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Earthquake link triggers tougher drilling permit conditions

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COLUMBUS — The  Ohio Department of Natural Resources is creating new, stronger permit conditions for deep oil or gas drilling near faults or areas of past seismic activity. The new policies, announced April 11, are in response to recent seismic …

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The Pennsylvania National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) Conference Held in State College

The Pennsylvania chapter of the National Association or Royalty Owners (NARO) met in State College last week for their fourth annual conference.

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Shale industry: Bringing change to eastern Ohio

SALEM, Ohio — The shale boom is here in eastern Ohio, and it’s not hard to figure out the boom isn’t going away anytime soon. However, if communities had to do it over, would they have planned more for what …

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Marcellus and Utica shale: Pa. royalty legislation moves forward

HARRISBURG, Pa. — As Pennsylvania landowners receive shale oil and gas royalty checks — and are being disappointed by charges they knew nothing about when they signed their lease — legislators are working to determine exactly what a minimum royalty …

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Online tutorial illustrates drilling equipment and practices

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — You’ve seen the strange-looking trucks on the road these past few years. Maybe you’ve watched truck after truck head to a new shale-gas drill site in your area. But just what do they do with all …

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Shale FAQ

What is fracking?

Fracking is a slang term for hydraulic fracturing. Fracturing is a process by which highly pressurized fluid is pumped thousands of feet into the ground to fracture rock formations. The goal is to release the natural gas that’s locked inside the rock.

Is it safe?

What most concerns people about fracturing is ground water contamination. The worry is that fractures underground, caused by the process, will extending upwards and into aquifers, releasing gas and chemicals into the ground water supply. There’s been no confirmed reports of such a thing happening. Though surface spills and drill site blowouts can lead to localized environmental concerns.

Will my water catch on fire?

Flammable water is caused by the release of methane gas into a drinking water supply. Methane gas occurs naturally and can be released by any kind of drilling, including water wells. In Pennsylvania officials fined Chesapeake Energy $1 million for contaminating ground water with methane. It was determined that the company had not properly cemented it’s boreholes and gas migrated up the well, between rock and into aquifers.

How often do royalty payments come?

Depending on the company, royalty payments can arrive monthly or quarterly.

Are my royalty payments transferable?

Yes. If you plan on selling your property, notify the gas company that is leasing your land and your realtor. They will make arrangements to allow the royalty payments to transfer to a different land owner.

What are royalties?

Royalties are payments from the gas company to the landowner as part of a lease agreement. Royalties payments cannot begin until production begins. The payments are dependent upon the market price of the resource.

What are mineral rights?

Mineral rights are the rights of the owner of the property to mine or produce any resources below the surface of the property. Mineral rights are different from surface rights.

Will I get free natural gas if I allow fracking on my property?

Maybe. It depends on your particular lease agreement. Some companies allow property owners a yearly free gas allowance. But, the process of connecting your property to the gas source may be more complicated. Some companies will provide a hookup, others require the landowner to provide one.

Farm and Dairy, a weekly newspaper located in Salem, Ohio, has been reporting on topics that interest farmers and landowners since 1914.

Through the Shale Gas Reporter, we are dedicated to giving our readers unbiased and reliable information on shale gas development.