PA DCNR Publishes Lease Agreements for Deals Under Rivers/Creeks

who owns itIn February 2015, MDN did a deep dive into the issue of Pennsylvania leasing underneath rivers and streams to allow Marcellus/Utica Shale drilling (see PA DCNR Program Leases Under Rivers/Creeks for Marcellus Drilling). PA maintains the state owns the land underneath any river or creek that is “navigable” and therefore has the right to lease it for drilling, denying the landowners who own the land along the banks of that stream signing bonuses and royalties. It is a thorny issue. Does the state actually “own” the land under rivers and creeks? It’s an issue that (seems to us) should be litigated and decided. In that story in February MDN brought you a list of river and creek deals signed, as of early January, with an indication of who signed and how much the signing bonus was for. At the bottom of that list (we’ve included the list below for your convenience) are six deals with Shell’s SWEPI–five of the deals for tracks of river/creeks in Tioga County, PA, and one in Forest County, PA. Interestingly, the Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the state agency doing the leasing on behalf of the state, has just published notification for those six SWEPI deals in the May 2 Pennsylvania Bulletin which include the full details for each deal…

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