June, 2014
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Update
Williams company is in the primary stages of developing a pipeline proposal known as the Atlantic Sunrise project.
  • The Atlantic Sunrise project proposed pipeline runs from Columbia County to Lancaster County in PA.
  • This pipeline proposal runs north to slightly southwest through Columbia County.
  • Packages were mailed or will be mailed out by the company to those in Columbia County whose properties are located on or near the proposed study area.
  • These packages contain a permission form, which grants permission for survey work only.
  • Representatives of Universal Field Services, Inc. have been in the area and are contacting the landowners along the proposed pipeline survey corridor about the Survey Permission Form.
  • Letters in the packages give a very brief explanation of the process and scope of the overview of the proposed work.
  • There is a some misinformation being told. Verify everything including what the landsmen say.
  • Before signing the Survey Permission Form each landowner should ask to have a statement added to the form which protects them from liability if workers are injured on their property.
  • I also recommend,
    1. Have the landsmen sign and date the survey form.
    2. Make a copy (Scan, Camera Pic, etc) of the survey form with the landsmen signature.

  • FERC requires pipeline operators to obtain a federal Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity, in addition to various state and local permits, before any pipeline facilities can be built.
  • Before signing the Survey Permission Form each landowner should ask to have a statement added to the form which protects them from liability if workers are injured on their property.
  • Example: Williams will defend and save harmless the landowner from any claims or suits which may be asserted against the Landowner arising out of any negligent acts of Williams, its agents or employees, in its exercise of the rights herein granted.
  • Since this pipeline is an interstate transmission pipeline, the company can use eminent domain to come across ones property whether a property owner wants it or not.

  • This project has been broken down into sections for each company representative to work. Every section has a different representative and there may be as many as 100 area sections on the project.
  • Penn Dot has been in the area performing traffic surveys with the black hoses across the roadways on many roads. Some roads signs have been added or replaced.
  • On March 26, 2014 a crew placed a wooden marker with red/orange ribbons on the side of the road near my home indicating the proposed location of the pipeline pathway across the roadway as with many other roads in the area.
  • Williams web site address for the purposed pipeline.
  • Toll-free hotline: 844-785-0455
  • Email:

  • The lease is the most important part of leasing
  • Remember! The lease you sign determines what happens in the future
  • Any lease or contract should be reviewed by a lawyer!

Bruce Anderson

April 1, 2012 Update
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition update, to show what is happening in northeastern PA
There are two types of natural gas, wet gas and dry gas.
  • "Wet gas doesn't mean "wet" with water, even though some water comes up with the gas. "Wet" means the mix of hydrocarbons that contain a considerable amount of condensable or liquid compounds, like propane and butane that are heavier than ethane. Gas processing companies earn extra revenues from the compounds extracted from wet gas, which is typically found on the western edges of the Marcellus Shale formation.
  • "Dry gas is more 'pipeline ready' since it doesn't contain all the liquids that need to be extracted before pipeline shipment. We in northeast PA are in a dry gas area.

Marcellus Map Wet Gas and Dry Gas Areas. Dash line shows separation of wet and dry gas areas. We are located in a dry gas area
Wet Dry Gas Map

What we are seeing
  • Gas companies are here in our area (dry gas area) to make a profit and with very low gas prices the profit margin is very small. Thus, we are seeing gas companies moving a large percentage of their drilling rigs to wet gas areas or better yet to oil producing areas like Ohio and Bakken Shale, where the profit margin is much higher.
  • The companies are leaving a small percentage of rigs in PA just to drill wells to hold leases.
  • Some companies are reducing the amount of gas entering into pipelines due to low prices or are shutting in their wells.

Talisman Energy Reducing Gas Drilling Rigs
  • Published: 1/13 10:42 pm Reported by: Jeff Stone
  • CALGARY, ALBERTA - A Canadian based company that drills for natural gas in the Northern Tier is cutting back.
  • A spokesperson for Talisman Energy says her company plans on reducing the number of gas rigs in the Marcellus Shale. Natalie Cox said the reason is the low price of natural gas.
  • Cox could not give an estimate on how many companies that do business with Talisman could be affected by the cutback. Talisman has been actively drilling in Bradford County.

Consol to dial back gas-drilling plans
  • Thursday, January 26, 2012 By Erich Schwartzel, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Lucrative joint ventures in its gas division and strong overseas sales in its coal division helped Consol Energy post record fourth-quarter profits, but low natural gas prices have forced the Cecil-based energy firm to scale back 2012 drilling plans, the company announced today.

ConocoPhillips could shut in 100000 Mcf/d of gas production
  • 1/27/12 Gas Business Briefing
  • ConocoPhillips could shut in as much as 100000 Mcf/d of US gas production this year in response to sustained low prices, CFO Jeff Sheets told analysts earlier this week in a conference call.

Energy Companies Scales Back Marcellus Drilling on Low Gas Prices
  • JAN. 23 Chesapeake Energy Corp. plans to reduce its dry gas rig count from 75 in 2011 to 24 by the second quarter, the company said in a statement. Half will operate in the Marcellus Shale, and six each in the Haynesville and Barnett shales in the Gulf Coast states, the Oklahoma City-based company said.
  • Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., the best performer in the Standard & Poor's 500 index last year, may curtail drilling to cope with natural-gas prices that slumped to a 10-year low because of a supply glut it helped create.

WPX Energy Cuts Back Marcellus Rigs, Focused on Oil & NGLs (Natural Gas Liquids)
  • Feb 6, 2012
  • Early this year, Williams officially spun off it's exploration and production operation into a new company called WPX Energy. The new company inherited one of the top 10 drilling operations in the Marcellus and Utica Shales.
  • Yesterday, WPX announced their capital spending plans for 2012 and it's no surprise, given similar announcements from other major drillers, that WPX is scaling back drilling in the Marcellus from seven rigs to three due to the low commodity price for natural gas.
  • WPX is shifting capital resources to the Bakken Shale where they are drilling for oil and to those geographies rich with natural gas liquids (NGLs).

Other Companies Reducing Capital, Drilling, or Rig Counts
  • BHP Billiton (BHP) - The company is reducing the number of rigs working in this dry gas area from eight to six due to low natural gas prices.
  • BG Group (BRGYY.PK) - announced a draconian reduction in dry natural gas drilling in the United States for 2012.
  • WPX Energy (WPX) - The company has reduced its capital budget in response to low natural gas prices, and now plans to spend no more than $1.2 billion in capital during the year.
  • Unit Corporation (UNT) - Unit Corporation has already incorporated lower natural gas prices into its capital budget for 2012, and plans to spend $385 million for drilling and completion activities during the year. This is an 11 percent decline from the amount spent in 2011.
  • Ultra Petroleum (UPL) - the company is planning to spend $925 million in capital in 2012, down from the $1.5 billion spent in 2011. The company spending only $625 million in 2012, down 50% from the $1.3 billion of capital spent last year. It said that the drastic reduction in dry gas spending was due to "limited economic returns in the current natural gas pricing environment."
  • Talisman Energy (TLM) - plans to reduce drilling in the Marcellus Shale in 2012, cutting its operated rig count from the current level of 10 to as low as three rigs. The Montney Shale will also see cuts, with Talisman Energy reducing its operated rig count here from 11 to four rigs in 2012.
  • Encana (ECA) - has set a $2.9 billion capital budget for 2012, approximately 37% less than the amount spent in 2011. The capital plan is designed to minimize investment in dry natural gas areas of its portfolio of assets. The company expects that this reduced investment will cut natural gas production by 250 million cubic feet per day during the year.
  • Energen Corp (EGN) - is cutting $45 million from the company's planned investment in the San Juan Basin in 2012. The company plans to finish its highest return wells here by the middle of 2012 and then cease all drilling in this basin. Energen Corp said that the reduction was due to the current outlook for low natural gas prices in 2012.

  • In response to very weak natural gas prices, we plan to significantly reduce our drilling activities during 2012. We plan to operate an average of nine rigs in the Haynesville shale and three in the Marcellus shale during 2012 compared to 22 rigs in the Haynesville shale and four in the Marcellus shale during 2011. We will continue to manage our balance sheet, cash flows and debt levels to ensure that we have an appropriate level of liquidity.

The Massive Shift Underway from Dry to Wet Gas Drilling
  • Feb 10, 2012
  • During Anadarko Petroleum Corp.'s fourth-quarter earnings call, the members of the executive board were asked what price it would take for the company to invest more capital in dry gas holdings in the Marcellus and Haynesville shales. President and COO R.A. Walker was quick to respond.
  • "Higher," he replied. "You've heard us talk in the past, we are moving more towards oil and liquids-rich opportunities in order to be able to survive a sub-$3 gas world. It's not attractive, and I'd challenge very many places to be able to explain how you get positive wellhead economics at sub-$3."

Talisman Energy to shift focus from natural gas
Exploration budget cut by $500M

  • By Dina O'Meara, Calgary Herald, February 16, 2012
  • Talisman Energy took a hard line toward achieving profitability, saying it will be reducing natural gas activity to focus on more profitable liquids-rich gas and oil targets in North America and abroad.
  • The oil and gas producer, which holds substantial assets in the North Sea, said overall production gains in 2012 will be modest, at a maximum five per cent growth as the company sheds non-core assets and cuts capital spending.
  • "I really see no value in chasing unprofitable growth while gas prices remain so low," chief executive John Manzoni said during a conference call with analysts Wednesday.

Analysts back Cabot plan to cut natural gas drilling by $100 million
  • Houston (Platts)--22 Feb 2012
  • Energy industry analysts Wednesday applauded a decision by Appalachian producer Cabot Oil and Gas to reduce by $100 million its projected 2012 capital spending for natural gas drilling, primarily in the Marcellus Shale play.
  • In a conference call Tuesday announcing the company's fourth-quarter and full-year 2011 results, officials said that the producer would lower its 2012 capital expenditures 15% to 20% in response to the low commodity price environment for natural gas.

Williams Range Resources sets its sights on the 'super rich'
  • Thursday, 23 February 2012 09:59
  • Written by Erich Schwartzel
  • Like many of its peers in the gas drilling industry, Range Resources plans to focus this year on drilling in parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio's shale that house lucrative natural gas liquids and oil reserves, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company announced Wednesday.
  • The company even has a name for the bountiful region: the "super-rich area."
  • That means super-rich in the volume of natural gas liquids found in the region's shale rock and super-rich in its capacity to make Range money at a time of record-low gas prices. And Range owns 125,000 acres of it.
  • Some drilling companies have moved rigs or scaled back production altogether in regions where "dry" gas is extracted without liquids like ethane.

Penn State report more bad news for pro-drillers
  • Now, one of the country's leading gas drilling authorities, Penn State University, has released a report that illustrates what many experts have long been saying that the gas beneath Sullivan (NY) isn't worth drilling. That's true, says Penn State professor of geosciences and Marcellus shale guru Terry Engelder, whether the gas is in the Marcellus shale -- the focus of so much attention -- or the Utica shale, which is below the Marcellus.
  • That's because the gas beneath Sullivan (NY) is so old and so "dry" that it's "overmature." The wetter the gas, the more desirable, says the report.
  • "Dry gas areas are dead as a doornail right now for leasing," says the report. "Dry gas areas will not be in high demand for a long time, possibly decades."

Gas drilling rigs decline in Pa. and nationwide
  • Mar. 26, 2012
  • PITTSBURGH (WTW) -- The number of gas drilling rigs is declining in Pennsylvania and nationwide, due to a combination of low natural gas prices and renewed interest in oil.
  • There were 98 drilling rigs in Pennsylvania during the week of March 23, according to Baker Hughes, a company that monitors national counts. That's down from a peak of 116 reached during the summer of 2011. Drilling rigs bore the holes and set pipes, but all wells don't go into production immediately.

My Thoughts
  • I have always said that when the gas price dropped below $4.00 leasing activity decreases. Currently we are well below this $4.00 mark with prices in the $2.12 range. We do see very limited offers in some areas in NEPA in the range of $5/acre to a few hundred. Some large companies are offering early lease extensions for those that had signed a lease a while ago, in the $250/acre range.
  • Many companies have told me over the years that leasing is a waiting game for the right conditions for a good lease and per acre value.
  • I believe there could be factors on the horizon that have the potential to cause gas prices to rise over time again. Signing onto low lease values may be similar to signing a $5/acre gas lease years ago, for which many regretted.
  • I still maintain a positive view on the potential for further leasing at fair values and lease protections for our communities.

Bruce Anderson

December 8, 2011 Meeting
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes
E-mail Addresses
  • Please update your e-mail address with us or any other changes that may have occurred.
  • This meeting e-mailing for Columbia County, over 60 e-mails came back to me as non- deliverable for one reason or another.
  • So please update your e-mail address if it has changed.

Update Us
  • For those un-leased members that want to remain active members with the coalition please send me an e-mail verifying the same, or check on the way out.
  • You must remain with a group for leasing to work.
  • You cannot be a member of more than one group.

