First Choice Energy

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

AEP Sells Thousands of Acres to Ohio, Retains Subsurface Rights

From The Columbus Dispatch:
Thousands of acres of land the state of Ohio has agreed to purchase from American Electric Power for recreation and conservation does not include the subsurface rights. AEP is holding onto those rights for potential future drilling for oil and natural gas. 
The state’s planned $47 million purchase of more than 31,000 acres of land in eastern Ohio for recreation and conservation does not include the subsurface rights, and some of it likely will be the site of fracking activities, The Dispatch has learned. 
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine — flanked by outdoorsmen and members of the General Assembly — announced the land purchase in eastern Ohio from American Electric Power a few weeks ago. The move was applauded by conservationists because the land, formerly used by the utility for strip mining, would be used by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for recreation and conservation and designated as a state park. 
However, a draft of the purchase agreement obtained by The Dispatch shows AEP will retain the subsurface rights to the land for potential oil and gas drilling. 
The draft states that AEP retains the “right to construct, install, and maintain well site locations, access roads, production equipment, pipeline systems, and utilities and to conduct seismic and geological surveys and the right to drill and extract from new water wells and reasonable use of non-domestic surface water for such purposes.”
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