Barnesville Officials “Didn’t Think” When Signing Gulfport Water Deal

A few weeks ago MDN told you about a legal battle shaping up in Belmont County. Gulfport Energy has sued the town of Barnesville over a contract dispute (see Gulfport Energy Sues Barnesville, OH for Access to Water in Reservoir). Barnesville signed a contract with Gulfport to sell them water for drilling and fracking from the Slope Creek Reservoir–for 1 penny per gallon. Then Barnesville signed a contract with Antero Resources to lease land, and of course Antero needs water too (and apparently went to the head of the water line). Barnesville now says the reservoir has been drawn down too low to sell water to Gulfport (other drillers dipping in the reservoir?) so Barnesville wants to renege on the contract and now finds themselves in federal court. Now the 4,100 residents of Barnesville will pay out the nose for outside legal council to defend the town because of their leaders “didn’t think”…

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