Update Meeting
  • Our last meeting was on March 22, 2011.
  • We are still an active group.
  • I want to cover some information that I think is important to understanding what we are seeing in the area since the last meeting.

EnCana plugs gas well near Ricketts Glen Hotel
  • "After collecting and analyzing extensive data from each well, we concluded that the wells were unlikely to produce natural gas in commercial quantities." The company would "discontinue all activity in the area immediately."
  • "Dry holes are always disappointing, but unfortunately, they're a reality of the oil and gas exploration business."

Natural gas rigs decline nationwide
  • The number of active U.S. drilling rigs fell by 10 this week, to 2,016, according to Houston oil field services firm Baker Hughes.
  • Oil rigs made a big gain of 21, rising to 1,133, a reflection of strong oil prices.
  • Natural gas rigs fell by 30, to 877, based on the prolonged weakness in gas prices.

Chesapeake Energy Paying $2,500 per Acre to Lease Utica Shale
  • growing bubble as drillers punch holes in the ground simply to avoid losing control of leases that require drilling or they expire.
  • Chesapeake Energy seems to be leading the charge, paying $2,500 an acre for dirt in the Utica Shale that others acquired for as little as $150.
  • This is Utica Shale in Ohio which I mentioned at our last meeting that there was oil layers in the Utica layer in Ohio or the western edge of that play.

Hydraulic Fracture Well Completion Process Through a National Publicly Accessible Registry

Martin Well Site Fracking Data
Hydraulic Fracturing Component Information Disclosure

Martin Well Site Fracking Data
Hydraulic Fracturing Component Information Disclosure

Martin Well Site Fracking Data>
Hydraulic Fracturing Component Information Disclosure

Centre County drilling update
  • You cannot just look at Columbia County to see what is happening in PA.
  • “An update from Centre County Planning has shown a shift in the activity of the most prominent Marcellus Shale gas drillers in the area.”
  • “Exco, until recently one of the most active drillers in Centre County with more than 20 wells drilled, has ceased practically all local activity.” (Exco has drilled the Bear well site on Rt. 118 in Columbia County).
  • “One sign Exco plans no activity in the near future is their removal of all water from the two adjacent multi-million gallon impoundments the company built off state route 144 north of Snow Shoe. They've also removed the liners from the impoundments.“
  • ”Overall activity in the county has decreased significantly through the summer.“

Compulsory (forced) Pooling
  • On November 22, several leaders went see Dr. Terry Engelder, a professor of geoscience at Penn State University, present "Pooling: Fair or Forced, What Does it Mean?“ at Tunkhannock Middle School Auditorium.
  • This was a very heated and emotional topic. Even leaving this event there was angry shouting outside the school doors.
  • The one key point stated was working interest in a well. I do not believe many understood this term.
  • I stand firmly against forced pooling which will impact leasing in PA.

Working Interest
  • A percentage of ownership in an oil and gas lease granting its owner the right to explore, drill and produce oil and gas from a tract of property. Working interest owners are obligated to pay a corresponding percentage of the cost of leasing, drilling, producing and operating a well or unit. After royalties are paid, the working interest also entitles its owner to share in production revenues with other working interest owners, based on the percentage of working interest owned.

Tour of Tioga County well sites, water impoundment ponds and compressor stations by several leaders

Tour of Tioga County well sites, water impoundment ponds and compressor stations by several leaders

Tour of Tioga County water impoundment ponds and

  • Lately there has been a company offering seismic leases in and around the county. Remember the lease is the most important issue! Before you sign any lease have a lawyer review it.
  • I know of two cases of a company surveying on one’s property without the owners permission and without a lease.
  • There are five dollar leases being offered in the area once again!

New Permits since last meeting

Weaver Fresh Water Impoundment and Compressor Station

Benton-area zoners OK gas-drilling water depot
  • “the zoning board approved Williams Production Appalachia's proposal for a water withdrawal station on the 45-acre O'Handley-Hess property near Waller Road's intersection with Route 487.”
  • Williams would use water collected and stored at the site for drilling operations at gas-well pads.
  • Water would be stored on the property in up to five, 10-foot-high, 20,000-gallon tanks, located in the middle of a looped stone driveway.
  • As many as 20, 5,000-gallon tanker trucks per day would loop that driveway, fill up and head off to well pads.

Williams CEO says future of natural gas looks good
  • Falling natural gas prices can benefit the country and smart companies if they're willing to take advantage by getting bigger, Williams Cos. Inc. CEO and Chairman Alan Armstrong said Tuesday.
  • Williams knows something about size within the industry - 14 percent of daily U.S. natural gas consumption moves on the company's interstate pipelines, while Williams' exploration and production side produces 1.2 billion cubic feet per day, according to the most recent data.
  • Power generation companies also are replacing coal-fired units with gas-fired operations.
  • We really do embrace the concept of low natural gas prices," Armstrong said. "We feel that growth is coming."
  • "We really do believe that power generation markets will continue to expand," Armstrong said.
  • "The final result (ref. to spin off) would be that two of the nation's largest independent pure-play energy companies would both be based in Tulsa.

SEC Filing 10-Q Quarterly Report September 31, 2011
  • “During late 2010 and 2011, we incurred $11 million of exploratory drilling costs in connection with a Marcellus Shale well in Columbia County, Pennsylvania . Results have been inconclusive and raise substantial doubt about the economic and operational viability of the well. As a result, the costs associated with this well were expensed as exploratory dry hole costs at September 30, 2011. Further, we assessed the impact of this well on our ability to recover the remaining lease acquisition costs associated with the acreage in Columbia County. During the nine months ended September 30, 2011, we recorded a $50 million write-off of leasehold costs associated with certain portions of our Columbia County acreage that we do not plan to develop. The acreage in Columbia County represents approximately 21 percent of our total undeveloped acreage in the Marcellus Shale. Prior to the write-off, the total carrying value of the undeveloped leasehold costs associated with our Columbia County acreage was $75 million, or 11 percent of our total carrying value for undeveloped leasehold costs in the Marcellus Shale.“

Williams Board of Directors Approves Full Tax-free Spinoff of E&P Business by Year-end 2011
  • Williams (NYSE: WMB) today announced that its Board of Directors has approved the proposed spinoff of its exploration and production business, WPX Energy, Inc., through a tax-free dividend involving the distribution of all WPX Energy common stock held by Williams to its stockholders.
  • Williams is well on its way to becoming a premier high-growth, high-dividend equity," said Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Williams. "And WPX has large-scale positions in attractive basins such as the Marcellus, Bakken and Piceance."
  • "Williams will be focused on meeting customer demand for large-scale infrastructure that's designed to maximize the opportunities created by the vastly greater supply of natural gas and natural gas products now known to exist in North America's unconventional resource plays."

Williams E&P Portfolio

Williams tests exploratory well in Sugarloaf Twp.

  • “An exploratory natural gas well in Columbia County just across the Luzerne County border burned brightly over the weekend.”
  • “Now the well is being flared - gas is released and allowed to burn - which is one of the tests to determine whether it will produce enough to be worthwhile. Williams Spokeswoman Helen Humphreys said the company is continuing to gather information about the well. 'We have to look at the data over the longer term. It's not enough to take a few snapshots and reach conclusions,' she said. 'The work we are doing down there resulted in that flaring.' Humphreys did note, 'It is indicative that the pressure has gotten high enough to allow us to flare.' She said a final decision has not been made about the future of the well.”
  • “Williams' well is less than 5 miles from an exploratory well Encana Oil & Gas USA drilled behind the Ricketts Glen Hotel on Route 118 in Fairmount Township and subsequently plugged when the company determined it was not economically viable.”

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

Martin Well Site Pictures

My Thoughts
  • Currently there are several factors affecting leasing
    1. Low gas prices <$4.00.
    2. Spin off of Williams Companies
    3. Companies moving to drilling for oil
    4. Drilling to hold leases
    5. Status of Martin well
  • I do believe that energy priority in American will take hold and things will turn around.
  • Yes, flaring occurred at the Martin well site for around two weeks. Currently there is a rig platform setup on the Martin well site once again. We need to see what the new year will bring!

  • We have a tremendous communication network across the coalition! I need to know about any companies contacting our members about leasing, future well sites, pipelines or any other item that is important to our communities. This information helps me with what is presented here which may help all our members. Thanks to a member, I knew about several well sites before the permits were released. Call or e-mail me, it is important!

Bruce Anderson

December 2, 2011
General Update Meeting
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Group Meeting

Our next group meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 8, 2011 at the Benton High School Auditorium.

We will be holding one meeting the night of December 8th 2011. The meeting time is 7:00 pm

Bruce Anderson

May 10, 2011
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Update
Niedzwecki (Bear) Well Site Rt. 118
  • The second drill rig is now on the Niedzwecki (Bear) well site to complete the vertical portion of this test well. Exco is drilling this well.
Bear Well site rig

Martin Well Site 487 North of Benton
  • The horizontal leg was drilled.
  • Currently preparations are on-going to frac this well.
Martin Well site water trucks

Bruce Anderson

March 9, 2011
Update Meeting
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Group Meeting

Our next group meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at the Benton High School Auditorium.

We will be holding one meeting the night of March 22nd. The meeting time is 7:00 pm

Bruce Anderson

December 8, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes
E-Mail/Contact Information
  • It is the member's responsibility to update their e-mail address or contact information should it change or if you are not receiving our meeting notice.
  • One member lost out on leasing because they failed to respond to our e-mails and/or phone calls. We place those who fail to update their information or respond to us in a lost member file and they then become an inactive member!

Oil & Gas Wells
  • I expect around this time next year Columbia County could have at least 7-10 Oil & Gas wells drilled by various companies.
  • Four to five of the wells could be drilled to tie up the early leases that will expire early in 2011!
  • In Columbia County we may see some of these companies working together to form drilling units. The lease you sign goes forward with you.
  • In the same drilling unit you could see some landowners getting 12.5% royalty and others signing recently getting much more depending on the lease you signed.

  • I recently was invited to a meeting by a friend and it reinforced what I have been saying all along, the lease is the most important part of leasing.
  • Two landowners signed leases approximately in the same time period. What was in their lease controlled how they were paid. For example, clean & green, one would get paid and the other may not.

Why Well Location Plat
  • The “well location plat” gives detailed information about the location of the well(s), information on the laterals, directions of laterals, and other key information.
  • The “well location plat” may be subject to change.

Water Testing

Water Testing, DEP Recommendations

It is recommended that homeowners test their water within one year prior to well drilling.

My Suggestion
  • If I lived within half a mile or more of any new well pads being planned to be developed I would have a water test completed by a DEP certified laboratory, before the well pad work commences, if possible.
  • "(b) A person who wishes to document the quality of a water supply to support a future claim that the drilling or alteration of the well affected the water supply by pollution may conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey in accordance with this section."

Contacting Me via E-Mail
  • I will not respond to any e-mail sent to me that has no name, township, and county. I do not have the time to look up the members e-mail address to see if they are a member of the coalition.
  • I would appreciate the following format: Name, Township, County.

  • We have a tremendous communication network across the coalition! I need to know about any companies contacting our members about leasing, future well sites, pipelines or any other item that is important to our communities. This information helps me with what is presented here which may help all our members. Example is the water testing information presented tonight. Thanks to a member I knew about several well sites before the permits were released. I continue to be updated with other new information daily. Call or e-mail me, it is important!

Bruce Anderson

November 19, 2010
Update Meeting
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Group Meeting

Our next group meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium. We will be holding one meeting the night of December 8th. The meeting time is 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Bruce Anderson

Sept 21, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes
Tax Advice on Lease Payments
  • The information presented tonight on Quarterly Payments is just a guide for informational purposes only.
  • Each member should contact their own tax account/ financial consultant for your specific tax status.
E-mail sent to members that signed a lease
Important Leasing Update

  • Members should consult with their tax advisor/financial planner. You may have to pay quarterly taxes to the IRS depending on when payment is received and/or your tax status. See your tax professional on whether you have to pay quarterly taxes. If you are required to make a quarterly payment and you miss this quarterly payment you may be charged interest on that amount and possibly late fees. The quarterly payment dates are below if required by the IRS;

    Payment Due Dates
    • 1st payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . April 15, 2010
    • 2nd payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . June 15, 2010
    • 3rd payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sept. 15, 2010
    • 4th payment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jan. 18, 2011

  • There is information on the internet on estimated quarterly tax payments. But unless you are familiar with the tax codes, please check with your tax advisor/financial planner.
  • See your tax professional regarding state quarterly taxes, which have different requirements than the Federal IRS.

