Lease Activity

WASHINGTON COUNTY, PA LEASES ARE EXPIRING…

Many Washington County PA landowners’ oil & gas leases have already expired, or are set to expire in the very near future.

Unfortunately, many of them do not get the professional help they should, and miss valuable opportunities to maximize negotiations for a quality oil & gas lease. Landowners need the right representation, in regards to making an informed decision about their oil and gas lease and contract negotiations. Landowners need to capitalize on the financial benefits from their natural resources, with an eye towards having a professional draft lease protections designed to minimize the impact of drilling on land and water.

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It has been observed in other counties in Pennsylvania and Ohio, after the big leasing “boom” of 2011 in Beaver and Lawrence Counties, leasing has slowed in 2012 as oil and gas drillers have become more focused on beginning drilling operations. Leasing is still important for these companies, as they will need additional acreage in strategic locations in order to fill out drilling units and maximize drilling production. To the best of our knowledge, most of the aforementioned drillers continue to take leases, although on a much more limited basis.

After gaining a leasehold position, drillers customarily seek to impose terms on remaining landowners that allow drillers to maintain administrative uniformity and operate under favorable terms. In Marcellus Counties, landowners are usually placed at a negotiating disadvantage at this point due to the geography of the marketplace. In Utica Shale Counties, however, Pennsylvania’s current force-pooling laws, while old and rarely used in practice, read favorably to the landowner and Morascyzk and Polochak Law Offices are examining ways of using the current force-pool laws to the landowners’ advantage.