” has formed to oppose the proposed 120-mile Constitution Pipeline. The Constitution will be built by Williams and Cabot Oil & Gas, stretching from the Marcellus Shale gas fields of Susquehanna County in northeaster Pennsylvania through New York State to Schoharie County (see this MDN story for background).

A “group” opposing the new pipeline has sprung up with an impressive web presence at the URL But who’s behind this group? And what are their true aims? MDN has done a bit of nosing around.

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PA County Sees Expected Impact Fee Revenue Cut in Half

Officials in Jefferson County, PA say their predicted portion of the new Marcellus Shale impact fee being collected by the state just went down by half—and they don’t know why. Previous numbers issued by the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) showed Jefferson would receive $160,000-$200,000 in impact fee revenue from the nine wells currently drilled in the county. But as of Tuesday, that number has gone down to $100K or lower.

The unanswered question on everyone’s mind: Will other PA counties share a similar fate? Just what’s going on with the impact fee numbers anyway?

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Prediction: Shale Gas Drilling on the Way in Erie County, PA

A speaker at a recent manufacturing forum in Pennsylvania states the shale gas drilling boom in northeastern and southwestern PA that has so far eluded the northwestern corner of the state will soon arrive there as well. But the Marcellus is not the big draw in that part of the state. Instead, it’s the Utica Shale.

Among the counties where drilling is expected to heat up? Erie County.

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Second Marcellus Gas-Powered Electric Plant Announced for PA

Seems like new natural gas-powered electric generating plants are popping up everywhere in Pennsylvania. Just yesterday MDN told you about the PA DEP approving the state’s first new natural gas electric generating plant to use Marcellus Shale gas, being built in Bradford County in northeastern PA (see this MDN story).

Today brings news that a new Marcellus gas powered electric plant will be built in Livingston County in northwestern PA:

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NE PA Town Welcomes PUC Review of Shale Zoning Ordinances

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) continues its activity of reviewing local town ordinances for compliance with the new Act 13 Marcellus Shale drilling law. If a town’s ordinances are found to be in violation of the law, they either will have to change their zoning ordinances or risk not receiving their cut of the Marcellus Shale impact fee (i.e. tax) being collected by the state. Checks are due out in December.

Some townships, like South Fayette, are thin-skinned and have a persecution complex over a PUC review (see this MDN story). Other towns, however, take it in stride and when told their laws need fixing, they fix them—like Roaring Brook Township in Lackawanna County, PA.

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Fracking Technology’s Continuous Innovation

An article in today’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review takes a look at how fracking technology in general—and the chemicals used in fracking in particular—are improving. Companies drilling in Pennsylvania are at the forefront of experimenting with new and improved fracking fluids. The article also takes a look at look at alternatives to using water in fracking—so-called “waterless” fracking.

It begins this way:

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