A Tax Accountant spoke at the meeting on quarterly tax payments.
  • Timothy O. Wirt,
    Senior Account Supervisor,
    Farm Management Service,
    MSC BUSINESS SERVICES, a PFB (Pennsylvania Farm Bureau)
    Phone 570-742-3199

IRS Federal Information
  • Estimated tax is the method used to pay tax on income that is not subject to withholding (for example, earnings from self-employment, interest, dividends, rents, alimony, etc.). In addition, if you do not elect voluntary withholding, you should make estimated tax payments on other taxable income, such as unemployment compensation and the taxable part of your social security benefits.
  • General Rule:

    In most cases, you must pay estimated tax for 2010 if both apply:
    1. You expect to owe at least $1,000 in tax for 2010, after subtracting your withholding and refundable credits.
    2. You expect your withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of:
      1. 90% of the tax to be shown on your 2010 tax
      2. 100% of the tax shown on your 2009 tax return.
    3. Your 2009 tax return must cover all 12 months.
PA State Estimated Tax
  • Any estate or trust that expects to realize more than $8,000 of Pennsylvania-taxable income that it does not distribute to beneficiaries must make a declaration of estimated tax and installment payments. Estates and trusts created by descendents to receive the residue of the descendents estate are only required to make estimated payments beginning with taxable years ending two or more years after a descendents death. If the estate or trust operates on a fiscal year basis, the due dates are the 15th day of the fourth, sixth and ninth months of the fiscal year and 15th day of the first month following the close of the fiscal year. Estates and trusts on a calendar year report on the same due date as individuals.
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Update
  • There currently are three companies that have applied for drilling for OIL & Gas permits in Columbia County
    • Williams (3)
    • Chief (1)
    • XTO(2)
    and several in Luzerne County.
  • Williams Company purchased the Citrus leases in Columbia County earlier this year and it is the Williams Company drilling the Martin Well site north of Benton on Rt. 487.

Leasing Update
  • The company started paying on Coalition signed leases as of September 1, 2010, in the four northern townships.
  • The payments for some are 30+ days before the 90 working day limit.
  • Payment is based on when a lease is signed and as title searches are verified.
  • We are still leasing with some members in the area of the four townships.
  • With the drilling of the Martin well site and results from that well I believe will help determine where the company leases next.
  • Other wells being drilled near Columbia County will also provide input into the leasing decisions.

Why are some members still signing leases?
  • Some members had to wait until their sub-division of land was approved by local and state officials. It is important to perform any sub-divisions prior to leasing, which has taken over a year for some.
  • We have some “no drill” members and newer members that still need to be signed up.

Why is it important to be a member of our group?
  • As you can see from the last slide newer members are still waiting to sign a lease. If they had been a member prior to our engagement with Williams, they would have already signed a lease.
  • There are cut off dates when you enter into leasing with a company as to who is an original member and one that is an add on (or newer member) to leasing.

Information Needed
  • I still need to be advised if members are being contacted by other Oil & Gas companies.
  • If your e-mail address, phone number or other information changes, please keep us updated so we can contact you. Every time I send out e-mail there are well over a dozen e-mails that fail. Please keep your inbox empty, so as to receive new e-mail.

Water Testing
  • There is a lot of information being mentioned lately about water testing; you need to know the laws before performing a water test.
  • § 78.52. Predrilling or prealteration survey.
    1. A person who wishes to document the quality of a water supply to support a future claim that the drilling or alteration of the well affected the water supply by pollution may conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey in accordance with this section.
    2. The survey shall be conducted by an independent certified laboratory. A person independent of the well owner or well operator, other than an employee of the certified laboratory, may collect the sample and document the condition of the water supply, if the certified laboratory affirms that the sampling and documentation is performed in accordance with the laboratory’s approved sample collection, preservation and handling procedure and chain of custody.
    3. Unless rebutted by one of the five defenses established in subsection (d), it shall be presumed that a well operator is responsible for the pollution of a water supply that is within 1,000 feet of the oil or gas well, where the pollution occurred within six months after the completion of drilling or alteration of such well.
    4. In order to rebut the presumption of liability established in subsection (c), the well operator must affirmatively prove one of the following five defenses:
      1. The pollution existed prior to the drilling or alteration activity as determined by a predrilling or prealteration survey.
      2. The landowner or water purveyor refused to allow the operator access to conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey.
      3. The water supply is not within 1,000 feet of the well.
      4. The pollution occurred more than six months after completion of drilling or alteration activities.
      5. The pollution occurred as the result of some cause other than the drilling or alteration activity.
    5. Nothing herein shall prevent any landowner or water purveyor who claims pollution or diminution of a water supply from seeking any other remedy that may be provided at law or in equity.

Summary of Marcellus Production Reporting as Required by Act 15
  • 33 Marcellus Operators Submitted On Time by 8/15/2010,
  • 40 Marcellus Operators Did Not Submit by 8/15/2010,
  • 22 Submitted Late as of 9/07/2010 1PM,
  • 18 Not Submitted as of 9/07/2010 1PM.
  • Operators that DID NOT meet the August 15 Deadline for Marcellus Production Reporting Required by Act 15

    • BLX INC,

  • Operators that met the August 15 Deadline for Marcellus Production Reporting Required by Act 15.


  • The three Oil & Gas companies with active permits in Columbia County all submitted their information prior to the August 15 deadline.

Williams Company Presentation
  • Williams Company presented a very informative presentation on the company at the meeting. They had a host of management professionals to answer questions from the audience. Also on hand were landsman from Williams and their leasing service company which were also available to answer questions. Overall it was a great turn out by Williams Company and many questions were answered from the audience, from well drilling, pipelines, component integrity, to land reclamation, water use for fracking and many more.

Bruce Anderson

July 15, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes
E-Mail and Phone Numbers
  • If your e-mail address, mailing address or phone number changes please update us immediately.
  • Some e-mails continue to be returned as undeliverable.
  • It is your responsibility to keep your information current and to keep me updated on your status, please do not wait to do this!

Utica Shale
I have talked about the Utica shale at these meetings before and its overall importance to us. This layer extends further south in Columbia County and Luzerne County than the Marcellus Shale which is important for future leasing.

  • Range Resources said it has successfully tested two wells, in the Upper Devonian Shale above the Marcellus, and the Utica, below it.
  • Since the new shale plays are in the same areas as the Marcellus, they could be developed from existing well pads, cutting costs and reducing environmental damage from the extraction of more gas.
  • The Utica Shale, which covers much of the same geographic region as the Marcellus, in addition to its portion in Quebec, Canada.
  • The prospects are very good, indicating that either of these formations could be stand-alone gas fields.
  • Utica is around 4,000 feet (1,200 meters) deeper than the Marcellus.
  • The potential of the Utica is such that it would be worth exploiting independently of the Marcellus development.
  • Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) announced the start-up of its first-ever field office (Bradford County) aimed exclusively at enhancing compliance through increased on-site inspections, particularly of natural gas well development projects in the Marcellus and Utica shale regions.

Gas industry wants access to un-leased property
  • The Marcellus Shale natural gas industry wants to see legislation attached to any severance tax adopted by the state that would force property owners who refuse leases to allow drillers to gather the gas beneath their land.
  • A forced pooling statute would require landowners without gas leases to allow a company to drill under their land from a nearby leased property, and it would define the amount of royalties those hold-out landowners are owed for their gas.
  • As part of severance tax discussions, the industry also wants to limit municipal ordinances that attempt to regulate where gas drilling can occur. A state Supreme Court decision last year opened the door for municipalities to have some control over where gas wells are located through zoning.

Confidentiality Agreement
  • We are still under a confidentiality agreement!
  • It is important to maintain this confidentiality agreement because we have other areas in the coalition in which we would like to obtain leases.
  • Not maintaining this agreement could impact the other areas.
  • Those members that signed a lease should not be openly talking about the deal.
  • I was reminded recently that I am still under the confidentially agreement with the company!

Beyond Negotiations
  • June 16/17 our 90 day period for negotiations ended.
  • I did not see a need at that time to extend our negotiation time period.
  • We continue to sign leases for newer members.
  • Until the company advises me that they want to move further south or east, at that time I will place the coalition in negotiations once again. I will touch on this in a few minutes.

My Opinion
  • The company we have been dealing with is a very good, strong company, honorable and respectful and the same can be said for their land acquisition company.
  • I have enjoyed working with both companies and look forward to working with them in the future.
  • We have had good feedback from lawyers and members on the addendums that became part of the lease.

Lease Signing with Williams Production Appalachia, LLC

I am releasing the name of the company. The company told me to tell everyone that they do not want any phone calls to the company. They will not be dealing with individual landowners and they are not leasing below the four designated areas.

  • We continue to sign leases for the following areas, Benton Twp, Benton Borough, Jackson, Sugarloaf and Northern Pine Twp.
  • I am still bound by the confidentiality agreement from discussing any details here, because this is a public meeting.
  • Members who have signed a lease have had all the information available to them prior to lease signing to make a good decision for themselves.

Lease Signing
  • I held eight (2 meetings for each of the four areas) pre-lease signing meetings for individual township (areas) prior to lease signing to make as much information as I had available to the members signing a lease.
  • We e-mailed as much information as I could prior to lease signing, lease documents, etc.
  • Members had time for an attorney review.
  • I was there for all four days (two separate lease signings) for questions.

Leasing Update
  • It has taken a tremendous amount of time in moving towards leasing and proceeding to completion of leasing for the areas involved.
  • There are some lessons to be learned from this process for landowners, that would make our job much easier. We’ll discuss them in a few minutes.
  • Overall, lease signing went very smoothly. Some, where there were many owners to a parcel, took more time to complete.

Being Pro-active
  • First, removing the web site sign-up form due to the large number of sign-ups to join the group. It was distracting to my current focus with leasing with the company. My primary concern is to protect the established members of our group.
  • In the future with any other lease signings I will take down the web site sign-up in advance. There are those who do wait, and then sign up when a group gets to lease signing. This will prevent this from happening with us. Either you’re with the primary coalition members or not!

Commitment Letter
  • You cannot belong to more than one group as per our opening paragraph to our commitment letter,
  • “We agree as being a member(s) of the Columbia County Land Owners Coalition that we will remain committed to the group in order for any member in the group to obtain an oil and gas lease. We will not seek, nor sign any documents with another gas company, broker or other entity in obtaining an oil or gas lease, nor have we done so. To the best of our knowledge, we are the legal owner(s) of the mineral rights to the property.”

Lessons Learned
  • You as a landowner must decide long before whether you are serious about leasing. Waiting until the last minute to decide not to, could hurt the group!
  • Not notifying the leaders when you sign up with another company or just want to leave the group, can impact the group signing. Give us the common courtesy to notify the leaders should your status in the group change. All the leaders would appreciate it!

Lessons Learned and Being Pro-active
  • Not updating your information and updating that information at the last moment is distracting from the leasing effort. Please update your information (e-mail addresses, phone numbers, home addresses) as soon as they change, do not wait to the last minute.
  • It is much better to plan way ahead of leasing as to performing any subdivisions, setting up Limited Liability Corp. (LLC’s) or any other issue that takes time to have it processed through an Attorney, Land Surveyors or Planning Commissions.

Being Pro-active
  • Copies of the lease document were provided in advance to local attorneys in Columbia County prior to lease review so they would not be over-whelmed.
  • I reduced the review time down from two weeks (10 working days) to seven days (7 working days). This I thought would help prevent some people from saying to themselves I have two weeks, so I will wait until next week to do a review.

  • To make this all possible is a group effort. There are many people who are volunteers behind the scene that contribute to the overall functionality of the group. I cannot stress how important they are to the group and I thank them all for a great job!
  • Our phone callers are volunteers and I want to stress to please treat them with respect when they call.

Bottom Line
  • If there are any issues, whether owner relations or title issues, you are not ready to sign. And you should not proceed with leasing until those issues are resolved. Make sure all deed owners are on board for lease signing, if not, do not proceed with leasing. You cannot wait until lease signing to try to resolve any outstanding issues, it usually does not work.
  • Without resolution to issues before hand you have the potential to hurt the group and my negotiating ability, thus moving forward we cannot have any issues that are outstanding.

My Time

If you are serious about leasing, you must respond to my phone calls or e-mails so I can obtain needed information. After the third time I will not make any more calls. You must take responsibility for yourself and provide us with the needed information.

What has happened!
  • As part of the northern Columbia County acquisition I was able to pick up some limited parcels in Luzerne County, in the Huntington and Fairmount townships.
  • In County Columbia I was able to pick up on a very limited scale a parcel in Fishing Creek township.
  • The above areas were outside the initial areas of interest and gives hope for further expansion into more areas at some point in the future.

What is Currently happening
  • Currently the company is running deed searches on the signed leases to ensure we are the legal owners of our Oil & Gas rights.
  • This will continue until all leases have been checked. This is the reason for the 90 day period in our addendums so it gives the company time to check the deeds.
  • After the deed search is complete the company could pay anytime within the 90 day period. Remember you do not have a deal until the money is in your hand.

What I believe is next!
  • Generally large companies take a period of time to analyze their acquisition and have their landsmen look at non leased areas in the areas of acquisition.
  • The Martin well site, Rt. 487 north of Benton will be drilled later this summer or fall and that will give the company results on how they want to proceed with further acquisitions.
  • I have made many suggestions that they look at more member acquisitions further south and east. Based on the results of the Martin well site, I believe that may occur.

