Muskingum Watershed District Royalties Fall 73% in 6 Months – Why?

Ace reporter and MDN friend Bob Downing from the Akron Beacon Journal has written an insightful article about the dramatic decrease in royalty payments being received by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD). The MWCD was organized in 1933 to reduce the effects of flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses, and oversees 16 dams and reservoirs across 22 counties in Ohio, covering 20% of the state. It is a massive area of Ohio under the oversight and control of the MWCD. They’ve leased thousands of acres to Antero Resources for Utica Shale drilling and currently there are 13 Utica Shale wells drilled on MWCD property. Here’s the bombshell: Over the past six months, royalty payments to the MWCD for production from those 13 wells has dropped 73%, from just over $1 million per month last December to just under $275,000 in May. Why? That’s the question Bob set out to answer…

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