Owning Land

Oil and gas leases

A boom is happening in places with oil and gas reserves. Deep “plays” are now economically feasible where they weren’t two years ago when oil was a lot cheaper.

In West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York, gas in the Marcellus shale is in play. Acreage is being leased and drilled; pipelines are planned. Similar frenzies are occurring in Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota, Arkansas and other locales.

Landowners need to educate themselves about the language in these leases and what their lease rights are worth.

The West Virginia Surface Owners’ Rights Organization (www.wvsoro.org) is working with the West Virginia Farm Bureau to educate property owners. These folks are not against leasing and o&g production; they’re for fair compensation. The WVSORO website links to all state o&g laws as well as posts regarding the dollar amount of current offers for acreage and royalties. Everything is negotiable. Lawyers working for landowners are listed, along with other resources.

I’m interested in hearing what’s going on around the country, from the landowners’ perspective.

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About the author

Curtis Seltzer

Curtis Seltzer is a land consultant, columnist and author of How To Be a DIRT-SMART Buyer of Country Property and Land Matters: The “Country Real Estate” Columns, 2007-2009.

1 Comment

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  • Do I have oil or gas on my land? How would I know? I have approx 1 acre isolated on my property which is completely different than the rest. The ground is black shale, flaky like mica with geodes in the mix. Nothing grows well there and what does like oaks, they are old but small.

    What do think? Where would I go to find out more about this oddity?

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