  • Please try to verify all rumors before passing them on to other people. You can contact me or any leader to see if we have any information on a particular rumor.
  • During lease signing one rumor I heard was only leaders of the coalition signed leases. False
  • Recent rumor, several wells in the area have been dry holes (no gas) including the Martin well site (Columbia) and the Buda well site (Luzerne). False, no Oil & Gas drill rig has been on either site, nor a gas well drilled as of 7/15/10.

Company Water Testing
  • Upon receipt of a water-related complaint, DEP is required to investigate the claim within ten days. There is a presumption of responsibility that applies to water supplies that are polluted within 1000 feet of a well within six months of completion of drilling activity. Under this rebuttable presumption, the gas company is determined to be responsible for the pollution unless they can demonstrate that they are not responsible. Gas companies generally will conduct a pre-drill water test of wells within 1000 feet of the well in order to rebut this presumption of responsibility. The presumption also is rebutted if the landowner refuses permission to perform the pre-drill test.
  • We highly suggest that you allow the gas company or company authorized water testing lab to perform the pre-drill test (water test) to protect yourself.

Forced pooling legislation for gas industry planned in PA
  • The "Conservation Pooling Act," sponsored by state representatives Marc Gergely, D-35, Allegheny County, and Garth Everett, R-84, Lycoming County.
  • The bill requires an operator to have leases to drill on 75 percent of the land in a proposed unit before applying for a pooling order.
  • Opponents of forced pooling, including the 31 environmental and outdoor organizations that recently sent a letter to all state legislators urging them to reject the concept, call it a kind of eminent domain, "but instead of using private property for the public good, it takes private property for private gain."
  • "Just because it's the most efficient system for the gas industry, doesn't mean that it has the least impact on the environment. We would argue that full extraction will cause more environmental damage."
  • The draft of the bill, which Everett said was "put together predominantly by folks from the industry" and is "just a starting point" for legislation, defines a standard drilling unit as 640 acres, establishes a notification and hearing procedure for objectors, sets a royalty of 12.5 percent for the gas produced, and protects an unleased landowner from having any surface impacts from the drilling.
  • A forced pooling statute could affect the current leasing market in which companies must reach a bargain with landowners if they want to secure gas leases.
  • Any pooling legislation will also have to address the fact that the interests of individuals and the state might be at odds.

I believe in individual citizen rights and I am against forced pooling. It is up to the individual landowner to decide (lease or not to lease) what is best for them and their property, not for some government agency to make that decision. Please write your state Representatives and Senators and express your opinion

Columbia County
  • We are looking for a few more members to volunteer in helping us make phone calls for our meetings. Having unlimited long distance service helps
  • .
  • Those without internet access are those members we call.
  • If any member wants to volunteer, please e-mail us.

Next Coalition Meeting
  • I am looking at a September timeframe for our next meeting.
  • This will place our meetings back in the school season and school staff will be on back shifts. We have to cover the cost of custodial services for meetings held over the summer.
  • Should interest change, I will schedule a meeting accordingly.
  • I will update the web site with information as needed or via e-mails and phone calls.

Bruce Anderson

July 10, 2010
Meeting Update
Columbia County Landowners Coalition Group Meeting

Our next group meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 15, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium. We will be holding one meeting the night of July 15th. The following meeting time is 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm. I was advised by the school for the summer months that we would have to pay to have a custodian at any of the meetings.

Bruce Anderson

June 20, 2010
Leasing continues for the four northern areas of Columbia County. Those areas are Benton, Jackson, Sugarloaf and northern Pine Townships. It is a large under-taking and very labor intensive. My reason for holding off on a group meeting has been allotting time for leasing. I am currently looking at somewhere in July for our next group meeting. As soon as a date is available I will post the date to the web site.

We currently have over eighty percent of the acres in that area leased. The process has worked well overall and will continue for the next several weeks.

There currently are several wells that are proposed to be drilled in the coming months or are currently under development...
  • Columbia County -- the Martin well site north of Benton.
  • Luzerne County -- the Buda well site, Rt. 118 just east of Columbia County, both wells will be drilled.
  • Lycoming County -- one mile west of the Columbia border, the Dietterick well site is reported to be in the fracing process, and also a Chief well site off 118 near Lairdsville is in the process of being drilled.

There are still only three well permits issued in Columbia County to Williams Company.

I will update everyone as time permits as we move forward with lease signing and toward completion over the next several weeks for those areas mentioned above.

Bruce Anderson

May 22, 2010
Meeting Cancellation
Due to my heavy work load with moving forward in leasing members land in Benton Twp, Benton Borough, Jackson Twp, Sugarloaf Twp, and Northern Pine Twp, I am cancelling the May 25, 2010 group meeting. I will schedule another meeting in June. When that date is available I will post the date to the web site.

We are still under a confidentially agreement with the company.

Bruce Anderson

May 9, 2010
Lease & Meeting Update
I am trying to keep our members informed on what is taking place. We continue our talks with the company for the four northern townships -- Benton, Jackson, Sugarloaf, and Northern Pine Township. We have completed negotiations of our group lease for these areas. Our next step coming up soon is allowing the members in these areas to have a lease review with an attorney before signing. I will let the members in these areas know just how we are going to do this as soon as we have a plan in place.

Our next group meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium. The following times are scheduled for each group; please follow this schedule.

The coalition will be holding two meetings Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Here are the times:

  • 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Fairmount/Luzerne and Columbia below Routes 254 and 239.
  • 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Ross Township and Columbia above Routes 254 and 239.

We are still accepting new members, so if you have any family or friends that may want to join our group, especially in these four areas of Benton, Jackson, Sugarloaf, and Northern Pine Township, please have them call or e-mail me right away or sign up on the website,

Bruce Anderson

April 22, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes

None of the leaders are Lawyers, Any contract/lease, which is a legal binding document, should be reviewed by an Attorney before signing!


I showed a letter from my accountant that stated neither my wife nor I have received any payment from a gas company for reporting years 2008 or 2009.


I respond to as much e-mail and phone calls as time permits, but with ongoing negotiations my priority has to be with and is with negotiations. Please keep sending me lease offers, other company contacts, pipe line information, etc. We continue to signup new members. Your neighbors, friends and anyone from the community are still welcome to sign-up with our group!

E-Mail and Phone Numbers

If your e-mail address or phone number changes please update us immediately. Some e-mails continue to be returned as undeliverable. It is your responsibility to keep your information current!

News Articles

DEP Takes Aggressive Action Against Cabot Oil & Gas Corp to Enforce Environmental Laws Protect Public in Susquehanna County, Suspends Review of Cabot’s New Drilling Permit Applications, Orders Company to Plug Wells, Install Residential Water Systems, and Pay $240,000 in Fines.

The state has revoked a road-use permit issued to Chesapeake Energy Corporation for moving its drilling trucks and other equipment over a state road in Bradford County because of the company’s failure to deal with severe damage to the roadway.

This is a public meeting place for our meeting here!

I want to go over some general information so the rest of the membership knows what is happening or has happened so far. Because the high school is a public meeting place, I cannot discuss any details there due to the confidentiality agreement with the company. Any additional details will be via e-mail or phone calls.

I am trying to keep our members updated as often as I can. It is a tremendous effort and a very time consuming job.

Township Meetings

Four township meetings took place the week of April 6th, two on April 6 and two on April 8th, 2010.

It was not a public place as is the high school and I just updated everyone and to see if everyone at those meetings wanted to proceed with leasing. The four townships were Sugarloaf, Benton, Jackson, and Northern Pine.

The company determines the areas they want, neither me nor anyone in the coalition.

There are other factors that can affect this deal and the one I am most concerned about is the price of natural gas. Prices are currently drifting around $4.00 This may be the trend for a long while.

Liquefied natural gas may also dampen gains as imports rise 45% in 2010 to about 1.8 billion cubic feet per day, according to Energy Department estimates.

Our lease has gone through 3 reviews, the first was a company lawyer review in Texas and then our review and a second company lawyer review, before it was sent up for a corporate review. The company has incorporated a large percentage of our lease into their lease format which bodes well for us. It is under company senior council review, and still subject to change.

Having a lease in place with a company makes it easier the next time they want to pick up additional acreage because it is one less step that you have to negotiate.

Lease Review

The corporate review of the lease came back to me very late on Thursday, April 15th. I wrote a preliminary response that night a little after midnight. Friday morning I spent over two and half hours on the phone with the company working through changes to the lease. Also at 5:30 pm I spent another 45 minutes on the phone about another change to the lease.

We continue our negotiations and review of the lease with the company.

The 10 Year Plan

I was recently asked at a meeting that if I sign a lease, am I going to quit leading the coalition? I know this is a concern to a lot of members. My wife actually answered this question for me about a week before when she told me I can only do this for 10 years. Since I have been doing this for a little over two years it still gives a time schedule of eight years. I live here and plan to continue with the coalition for further leasing. I actually never thought any other way than to continue with the coalition. Remember, I have a track record already established since I have led my other group for 13 years now. I believe most of the leadership feels the same way. I hope this eases the concern for everyone.

Areas of interest

My ideal dream would be to get everyone a lease and I have said this at meetings before, but reality always gets in the way.

I could not even get a lease for myself if the company was not interested in the area of my property. This happened toward the first of the year. A company initially showed interest in eastern edge of Columbia County. My land was not in their area of interest. I said we have to try and get those members in that area a lease. Unfortunately, the company immediately withdrew that area of interest.

Area of Non-Interest with this Company

One area of Columbia County that the company has stated that they do not have any interest in is Madison Twp!

For the Marcellus shale layer the geology is weak or the shale layer is closer to the surface, meaning it is shallow in this area. But, remember there are other shale layers down deeper and at some point in time this still could prove to be valuable area to deeper drilling. Remember, the further west one travels, the Marcellus shale comes closer to the surface.

I have released Madison Twp from our commitment letter since they cannot be part of any future negotiations, at least with this company. The members are still part of the coalition for any further negotiations with another gas company.

One potential deeper layer is the Utica shale layer. It is approximately 500 ft thick under Columbia County. This layer may become more valuable than Marcellus sometime in the future.

Remember, this whole process is dynamic and continues to change as time goes on!

Citrus Leases

Citrus leases in Columbia County were recently sold to Williams Production Appalachia, LLC.

As I said before, this is a dynamic industry and things change from day to day.

There are a lot of companies buying other companies’ leases, or company mergers taking place. As I was told two years ago it may come down to just a few large companies in the Marcellus Play.


I am spending a vast amount of time on negotiations. Some days I am in contact with the company 5 or 6 times a day, as well as with other lawyers and leaders. I sent our lease to a Texas lawyer. His review has been completed. I am taking steps to make sure we are on the right track before I move forward. Everything is moving along very well. I continue to plant seeds for the next phase. I believe we could be signing a lease in May for the areas involved.

Bruce Anderson

April 17, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting
Our next meeting will be Thursday, April 22, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium. The following times are scheduled for each group, please follow this schedule.

The coalition will be holding two meetings Thursday, April 22, 2010. Here are the times:

  1. 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm - Ross Township and Columbia above Routes 254 and 239.
  2. 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm - Fairmount/Luzerne and Columbia below Routes 254 and 239.

March 23, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes

The communications and information from our members has been excellent and beyond. It is so important that we keep this up. Sometimes you hold pieces of the picture that make the puzzle work for us. At times certain pieces of information even help in our talks with gas companies. I respond to as much e-mail as time permits. I read everything that is sent to me, but at times I cannot respond to all of it. Please keep sending me lease offers, contacts, pipe line information, etc. Information is the key to our success!

Other Companies

I am still hearing stories that gas companies are telling our members that all the landowners around them have signed a lease with them and if you sign a lease with another gas company they will not be able to get the gas out from under you! So, you better sign with us today or you will be left out. Please whatever you do, do not fall for this pressure. Please check with your neighbors and the leaders to find out if this is correct. In most cases this is not true at all!

Fact: There are only three well permits issued that show up on the DEP web site for Columbia County.

Fact: There is more than one company leasing in Columbia County.

Remember, some land service companies can tell you anything they want. Unless you have it in writing you do not have it at all. These land service companies are here today, gone tomorrow.

Pipe Lines

We talked about two recent articles about pipes. One dealing with the Williams Transco pipeline north of Benton and a potential pipeline from Pittsburg, PA to Canada that is being proposed.

Knowledge is the Key

What is a ROD?

The rod is a unit of length. A rod is equal to 5.5 yards, 5.0292 metres, 16.5 feet, or 1/320 of a statute mile.

Why is this very important? Some gas line leases are paid by the rod. Some pipeline leases for the first pipeline they pay by the linear foot (~$7-$19 per linear foot) and the next pipeline is paid by the rod ($25-$75+). You must understand the difference in measurements to be paid correctly. The foot and rod are not of equal value!

