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Byesville Rotary learns about oil & gas leasing processWritten by Shana Fair, Community Contributor
Chris Schmenk and Matt Warnock from the law firm of Bricker and Eckler spoke to the Byesville Rotary about preparing for the challenges posed by the oil and gas industries interested in taking advantage of Guernsey County’s Utica Shale resources.
Warnock specializes in landownership and leasing contracts. He pointed out that in the last six months oil companies have established their territories and leasing has slowed. If the Ohio shale oil boom follows the development track of booms in Pennsylvania and Texas, 2013-2015 will be a period of drilling with a gradual spread westward in Guernsey County.
He stated that pipeline right-of-way will become a big issue. Landowners offered a lease for a pipeline right-of-way should be careful before signing and consider long term consequences since pipelines have the potential of affecting property more than wells and drilling.
Warnock explained that because most pipeline companies do not have the power of eminent domain, the landowner will have more negotiating power. There are many questions to ask about a right-of-way lease such as how many lines will be placed on the property, how wide an area will be leased, will the landowner be paid for each pipeline, and when will payments begin—when the lease is signed? When the pipe is laid?
Chris Schmenk specializes in economic development with emphasis on controlling development so that it is positive for the local community. She pointed out that Guernsey County has the basic economic development structure in place and is well prepared to deal with new problems and ready to adapt to the shale boom.
Schmenk explained out that Guernsey County pluses include a good location near 2 major interstate highways, and economic development tools such as the Community Improvement Corporation, a Port Authority, and a Transportation Improvement District already established and in operation. Additionally, Guernsey has two business parks, and a solid educational infrastructure which is ready to provide good workforce training.
She stated that the area has an updated strategic plan and a plan identifying the types of businesses that the community wants to attract which indicates that Guernsey County is already planning for life after the boom. Schmenk pointed out that sustaining economic development in the area will depend on the area attracting businesses that will remain after the boom. These businesses could include oil and gas suppliers who also provide supplies for other types of businesses.
The club meets 7:30 am every Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Anyone interested in learning more about the Byesville Rotary can call Membership Chair Jim Vaughan, 740-260-2969. More information about the Byesville Rotary can be found at: www.Byesvillerotary.blogspot.com