Belmont County Loves Rice Energy

Belmont County, OH loves Rice Energy, which is a good thing because Rice has nearly 16% of all the land in the county now under lease for Utica Shale drilling. So far the company has pumped “hundreds of millions” of dollars into the Belmont County economy, and there’s no end in sight. No wonder they love Rice! Rice currently has some 55,000 acres under lease in Belmont. How much are they paying for leases? Last April Rice leased 406 acres from Belmont County and paid a signing bonus of $7,500 per acre with a 20% royalty (see Belmont County Shopping New Deal to Lease Additional 426 Acres). Rice came back in June and leased an additional 426 acres from the county, paying an eye-popping $8,200 per acre with a 20% royalty (see Rice Energy Does 2nd Deal with Belmont County, $8,200/Acre!). County officials say Rice has become part of the community and supports area schools…

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