Sometime later this year we may see some pipe lines being developed in the country side of Columbia County and Luzerne County. A 24" line is planned for northern Jackson Twp and Pine Twp in, Columbia County spanning into Lycoming County. If it is not in writing in your gas pipeline lease, you do not have it. Make sure everything is spelled out the way you want it. Afterwards it is too late!

You can have a gas pipeline lease with one company and lease your mineral rights with another company. The pipeline lease is there to acquire an easement across your land. You can not build on top of the pipeline. Nor can you have any kind of permanent fixtures that impedes the owners of the line from accessing it in case the line needs repair.

The Easement's length, not width, determines this payment. Unless the Easement Agreement provides differently, the Pipeline Company can put whatever it deems necessary on the easement. Landowners should try to restrict all surface facilities. The Pipeline Company should bury the pipeline at least forty eight inches (48") underground. A Landowner should negotiate two easements in the Easement Agreement. The first is a Temporary Construction Easement about fifty feet (50') wide. The Temporary Construction Easement terminates at construction's end or a later specified time. The second is a Pipeline Easement about twenty feet (20') to thirty feet (30') wide. The Pipeline Easement lasts until abandoned by the Pipeline Company. The Landowner should seek a written timetable of the pipeline's construction and installation.

Any member that has or is being offered a pipeline lease, I can e-mail you this document for your own use. I will e-mail it to you as time permits.

All pipeline leases should be reviewed by a lawyer for your own protection.

Columbia County Leadership Meeting

A Columbia County Leadership meeting was held on 3/13/10 to discuss the course to take as far as companies were concerned. We also addressed some correspondence with some companies.

Time Line

  • 3/12/10 (Fri) - Received Offer
    • Time Constraints: Deadline 3/19/10
  • 3/15/10 (Mon) - Responded to offer
    • Time Constraints Not Workable
    • Refuse offer
    • Awaiting for reply
    • Both Sides Continuing Forward
  • 3/16/10 (Tue) - Lease Prep
  • 3/17/10 (Wed) - Technical Response
    • Deal cannot move forward until resolved
  • 3/19/10 (Fri) - Company Reply Received
    • Time 5:06 pm
    • New deadline (April 9th)
    • Placed us formally in negotiations
    • 9:00 pm E-mailing members we are in negotiations
    • Started 90 day clock for negotiations (June 16th )
    • Technical Response Resolved


The leadership will announce when we are in negotiations when we have a letter of intent from a company. The maximum length of time for negotiations is 90 days, after which if a parcel owner decided to withdraw, they could by written request, withdraw their letter of commitment within a 15 day window. Then if needed, we would recommence negotiations on a 30 day rotation.

I ran the previous slide last meeting because I knew Columbia County was close to an offer, but I needed the letter of intent to make sure they were serious in dealing with us and I could say we are officially in negotiations with a gas company per our commitment letter. Talks with them were on going for awhile prior to the letter of intent, as I have stated at the last several meetings.

Our ninety day clock is in effect which means that members are committed to our group while negotiations are in effect. Columbia County only! That said, I want everyone to slow down and take a deep breath, there are many considerations to look at and to negotiate. We always said we would bring forth a lease offer no matter what area a gas company chooses to lease. So, one of the first things to work out is what areas in Columbia County are of interest and would they be willing to pick up other areas, this will be discussed during negotiations. You may or may not be part of a lease offer until this is worked out.

Lease terms and all other parameters will be a high priority. There is a tremendous amount of work to do, prior to getting to the point of a lease signing. So please be patient and let us work through this lease process, with a minimum amount of distractions for the leadership.

We do not have a completed deal until you have the cash in your hands. This process can produce results or end at anytime. We will use the web site ( or e-mailing or phone calling for informational updates, not the school!

If you e-mail me, please include your name, county, and township. I will not be responding to any e-mail that is not in this format. We have asked our members to use this format before and many still do not use it. I will not have the time to look your information up as I have in the past. It has been far too time consuming.

Important! If your home address, e-mail address, or phone number has changed, please e-mail or call us with the new information right away. I thank those that have been updating their information.

Those that do not have a commitment letter on file with us are not part of any negotiations. Currently, if you have any friends or neighbors that want to sign up with the Columbia County Land Owners Coalition they can. I do not know how long this window of opportunity will remain available.

As new information becomes available I will make our members aware of this information, as long as it does not impact our deal or negotiations. Remember when I brought Chesapeake to our meeting, history repeated itself at that time. I was advised by the company several dozen phone calls were placed to the company the next day by our members, some trying to place their own interests above others. I will not repeat this, thus the name of the company will not released until the appropriate time. We are under a confidentially agreement with the company so I cannot release details especially in this venue.

"This Proposal, the attachment hereto as well as the terms and conditions hereof are confidential and shall not be shared with any third party."

We need to keep everything in perspective and wait to see what develops. I feel very positive about the course we are on. Currently I am in communications with the company on a daily basis working on a lease agreement and other technical requested information.

What's Next

Expectation, I may have a lease in the next 10 days from the company for review. I expect a large portion of our lease to be incorporated into their lease.

Leadership review of the lease. We will be negotiating some key items in the next several weeks. I hope we can define areas of interest by our next April meeting. This could play out in steps or as the company directs us.

You cannot under any circumstances belong to two groups.

You may receive multiple e-mails from me and the reason is I am now e-mailing out blocks of e-mail by townships. So if you own property in more than one township you will receive duplicate notifications. This also applies to phone calls.

Get over any dollar signs you are thinking! This deal can disappear at any time or go to lease signing.

A lot of e-mail is still coming back to us, clear your inbox. If you changed your e-mail address or phone number send us an update. You need to stay updated.

If you are contacted by another gas company please make them aware that you're a member (they already know) of the Columbia Coalition and we are in negotiations. If they have any further questions you can refer them to me. Columbia County Only!

My Opinion

So far it appears to be a strong deal with a good company. They have responded to my requests and we have a good working relationship thus far. As far as the possibility of the deal coming to completion, the more time and money they put into making this deal work, the less chance of failure. For example, they would not be developing drilling units and pipeline right of ways if they were not serious. Remember, we need to know what areas, lease context, and much more! I have given you a small picture of what has taken place in the last several weeks. There is a lot more to go.

Luzerne County Update

The leadership recently met with a gas company and our talks are proceeding with each meeting. We will be meeting again in approximately two weeks. As with Columbia County these meetings start out slow and work towards an offer! So, please be patient.

Water Quality Issues

Bruce, Melanie and I attended the LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS meeting in Dimock Susquehanna County, PA on March 12, 2010 on water quality issues.

Landowners being contacted to have their water tested

  1. Do not deny access to the water testing laboratory personnel. It is important to note that gas well operators are NOT presumed responsible for pollution of water supplies that they were denied access to prior to the drilling.
  2. Obtain the name and company affiliation of any person asking to sample your water supply and ask for proof of identification.
  3. Tell the person testing your water as much as you know about your water supply including approximate depth, yield, age, and treatment devices. This information will help them to determine proper sampling locations. It may also help the gas drilling company choose proper drilling techniques to avoid causing problems to your water supply.
  4. Ask what water quality tests will be performed by the laboratory on your water sample. This list may help you decide if you want to have your own, more extensive test done at your own cost.
  5. The owner of the water supply has a right to receive a copy of any pre-drilling water test results collected by a lab representing the energy company. You can request a copy of these water test reports from the water laboratory or the energy company. If they are unwilling to provide a copy, contact one of the Pennsylvania DEP, Bureau of Oil and Gas Management offices and they will obtain a copy for you.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be April 22, 2010 at the Benton High School. I will release more information as we get close to this meeting date

Bruce Anderson

March 19, 2010
*Important* Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium.

The coalition will be holding three meetings Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Here are the times:

  1. 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. - Columbia County above Rts 254 & 239.
  2. 7:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - Columbia County below Rts 254 & 239.
  3. 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. - Luzerne County (Ross, Fairmount, etc.).

This meeting will be an important update meeting. This meeting will focus on company updates for both Columbia and Luzerne Counties. Meeting information will be posted on the coalition web site a few days after the meeting for those that cannot make this meeting or those that live out of the area.

February 27, 2010
CCLOC is on FaceBook!

Click here and become a fan!

February 23, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes

Our February 23th meeting was an informal type of meeting allowing more questions to ask either written or verbally. This format seems to work very well.

I started out by going over a map of the shale plays in the U.S. and then focusing on the Marcellus shale play in the northeast U.S.

shale plays

The purpose was to re-emphasize the various layers of shale below us. Even in the areas where the Marcellus shale comes close to the surface or is exposed, the Utica shale is still below these areas.  The Utica shale is located approximately 12,000 feet down under us and is approximately 500 feet thick. In comparison the Marcellus shale is approximately 250 feet thick. The Utica shale is a higher pressure gas and gets a premium price to the pipe line. Range Resources (Gas Company) just drilled a gas well to the Utica shale formation and I expect more companies will follow in the future. Most companies I believe want us to focus on the Marcellus shale so we are not aware of the other gas layers under us, thus having access to these layers when one signs a lease and having to not pay any additional money for this additional commodity. Looking at the close-up map of the Marcellus play one can see the Marcellus and Utica shale boundaries by the color codes on the map .

Marcellus/Utica boundaries

When looking at a lease you need to take a close look at:
  1. the term of the lease (# of years)
  2. the protections offered
  3. Water sampling
  4. Water Use
  5. Pugh Clause
  6. Environmental
  7. No disposal of waste on/under property
  8. Liability and many more!
  9. the bonus money
  10. percent royalty (average 20%)

Next I displayed a map of the counties around Columbia and Luzerne counties, and displayed the average lease values in those counties around us. The average displayed value is approximately $5000.00 per acre in the surrounding area and I believe we will see companies in that range.

Average Lease Value

The next displayed image was of a cross sectional view of the geology of the shale layers under Columbia County. The image starts at the Sullivan County line and ends at the Luzerne County line. The purpose of this map was to show that the Marcellus shale is not a flat linear plane (straight across) but varies across the county. The Marcellus shale layer is the green color on this map. The Utica shale layer is the second layer down from the Marcellus and is colored a very light purple color. Note the thickness difference between the two layers. There are mountains labeled on the map and the river which helps for a feel for locations.

Geological Layers


Clause Titles in the CCLOC Lease (Ken & I briefly discussed each item at the meeting.) Some of the titles in the lease are subsections. Remember these are subject to change during negotiations.

  3. TERM:
  32. LIENS:


The leadership will announce when we are in negotiations when we have a letter of intent from a company.

The maximum length of time for negotiations is 90 days, after which if a parcel owner decided to withdraw, they could by written request, withdraw their letter of commitment within a 15 day window. Then if needed, we would recommence negotiations on a 30 day rotation.

If it is not in writing in a lease, you do not have it!

We see a lot of landsman in the different areas. They are not employees of the company offering the lease, they are employed by their land service company. They are here today and gone tomorrow. They can tell you anything they want, but what is in that lease is all you get! Buyer Beware!

County Happenings

We continue to hear of landsman trying to pressure our members to sign leases at low values. You should not let anyone pressure you into any decision you make.

They are using the classic tactics such as: all your neighbors have signed around you so you better sign before you are left out. Or, if you do not sign with us we will drill around you and you will be left out, so you better sign now. And there are many more tactics that are being used. I sometimes think that there is a school teaching landsman what to say since the same phases are used by many companies.

Please keep the leaders advised if you are contacted by an Oil & Gas Company. This information is useful to us. Please verify all information that you are told from a company, and do not be fooled by some tactics.

Lease offers in Columbia County are $1000-$3000 per acre with some service companies. Royalties are 12.5-20% so Columbia County members should be asking why they are not being offered the higher lease value if contacted by these companies.

Members are welcome to call me if there are any questions, rumors, or information that you want to verify. 570-458-4337.

I appreciate and thank those members that have kept me informed and that continue to have strong faith in our group. Knowledge is a very powerful tool and I am seeing the fruits of our labor in action.

Our communication from our members has been fantastic and it helps us in many ways. Sometimes just one piece of information is another piece in the puzzle.

Company Contacts

We continue to talk with several companies. The leadership will meet with a company in the middle of March to further our discussions with them. This will be the third such meeting.

Another company contacted me yesterday to further our discussions with them. We have been in communication with them for several weeks now.

In the last two weeks I have contacted about 20 companies. Many have requested our parcel maps, and some our lease, to review.

Feb 19th

Several leaders including myself attended the MARCELLUS SHALE: Air Quality Issues featuring Calvin Tillman, Mayor of Dish, TX, industry spokesperson and environmental spokesperson.

My opinion is that this meeting was interesting, but I believe the Mayor's study was flawed because he failed to follow protocol and have a peer review that could have proven the results as required for any scientific research to be valid.

Next Meeting

Weather Permitting is March 23, 2010 (Tuesday). I will post times as we move closer to that date. The school is not available from March 1st to March 22nd . Please watch the web site for more information during this time.

Bruce Anderson

February 21, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium.

