Thursday, July 7, 2011

Important Information from Jeff

The Steuben County Land Owners Coalition was originally created to help land owners. This included providing guidance on leases and dealing with "land men". That purpose had to change when New York's environmentalist lobby was able to block any progress on drilling here. While fourteen other states have taken advantage of the benefits of drilling, New York has continued on it's phenomenal economic, fiscal and political progression - but that's another subject.
Reports of the reappearance of landsmen in upstate New York re-introduces major concerns for the land owners of the upstate area. Some land owners who are used to leasing offers of three dollars to fifty dollars an acre may be overwhelmed with offers of five hundred or even on thousand dollars an acre. In view of past offers, these new offers would understandably be extremely tempting. However, there is reason to believe these numbers could be chump change! There are no "known" numbers for our area (Steuben County). We know the Marcellus Shale is much shallower and not as thick as it is to the east. We know numbers for PA leases below the Binghamton area - they are literally unbelievable! In the name of honesty or objectivity, our area landowners must bear in mind they will not see those kinds of numbers, but the offers should still be extremely impressive compared to the "good" offers of the past.
With this very basic awareness of what's going on with gas leases, the best reaction for land owners approached by landsmen now would be to consult with an attorney or a coalition before signing. The gas companies are willing to talk about leases for anything from one acre to one thousand acres. It's hard to imagine that there could be to many decisions more important than this one for our local land owners.
Jeff Heller
Bradford, NY

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