Farm bureau gives fracking lease tips in Green

February 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

About 100 residents showed up at an informational meeting at Raintree Country Club on leases for hydraulic fracturing, the drilling practice also known as fracking.

Dale Arnold, who has worked for the Ohio Farm Bureau since 1985, was invited to speak at the meeting. Arnold is the director of the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation the bureau’s Energy Services.

“There are no silver bullets; no fuel that will take care of us indefinitely,” Arnold said, “but there is a lot of silver buckshot.”

Arnold has worked with farmers all over Ohio to develop more efficient energy uses and develop natural resources, including wind energy in the western part of the state. Oil and gas has been the focus in northeast Ohio though.

“Oil and gas has taken over my life,” Arnold said to attendees. “I’m going to give you the questions you have to ask.”

The presentation Arnold gave lasted nearly two hours – most of which focused on what land owners can expect and how to prepare for the revitalizing oil and gas     industry in Ohio.

Land owners all over Ohio are already finding potential leases at their doors, mailed leases or what Arnold called five-page “wonder sheets” they can sign, and even checks in the mail.

Understanding land lease agreements before signing them and monitoring existing ones, some of which can change ownership between leases without land owners knowing, was a recurring message of the lecture.

No decisions about land leasing should be made without an attorney, financial advisor, and the necessary family members, since agreements transcend generations, Arnold said.

Arnold commended his audience for taking the initiative to educate and prepare themselves by attending the meeting.

“If you’re not at the table advocating for yourself,” Arnold said, “you’re on the menu.”
Dean Stewart of Green owns four acres in southern Ohio. He said he  was glad he attended the meeting to learn more about land leasing.

“(Arnold) knows his stuff,” Stewart said.

Revived resource drilling in Ohio has come with many fears, including ground water contamination, but it has also fostered hope. Many have their fingers crossed for the geographic lottery that has already had some big winners.

Arnold said he has  worked personally with an Ohio woman who agreed to an up-front bonus payment of more than $1 million.

Bonus payments and royalties are taxed as ordinary income.

In response to the hype of potential earnings in leasing land, “I’m here to tell you this,” Arnold said, “a lot of it is true.”

Property owners should not feel pressured to lease their land, especially if they are not confident in the terms and conditions of an offer.

“Remember,” Arnold said, “everything is negotiable.”

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