One Meeting 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm:

This meeting will be an informal meeting with update information and open discussion on any topic that members have questions on. If the weather is questionable please use best judgment as the meeting notes will be available on the web site.

February 9, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes

Our February 4th meeting was well received by our members with some providing positive feedback to the leaders and we thank them for that feedback. I started out by going over some lease changes that I made in December and again in January to bring our lease up-to-date and to enhance our lease.

The first change was a technical change brought about by additional information that is out there in the industry and my concern for the way it was written (see below). The words as originally written were "Mineral Interests" and were changed to Oil & Gas Estate.


The second change was in reference to Division Orders. Once a well is drilled and a landowner starts to receive royalties, you are required by most companies to sign a division order prior to receiving your royalty payment. The Texas lawyer at the second bullet states, "If possible, provide that lessor is not required to sign a division order in order to receive payment." This is the basis for this change.


The third change involves, "FIREWALLING AND MAINTENANCE OF PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT: which contains a provision for secondary containment. We see news articles in the newspapers about leaks on tanks that have contamination associated with the spill. This was added as a further enhancement so to possibly protect the environment by the use of secondary containment.


The fourth change deals with "Continuous Development". If Lessee is engaged in drilling operations on the lease premises or lands pooled or unitized therewith at the end of the primary term, this Lease shall not terminate if Lessee conducts a program of continuous drilling, allowing no more than 180 days to elapse between the completion of one well and the commencement of operations for the next succeeding well. Having this clause ensures that a unit will become fully developed in a timely fashion so the landowners in the unit may receive royalties sooner.


The fifth change relates to liens. There is some concern a company can place a lien against the Leasehold or any interest of the Lessor in the surface or mineral rights, so this clause addresses this issue.


The sixth update is a new clause added to help protect us as the industry changes to ensure the company is required to maintain all aspects of extraction operations, including equipment, in accordance with the most current regulatory requirements and industry practices.


The last change made was to "DRILL CUTTINGS OR RESIDUAL WASTE". I made this change so this clause carries with it more substance than the previous one that this replaced. It gives more details and examples of what cannot be disposed, discharged, or buried on one's property.


Next, I covered "Rumors" in the different regions.

  1. Rumors about our group are meant to discredit the group or its leadership to drive members away!
  2. There are many rumors out there in our communities. We hear many of them but I am sure we do not hear them all.
  3. One should always look at facts instead of letting rumors lead your decisions.
  4. I want to take a few minutes to look at some facts. The more facts you know the better decisions you can make in reference to our group and leasing. Members are always welcome to call me!

Rumor #1, Bruce was not involved in anything environmentally. Let’s look at the facts, (I presented to the group a series of slides showing additional background information, other than what is below.)

  1. I am the Executive Director and President of T.E.A.C.H. (Toxic Environment Affects Children’s Health consists of 69 families that have or had a child with cancer).
  2. My Board of Directors, all volunteers, consists of Environmental Lawyers out of Philadelphia and New Jersey, Environmentalist, and a young adult that is a representative for the children with cancer. There are consultants, a well respected Doctor of Toxicology, and Research Doctors conducting environmental studies with funding from TEACH.
  3. You can look at the web site T.E.A.C.H. for additional information.

Rumor #2, Your neighbor has signed a lease with our company, so you better sign before it’s too late! False in a lot of cases -- if you are told this please ask your neighbor if they did sign a lease recently.

Rumor #3, Wells north of Benton will not be drilled because of various reasons, example it is too wet, etc. False, I believe the wells will be drilled sometime in 2010.

Rumor #4 The Columbia County Land Owners Coalition is asking for too much in their lease! We looked at a lease comparison of 8 other leases to our group lease. All leases vary and this is just informational data. One needs to look for fine detail in variations in each lease. Charting this information took approximately three weeks of time to complete. It is not an easy task and it is not meant to be all encompassing. Any lease should be reviewed by an attorney so you know what you are signing.

The CCLOC lease is our group lease that I send out to companies at their request that may have potential interest in our group. The members viewed eight (8) slides of lease comparisons; I am including only two (2) slides from the meeting in this update due my time constraints in setting it up here. You must remember everything is negotiable in our lease and dealing with any company may change what you see in our lease and that is the reason we do not make our lease public or available to our members.

The first sheet shows different categories grouped to reflect what is in each lease. The companies’ names have been covered, because we are in direct talks with several of the companies and I have to remain unbiased to the companies.

The first category is "Full Term in Years",(left side) which is the pay out in years over the life of the lease. The years vary from 5-12 years in total length and you have to look at the first four categories to determine the most favorable lease. We believe in having a lease that offers the highest up front money over the shortest duration as a more favorable deal. If there is an extension to a lease, then the above holds true to the extension. It is important to look at category 4, full term payout per acre, these values tell you what you could get per acre if the lease goes the full term.

Category 5, royalty is another interesting point to look for when determining a good lease. Currently most leases are offering 20% royalty. There are leases in the various communities offering less royalty and these leases are usually standard company leases, which generally offer less protection. The red background highlight for some categories are those that I feel is more important.

slide 1

The next slide covers some of the environmental items in our lease. Others were covered on different slides. The five red highlighted areas once again are a priority to the group and our lease covers each category for good protection.

slide 2

You need to remember you have to look at the total package, not just the money portion for a good deal. We believe many people when leasing fail to look at what is going to protect them in years or generations going forward. I, for one do not want to leave a legacy to my grandchildren or their children of environmental damage to the land that they may live on one day because I signed a poor lease today.

Thumper Trucks, for those that have seen the thumper trucks up in northern Columbia County and Lycoming County around early December: here are some pictures. These trucks are taking 3-D seismic images of the earth as they move along. From the pictures you can see the trucks tires are raised off the ground as the seismic pad sends out vibrations that reflect what is below the ground.



The Science of Marcellus Shale Summit, Five leaders including myself attended The Science of Marcellus Shale at the Lycoming College. This was an all day event. It was nice to see one of the Columbia County commissioners in attendance. There were approximate 450 people at this informational meeting. One of the most interesting subjects was an update from Proctor and Gamble on the status of the well drilling on that company property by Citrus Energy. One well is complete and there are five more to go. The volume of gas from the first well is confidential information.

Company Contacts, we are currently talking with two companies on a regular basis and we need to be patient to see where the talks will take us. To bring everyone up to speed from December's last update, I showed a timeline on contacts.

  1. We met and had preliminary talks in early December with a large gas company.
  2. Mid-December we sat down with representatives of a mid size gas company, again preliminary talks.
  3. Around December 20th, I made some changes to the CCLOC-Lease. These were additions that I thought were needed to make the lease more relevant. Both above companies requested a copy for review.
  4. Copies of the lease were sent out on December 23th to the above mid size company at their request. On December 24th copies of the lease were sent out to two other companies at their request.
  5. E-mail from another large size company. December 23, 2009:
    We are currently reviewing your acreage. Unfortunately, everyone is out for the holidays. We'll touch base with you after the first. Thanks.
  6. 1/14/10: It was my pleasure to meet with all of you. As I said when I was there, your group has done a good job of studying and understanding the terms and provisions of the oil and gas lease. That will give you a solid foundation for negotiating. It is good for both sides when everyone understands the intent and purpose of the contract. I will see what I can do to generate interest in your acreage. In the meantime, if you receive any other lease offers please let me know.
  7. 1/19/10, Leadership met for a second time with a gas company, next meeting set for late February.
  8. 1/22/10, I talked with another new gas company about leasing. They are currently reviewing our lease. They also wanted to see a copy of our commitment letter.
  9. 1/26/10: Hi Bruce-I just wanted to follow up and let you know that we are doing a complete review of your lease. Responding to you is on my radar and I will follow up as soon as I can.
  10. 1/27/10: Bruce, I am just checking in to see what is happening with the coalition, I see you have a meeting tomorrow night. We have partnered with a company and are closing on several large acreage tracts in Wyoming, Bradford and Tioga counties in the very near future. I was wondering what is the current amount of acreage you now hold, if you have any deals yet? We thought maybe if you were interested he would check to see if the partnered company would be interested in taking on Columbia areas also.
  11. 2/1/10: Bruce, I just returned from lunch and received both your e-mail and voicemail messages. During our telephone conversation earlier today you mentioned that you could provide me with an acreage map. I didn't find one attached to your e-mail and was wondering if you could send one to me. I don't need anything going in to great detail, but would appreciate having something in hand to show our geology staff. I have begun reviewing the lease form that you sent and should be able to provide you with comments rather quickly assuming that our technical staff wishes to move forward. Thank you again for your call this morning. I look forward to contacting you again in the very near future.

My Final Thoughts, The leadership puts a tremendous amount of time in to make sure we are on the right path to a good lease and to bring forth the latest information. We need to remain pro-active, we only get one chance with this process which may affect each and everyone of us for generations.

I expect to see many more companies in the area offering leases. With a half a dozen wells or more being drilled, this could be an asset and bring about higher lease values. We may go from a wild cat area to a proven area thus drawing more companies to the area, so bottom line, hold tight.

Bruce Anderson

January 31, 2010
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting

Our next meeting will be Thursday, February 4, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium.

One Meeting 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm:

The meetings will be based on weather conditions, so please check the website prior to the meeting. If several inches of snow are forecast we will push this meeting to a later date in February.

This meeting will be an update meeting and comparing our lease to 7 other leases in the area.

January 30, 2010
Update by Melanie Anderson

Several hundred people braved the cold to come out Thursday night, January 28th to meet three state representatives, David Millard, Karen Boback and Lycoming's Garth Everett, Robert Yowell, a DEP regional director, and Penn State Extension educator, and Marcellus Education Team member, Dave Messersmith, who discussed pending legislation and other issues regarding gas drilling in the state. Three back to back public meetings were provided. It was a perfect opportunity to have your voice heard. Several of those who attended voiced their approval for the representatives taking the time to come and be available to the community for a very worthwhile program.

The Columbia County Landowners Coalition hosted this event in their continuing aim to educate and protect the people and their property in this area. It is overseen by a small number of volunteers, headed by Bruce Anderson. The leaders continue to stress to the members that the lease is the most important part of the deal. They constantly research the ins and outs of the gas industry and leasing. The leaders Bruce Anderson, Dan Hartman, George Snyder, Ken Long and Paul Yankovich most recently attended the Environmental Studies' Summit regarding the Marcellus Shale on Jan. 29th. They try to attend as many programs as they can to glean information for the presentations to the membership. Though the programs are directed to members, the public is welcome to attend and may join as long as they have not yet signed a gas lease or commitment to another group and must own the gas rights to their property. Meetings are held at the Benton High School auditorium. The next meeting will be a Coalition update on Feb. 4th from 6:30-8:00pm, weather permitting.

The second anniversary of the Columbia Coalition is coming up in March. Bruce has created and provided many PowerPoint presentations to educate the group of several thousand members. He first offered to volunteer for this position at a meeting in Millville when the leader at the time was trying to handle both Lycoming and Columbia counties and asked for help. Bruce stepped up, not only because no one else volunteered but because of witnessing landowners willingly signing leases at a previous gas company meeting with no mention of taking it to a lawyer first. Un-negotiated leases are rarely in the landowners' best interest. Since then, it has been a full time job both exhausting and enlightening. He is very proactive in contacting companies who may be interested in leasing this large group. He is talking with reps from several companies. He stated recently, "the interest in leasing is definitely picking up."

January 23, 2010

Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting
Our next meeting will be Thursday, January 28, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium. The following times are scheduled for each group, please follow this schedule.

The coalition will be holding three meetings Thursday, January 28, 2010. Here are the times:

  1. 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Fairmount/Luzerne.
  2. 7:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Ross and Columbia above Routes 254 and 239.
  3. 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Columbia below Routes 254 and 239.

The meetings will be based on weather conditions, so please check the website prior to the meeting. If several inches of snow are forecast we will push this meeting to a later date in February.

This meeting will only focus on the presentation by the three State Representatives. Our next update meeting will be a week later on February 4th weather permitting and we will update the membership on companies interest at that meeting.

Please remember that this is a Public Meeting as our meetings have been for a while and we need to remain professional. I am sure there will be many people from the public at this meeting. It should be a very informative meeting and we look forward to meeting the State Representatives.

Boback, Everett, and Millard to Participate in Marcellus Shale Meetings.

BENTON. Reps. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming), Garth Everett (R-Lycoming) and David Millard (R-Columbia) will participate in three meetings hosted by the Columbia County Land Owners Coalition regarding drilling into the Marcellus shale.

We only get one chance to do this right, said Boback. While it can be an economic boon for our area, it cannot be done at the expense of the environment or the safety of our residents. Informational meetings such as this benefit everyone who has a vested interest in the environment and the economy, and I will continue to follow the progress of drilling in the 117th District.

Residents in the Marcellus Shale region have many questions about how drilling is going to impact the environment, the economy and the quality of life in our communities, said Millard. This meeting is about a continued exchange of information so people can make the most informed choices.

