PA Expects $80M in Royalties from Drilling on State Land in 2017

One of the big success stories about Marcellus drilling in Pennsylvania is the money generated from state land leased for oil and gas drilling. You may recall two governors ago Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell was hell bent for leather in leasing state-owned land for drilling ON said land. After his voracious appetite for money was sated and his Democrat cronies in the legislature spent (“blew”) all $444 million of it, Rendell tried to pretend that he’s an environmentalist by slapping an executive order–a moratorium–on any more leasing of state-owned land. Hypocrite. The next Governor, Tom Corbett, lifted that moratorium with an executive order of his own so that another $75 million of badly needed revenue could be raised by leases for drilling under (not on) state land. Then along came the disastrous Tom Wolf. He immediately signed a new executive order banning any new leases on state-owned land (see PA Gov Wolf Signs Exec Order to Ban Drilling Under State Land), cutting off an important new revenue stream. However, a lot of state-owned is, as we said, already leased. And some of it has been drilled on/under–and it produces a prodigious amount of royalties. The PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), which oversees PA’s state land, says they expect to see around $80 million in royalty payments this year. They also report still having issues with some drillers over shorting royalty checks. DCNR says they are owed “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in shorted royalty money…

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