Drilling Under the Ohio River in WV – Smart or Dumb?

As MDN reported last week, West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin wants to lease the area under the Ohio River that runs through WV for Marcellus and Utica Shale drilling (see State of WV Looks to Lease Area Under Ohio River for Drilling). Tomblin wants a 20% royalty and no deductions (!) from the royalty check for expenses. Other than that, the lease will go to the driller who pays the largest per-acre signing bonus. Will any drillers bother to file a bid if they can’t deduct expenses from royalties? Is Tomblin crazy like a fox with his proposed lease for drilling under the Ohio River? Or is he just crazy? While a former WV Dept. of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) inspector doesn’t call Tomblin crazy, he does think drilling under the Ohio tends to the nutty side…

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