The meetings will take place on Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Benton High School auditorium, located at 400 Park Street in Benton. The meeting times will be broken up by region as follows:

  1. 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Fairmount/Luzerne.
  2. 7:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Ross and Columbia above Routes 254 and 239.
  3. 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. Columbia below Routes 254 and 239.

One of the problems that has developed in the Marcellus shale issue is the fact that there has been a lot of misinformation put out there, said Everett. I am pleased to participate in this series of meetings that will hopefully put some fears to rest in the region and will help everyone involved to make informed decisions.

The event does not require an RSVP, but in the case of inclement weather, participants should visit to check the status of the meeting.

For more information about the Marcellus shale, visit,, or

Coalition Update on Companies

We continue to see an increased interest by the gas companies in our group. We met with one energy company in the last week and continued our talks from the last meeting with them. We will meet again in several weeks to continue our dialogue with this company. Our meeting times with them are based on the company schedule as they travel back and forth from their home state and their availability.

January 17, 2010

Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting Notes

Our January 12th meeting focus was on water testing with Seewald Labs giving a presentation at the meeting. The problem is, a 45 minute meeting time slot is very short. So, I let the whole time go the presenter of Seewald Labs Inc. I am adding information here that was to be part of my presentation so the information is available to each member. We will be bringing additional presenters as time permits to our meetings.


In the coming weeks and months from time to time, as time permits, we plan to bring other companies and other presenters to our meetings to further enhance our knowledge level in information related to Oil & Gas leasing in our communities.

We do not indorse or advocate these presenters, it is for information only. Thus, helping everyone to make informed decisions.

Water Testing

A person who wishes to document the quality of a water supply to support a future claim that the drilling or alteration of the well affected the water supply by pollution may conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey in accordance with this section.

The survey shall be conducted by an independent certified laboratory. A person independent of the well owner or well operator, other than an employee of the certified laboratory, may collect the sample and document the condition of the water supply, if the certified laboratory affirms that the sampling and documentation is performed in accordance with the laboratory’s approved sample collection, preservation and handling procedure and chain of custody.

The report describing the results of the survey must contain the following information:

  1. The location of the water supply and the name of the surface landowner or water purveyor.
  2. The date of the survey, and the name of the certified laboratory and the person who conducted the survey.
  3. A description of where and how the sample was collected.
  4. The name of the well operator, name and number of well to be drilled and permit number if known.
  5. The results of the laboratory analysis.

A well operator who wishes to preserve the defense under section 208(d)(2) of the act that the landowner or water purveyor refused the operator access to conduct a survey shall confirm the desire to conduct this survey and that access was refused by issuing notice to the person by certified mail, or otherwise document that access was refused. The notice must include the following:

  1. The operator’s intention to drill or alter a well.
  2. The desire to conduct a predrilling or prealteration survey.
  3. The name of the person who requested and was refused access to conduct the survey and the date of the request and refusal.
  4. The name and address of the well operator and the address of the Department, to which the water purveyor or landowner may respond.

Seewald Labs Inc.

Seewald Laboratories Inc., Williamsport, PA
Web site address:

Members wishing to use Seewald Labs for water testing, please call the company directly and mention you are a member of the Columbia County Land Owners Coalition and you may get a discount. The owner does not want group calling, so please call individually.

Some Items to Think About with Water Testing for Landowners, etc..!

  1. Cost of a well test, what can I afford?
  2. Look at the different water testing companies, are they certified?
  3. Find out the facts about the company drilling in your area, is it a vertical well or horizontal well, a test well? How deep is the well? Look at the history of the company drilling the well, have they had problems in the past with water pollution? Has the company performed water sampling? How far out did the gas company test?
  4. Do not let fear drive your decision, or anyone else’s fear.
  5. I will be updating the CCLOC web site with contact information, phone numbers of different water testing labs, some well site data, as time permits.
  6. Water testing is your choice, not anyone else’s!
  7. You have to be comfortable with your choices and please base them on facts not rumors or someone else's opinions!
  8. We can help you with information, but we cannot make the decision for you! Members can call me if they have questions.

State Law with Oil & Gas

  1. How are drinking water supplies protected from the effects of drilling?

    Pennsylvania law requires drillers to case and grout wells through all fresh water aquifers before drilling through deeper zones known to contain oil or gas. This casing protects groundwater from pollutants inside the well, and keeps water from the surface and other geologic strata from mixing with and contaminating groundwater.

  2. What if drilling changes the water quality or flow in my water well?

    Disruption of water quality or flow in water wells from drilling activities is often temporary. However, if problems persist, state law requires drilling operators to replace or restore water supplies affected by drilling. If you are not satisfied with the drilling company’s response, you should contact the nearest DEP regional office. DEP will investigate complaints within 10 days and issue orders as necessary to replace or restore your water supply.

  3. Is the drilling operator required to restore the land and plug the well?

    Drilling operators must restore the land within 9 months of drilling completion. Once a well is no longer producing, the operator must plug the well and restore the site within 9 months of plugging the well.

  4. Can drilling companies store drilling wastes and waste water in un-lined pits or discharge drilling fluids into streams?

    No. Drilling wastes must be collected and stored in pits with synthetic liners. Waste fluids must be collected and treated at an authorized water treatment facility.

  5. How close can a well be drilled to a house or stream?

    Wells cannot be drilled within 200 feet of structures, or within 100 feet of streams and wetlands. The locations of wells, access roads and related drilling operations are usually negotiated as part of the lease agreement (our lease states 500 ft).

  6. Who should I contact if I believe drilling activities have affected water resources or caused pollution?

    Contact the nearest DEP Regional Office if you suspect drilling or any other earth disturbance activities have harmed water resources or the environment. Regional office phone numbers can be found in your phonebook or online at

Company Information

We met and had preliminary talks in early December with a large gas company. Further talks will take place sometime in the next two weeks.

Mid December we sat down with representatives of a mid size gas company.

Around December 20th I made some changes to the CCLOC-Lease. These were additions that I thought were needed to make the lease more relevant. Both above companies requested a copy for review.

Copies of the lease were sent out on December 23th to the above mid-size company at their request. On December 24th copies of the lease were sent out to two other companies at their request.

E-mail from another large size company.

December 23, 2009


We are currently reviewing your acreage. Unfortunately, everyone is out for the holidays. We'll touch base with you after the first. Thanks.

Columbia County

I appreciate the great response from our members that have notified me about the $1000.00 lease offers that are being made in certain townships.

Several members have mentioned that their neighbor’s homes have reported break-ins in the areas of Fishing Creek/Stillwater and Greenwood.

Luzerne County

There are reports of individuals or a company going door to door offering to test your water. We believe this may be to sell you a water treatment system. This may not be related to oil and gas. Please ask for company identification before you talk with these individuals.

Tentative Meetings, Weather Permitting and subject to approval or change

  • January 28, 2010 (Thursday) State Representatives to update our group on pending bills affecting oil and gas. (This meeting may be video recorded so we want to be as professional as possible!).
  • February 4, 2010 (Thursday) Backup meeting to the above meeting if weather conditions are poor.
  • February 18, 2010 (Thursday) waiting approval.

January 8, 2010

Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting
Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium. The following times are scheduled for each group, please follow this schedule.

The coalition will be holding two meetings Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Here are the times:

  1. 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm -- Columbia County
  2. 7:45 pm to 8:30 pm -- Luzerne County

This meeting will be based on weather conditions, so please check the website prior to the meeting. If several inches of snow are forecast we will push this meeting to a later date in January.

Columbia County, our database is now at 100% with those members who turned in a commitment letter. These properties are the ones we show to the gas companies. Those who did not sign a commitment letter have been removed from the active database. Some of those members we have not been able to contact or have not returned our numerous e-mails and phone calls. Some may be "snow birds" or work long hours or two jobs. We don't like to assume they left the group. If you think that you might be one of those elusive members, please contact us. We are also still accepting new members.

There are numerous wells potentially being drilled between several different counties in 2010. We look forward to some positive results from these wells.

We will be addressing landowner water testing at this next meeting for those that are near any of these wells that will be drilled and for those with future wells being developed. A person who wishes to document the quality of a water supply to support a future claim that the drilling or alteration of the well affected the water supply by pollution may conduct a pre-drilling or pre-alteration survey in accordance with DEP requirements, which we will go over at the meeting.

Company contacts have been quiet over the holiday period as one would expect. Looking forward, we expect activity to increase over what we have seen to date. With natural gas prices still well above the four dollar mark (near $6) and numerous wells being developed, the picture looks bright.

Our next meeting with a gas company will tentatively be towards the end of January. We also await our other contacts with gas companies to get back to us.

Currently, we have two other Coalition meeting dates for January. Since scheduling is still changing, I will release upcoming meeting dates at our next meeting.

December 17, 2009

Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting
Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at the Benton High School Auditorium. The following times are scheduled for each group, please follow this schedule.

The coalition will be holding two meetings Tuesday, January 12, 2010. Here are the times:

  1. 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm -- Columbia County
  2. 7:45 pm to 8:30 pm -- Luzerne County

Luzerne County
The leadership showed a presence at the two open house meetings held by a large energy company in Luzerne County this past week. We have been in communications with that company and will be meeting in January for further discussions.

Columbia County
Thumper trucks have been taking seismic readings on roads throughout Columbia County and Lycoming County.

We continue to see low lease offers within the county by some companies.

We continue talks with other companies and we anticipate leasing activities to pick up in the first and second quarter of next year.

The Energy Information Administration reported that natural gas storage levels dropped by 64 billion cubic feet last week, the first reported draw since the week of March 13. Natural gas for January delivery jumped 40 cents to settle at $5.298 per 1,000 cubic feet on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Today, the price has risen to over $5.80/mmcfm.

This should be an unusually cold winter since the Sun is in an exceptionally quiet state, at the bottom of its 11-year cycle. The recent cold weather and snow storms support that prediction. Meanwhile, since storage has been so full, gas companies have largely stopped exploration and drilling in many of the most prolific areas. Half as many rigs are operating as last year nationwide. This means that once supplies start getting drawn down, they won't be replaced very quickly. This should spike the gas price up quite a bit.

Exploration and drilling activity should soon follow, which probably means much more interest in our area, and higher lease rates too.

December 10, 2009

Company Meeting
We recently sat down and talked with a representative of a large energy company. These were introductory talks in which we agreed to continue further talks and meet again in January. Usually these introductory talks are so both sides get a feel for what the other side would like to see.

Area happenings
Columbia County
We are seeing some low lease offers by some companies to some areas in Columbia County. Remember that staying with a group offers better lease values and negotiated protections. If you happen to be offered a lease in the mail or in person, please advise me of this fact. We would like to trend the areas involved and values being offered and it can potentially help with other negotiations. You can e-mail me at or call me at 458-4337.

Luzerne County
In the next week or two an energy company will be holding informational meetings at two locations in Luzerne County. We are in communication with that company. Once again, remember that staying with a group offers better lease values and negotiated protections. If you should attend one of these meetings, mention you are a member of the Columbia County Land Owners Coalition. If you happen to be offered a lease in the mail or in person, please advise your Luzerne County leader or of this fact. We would like to trend the areas involved and values being offered and it can potentially help with other negotiations.

Also, please remember any lease, contract or any other associated legal commitments should be reviewed with a lawyer before signing any paper work. Bottom line is you have to protect yourself.

We wish everyone a happy holiday!

December 3, 2009

Meeting cancellation
The leadership has decided to cancel the meeting scheduled for Monday, December 7, 2009. After careful thought with the holidays upon us and hunting season, we decided that instead of impacting everyone’s busy schedule, we would just update everyone here.

We remain in contact with various companies as we move forward. A meeting has been scheduled with a large gas company in the next week or so. We will know more at that time what offers are being made and see what their lease looks like. I have suggested they take a look at the CCLOC group lease as an alternative.

I am still waiting to hear back from several other companies as to any leasing plans with us. In calling companies, I have found a lot of people are on vacation.

Yesterday, I sent out our parcel maps to another large company that made a request for them. We continue to see more requests for information and more interest in our group.

I will update the web site over the holidays should we hear of any other pertinent information.

Area Updates
Over the last week and a half, a Texas company has been surveying various roads in preparation for seismic testing in Columbia County and Lycoming County. Next they will bring in the thumper trucks to actually perform this seismic testing. Some of the roads involved in Columbia County are sections of Rt. 118, Rt. 239, and Waller Road, and are marked with small red flags along one side of the road.

I continue to hear many rumors in the community. Please if you hear a rumor that you think may be true, please call me. I will verify the information and let you know it if is true or not.

I try to release as much information to the group as I can without playing our hand out in the open. Even though this area of the website has a password, I am sure there are companies and non-members that have gained access to it. Most companies I have talked with have told me they have looked at least at the cover page and any areas they can gain access to. And the reverse is also true -- I look at their web sites, financial reports, quarterly reports, etc. to gain as much information on a company prior to any contact with them.

The leadership wishes all our members a safe and happy holiday.

