At Friday's monthly board meeting, the district's board agreed to allow Sierra Buckeye, of Houston, access to the natural gas and liquids under a 185-acre tract of land close to the Dover Dam in Tuscarawas County.Read the rest of the article here.
Although the lease has not yet been finalized, the proposal calls for the 18-county district to receive a bonus amount of $4,500 per acre, or $832,500 total, plus a 20 percent royalty on the value of the oil and gas pumped, according to a memo provided by the district.
The district does not own the land itself. It retained deep mineral rights below the surface as part of a sale many years ago, district spokesman Darrin Lautenschleger said.
The owners of the surface land already have a deal in place with the company, the memo states.
Sierra Buckeye is a privately-held company with shale exploration experience in the south as well as Pennsylvania and Ohio, according to its website. It has not yet sought permission to drill any Utica Shale wells in Ohio as of this past week, according to state data.
The district has been selling its mineral rights for decades and regularly draws six figures in annual leasing and royalty revenue, but in the past couple of years, the scale has grown substantially.
At the April meeting, the board approved a deal with Chesapeake Energy for 3,700 acres at Leesville Lake in Harrison County for a total signing bonus of $21.5 million. They also signed a lease with Gulfport Energy worth $15.6 million in summer 2011.
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