November 17, 2009
Meeting Notes

There is some confusion between the sign up form for joining the Coalition and the Commitment Letter.
  • Sign up form is submitted only one time online for your parcel.
  • The Commitment Letter, is signed by the deed owners, one for each parcel.

New Parcel Maps
The new parcel maps were displayed for both Columbia County and Luzerne County. Since our last meeting these maps have been sent to quite a few companies and other entities in the oil & gas field.

Communications with Companies

  • "Fortuna Energy Inc. wishes to thank you for your oil and gas lease inquiry regarding your landowners group in Columbia and Luzerne Counties in Pennsylvania. At the present time, we are not leasing in the Columbia and Luzerne County areas in Pennsylvania. In the future, as we grow our business, if there is an interest in Columbia and Luzerne Counties, a representative of Fortuna will contact you. If you would please keep us updated quarterly, it would be much appreciated.

    "If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at the above number. Again, thank you for your interest in leasing with Fortuna Energy Inc."

  • "Mr. Anderson,

    Yesterday I was forwarded an email that you had sent to us (see original attached to bottom). I reviewed the information that you attached to this email and was wondering if you had a more detailed set of parcel maps that I could review. This information would help me better assess the acreage position the Coalition has amassed. If you are able to assist us, please forward any additional information on to myself."

  • "Bruce,

    Thank you for responding so quickly to this request. The map you sent will work nicely. I look forward to hearing from you in the future."

Other Requests

  • "Bruce - please email me the new maps and the amount of acreage...."

  • "Bruce....can you email or fax me a copy of your lease with all your requesting addendum....have a company interested in your land. Going to TX on Wednesday."

  • "Good day coalition,

    I am the manager of land acquisitions and would like to speak with the leader of the coalition about potential leasing. Could you please supply me with any maps or data of which parcels are included in your coalition?

    Senior GeoSpatial Engineer"

Important, when e-mailing the leaders please include the county and township that your land is in. Honoring this one request would save us a lot of time in searching the data base.

Some e-mail is still being blocked, currently Chilitech server is blocking any block mailing I am sending to the members with that service.

I displayed pictures of a well site being drilled and of the two well pads under development in Benton.

Drill Rig
Drill rig west of Lairdsville

Martin Well Site
Martin well site 11/09.

Company Contacts
As I have tried to make the group aware, things can change very rapidly in this process.

Shortly we will be sitting down with another company to see what they have to offer.

(This is not the company I mentioned at the last meeting, that meeting was moved out several weeks.)

This company is another large company.

I also recently talked with a representative of Chesapeake Energy, to keep our communications open.

We continue to maintain contact with various companies.

Currently, I am seeing a lot of interest in our group, but remember that can change.

Just prior to the meeting I received a call from a gas company that they would be willing to talk about a leasing offer, pending upper management approval.

Commitment Letters
In approximately two weeks anyone who has not turned in a commitment letter will be dropped from our database and will not move forward with any leasing.

November 6, 2009
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at the Benton High School Auditorium. The following times are scheduled for each group, please follow this schedule.

The coalition will be holding two meetings Tuesday, November 17, 2009. Here are the times:

  1. 6:30 pm to 7:15 pm -- Luzerne County
  2. 7:45 pm to 8:30 pm -- Columbia County

This meeting will be an update meeting and Ken Long (Ross Leader) will give a training presentation.

October 29, 2009
Meeting Notes

Group Dynamics
Columbia County, if you leave our group you will not be permitted the opportunity to re-join at a later date.

Meeting Prep
  • Greater Than 700 E-mails Are Sent
  • Currently Greater Than 200 Phone Calls are Made
  • Response to Commitment Letters has been Great!
  • What have we learned: information on our members is outdated at times, phone numbers have changed, e-mail addresses have changed, mailing addresses have changed -- it is your responsibility to update us.

Company Contacts
Bruce, We've talked about you all again and just don't have the resources to pursue this right now. I personally think it wouldn't be until the first quarter that we would be able to get to another significant acquisition. Let me know how it goes for you all. I hope you find a great deal with a great company, but if circumstances dictate that nothing suitable is out there, we still may be able to talk once the calendar turns.

Evolution in Progress and Changes so Quick
Monday morning of this week I talked with another energy company from Texas and asked if they were still interested in our group, he said yes we have interest. I said when would it be possible to get together, he said he wanted to meet with me in approximately two weeks and talk about leasing.

Monday afternoon a very large energy company called me from Texas for follow up information on our group.

Update on Well Site
North of Benton, recently some excavating equipment was brought in to the Martin well site. Citrus Energy will be drilling a well sometime after the well pad is complete.

Martin Well Site

Other Thoughts
The below message on the internet gives us one insight into what other groups like ours are presented with...

The "fundamental weakness of the HESS deal" was not, in my opinion, because of the lack of "professional" negotiators representing the NWPOA, but rather the "inexperience" of a bevy of volunteer "lay" people who by all accounts had the best of intentions when they first entered the "professional arena" of negotiations, but then realized at some later point that they might have been "out-gun'd" by a much more formidable opponent and didn't know how to respond to it other than to capitulate to what had been offered because of internal "pressures" from the very ones they were chosen to represent in the first place.

The internal "pressures" I speak of is the classic example that a professional negotiator waits for and hopes for and then uses that to their advantage. It is inevitable in all of labor negotiations to wait for your opponent's constituents to become restless and boisterous. That kind of internal pressure weakens the ability for ordinary laymen to deal with in a subjective way. They internalize the criticisms of their peers because they are also "one of them" and they're unable to separate their personal anxieties from their elected (non-professional) responsibilities.

The "opposition" in this case has the distinct advantage of having "time" on their side. The longer it takes to reach an agreement, the more pressure is placed upon the "lay negotiators" to reach an agreement. Eventually, anything that appears to be even half way "reasonable" will be accepted by the negotiating committee and they will present it to their Executive Committee for approval, and dependant upon how weary the EC is at this point, they too may well recommend it to the constituents they represent. If the constituents are weary enough also at this point, they will then place their "trust" in their Executive Committee to know what is "best" for them, and they will then vote accordingly which is is almost always as the Executive Committee recommends.

This is, and always has been, a classic strategy for any corporation engaged in labor negotiations with tens of thousands of employees. It's never been a question of "fairness". It has always been who has the ability to out-wit, out-smart and out-wait the other.

If I started my own group would I hire one "professional negotiator" today? -- Not on your life -- I wouldn't trust any so-called "professional negotiator" today.

If I was young enough and did have the desire to take on these O&G pro's, I would do so only on the prior condition that whoever I did represent had the understanding beforehand that if they expect instant gratification, I wouldn't want them in my group. If they don't have the patience to wait for precisely the "right" proposal, I wouldn't want them in my group. And if any of them would presume to know more about how to negotiate an Agreement and challenge my authority or experience, I would gladly relinquish my position and let them take the reins -- no questions asked. Let the rest of the group decide.

How much might I charge if I took over a negotiation? There's not a person or group of persons within "eye-shot" of this post who could possibly afford me because frankly speaking, I wouldn't charge anything. To many I'm sure that would mean, "You get what you pay for". I don't have a personal agenda other than I hate to see the "little guy" get screwed by a corporation, any corporation, and beside that, I don't really "need" the money anyway. For me, the challenge alone would be priceless and one hell of a legacy to leave behind.

Commitment Letters
  • I am now only e-mailing information out to those who have a commitment letter in with our group.
  • Passwords will not be given to anyone who does not have a commitment letter on file.
  • I will be sending a letter to those who have not turned in a commitment letter. After a short time period I will be removing members from our group who do not have a commitment letter in, which means they will not move forward with any leasing opportunities.

New Parcel Map
I showed the new parcel map for Columbia County at the meeting. This map has already been sent out to some companies. The Luzerne County map should be complete in about a week.

General Information
Congressman Dan Boren of Oklahoma introduced H.R. 1835 on April 1, 2009. If enacted into law, this legislation would provide tax incentives for the development of compressed or liquefied natural gas alternative fuel methods, and the production of alternative fuel vehicles that operate on compressed or liquefied natural gas. Moreover, this legislation would require that by December 31, 2014, fifty percent of all new vehicles purchased or introduced into service by the U.S. government must have the ability to operate on compressed or liquefied natural gas.

If you want to support H.R. 1835 you can sign up on the Picken’s web site at Click the link "Take Action", enter your Zip Code, and follow the rest of the sign up information. What is sent out is below.

Message sent to the following recipients:

Representative Kanjorski
Senator Casey
Senator Specter

Message text follows:

Bruce Anderson
140 Derrs Rd
Benton, PA 17814-8248

October 28, 2009

[recipient address was inserted here]

Dear [recipient name was inserted here]

While the price per barrel of oil has fallen from the last summer highs, it's beginning to rise again. What hasn't changed is the percentage of oil we import every day: over the past 12 months we have continued to import nearly two-thirds of the oil we use.

Most of the oil we import is used as a transportation fuel - cars, trucks, aircraft, boats and trains. About one barrel out of every five is used as diesel fuel to power heavy trucks - 18-wheelers.

I am all for developing battery and fuel cell technology - or some other technology which is still in the laboratory stage. But neither batteries nor hydrogen are ready for widespread distribution to our national fleet of approximately 250 million cars and light trucks. A battery also won't push an 18-wheeler. The only fuel which is available to reduce our dependence on foreign oil is domestic natural gas.

Due to recent advances in technology, we now have the ability to recover natural gas from the enormous deposits in Texas, Louisiana and Appalachia in the lower 48 states. In fact, a recent study Potential Gas Committee estimates that natural gas reserves have surged by 35 percent. The 2,074 trillion cubic feet of domestic natural gas reserves cited in the study is the equivalent of nearly 350 billion barrels of oil, about the same as Saudi Arabia's oil reserves.

Natural gas is cheaper than diesel fuel. Natural gas is cleaner than diesel. It's abundant. And it's ours.

The time to act is now and the NAT GAS Act (H.R. 1835) is the best tool we've had in decades to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

The NAT GAS Act of 2009 (H.R. 1835) is a bi-partisan bill in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. In the House, Congressmen Boren (D-OK), Larson (D-CT) and Sullivan (R-OK) introduced it April 1 and it already has 95 bi-partisan cosponsors. In the Senate, Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Hatch (R-UT) were joined by Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) to introduce it on July 8.

The NAT GAS Act provides industry with the incentives to replace older diesel trucks with newer natural gas vehicles - it's a great step in the right direction. It will provide the momentum for engine manufacturers, natural gas producers and natural gas distributors to ramp up and make a real difference in our dependence on foreign oil.

I hope you will sign up as a cosponsor to support this important legislation. I will be watching your press and floor remarks for statements of support.


Bruce Anderson

Other Information
I presented several news articles to show what is happening in the area and concerns on environmental issues associated with the articles. Bottom line is that you as the landowner are the first line of defense in protecting your property and health. You can not rely on government agencies!

My Final Thoughts
Negotiations and dealing with companies is a complex psychological and fundamental taking and giving to reach an end point that is mutually agreeable to both parties. This process cannot be forced, nor accelerated, without weakening the outcome.

Members have to have faith in their leadership. We spend countless hours contacting and talking with companies, researching material, talking with other groups, and the list goes on and on.

Ken Long (Ross Twp Leader)
Ken gave a very informative presentation on leasing terms that you would like to have in a lease.

October 24, 2009
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition Meeting

Our next meeting will be Thursday, October 29, 2009 at the Benton High School Auditorium. The following times are scheduled for each group, please follow this schedule.

We rotate the times between areas to be fair to all members.

The coalition will be holding three meetings Thursday, October 29, 2009. Here are the times:

  1. 6:00 pm to 6:45 pm -- Ross & Columbia above 254 & 239
  2. 7:15 pm to 8:00 pm -- Columbia below Rt. 254 & 239
  3. 8:30 pm to 9:15 pm -- Fairmount/Luzerne

This meeting will be an update meeting and Ken Long (Ross Leader) will give a training presentation on different aspects of gas leasing.

October 15, 2009
Update, Meeting Notes

Why Three Meetings
To ensure we do not exceed the seating capacity of the auditorium I am running three meetings a night that are basically the same.

This is why it is important to follow the time slots I have set up.
Future Negotiations
There will be approximately 18 leaders that have input into any negotiations. There will be a four member team that leads the negotiations and taking the information back to the other team members for their input.

negotiations work flow
Parcel Maps
We will be running new parcel maps in the next two weeks. Only those that have the commitment letters in will be mapped to send to any interested energy company.
Energy Companies
I am still in contact with Chesapeake Energy.

I am in contact with several other energy companies and there is interest from these other companies as well.

Another company on Monday called and said they were taking our maps to the Vice President of Land acquisition.

Today I sent our maps for review with another new energy company that contacted me. As you see, there is a lot of interest in our group.

We have always maintained contact with other companies and leave all our options open!

Mark Stransky (Luzerne County) and I (Columbia County) are working on contacting energy companies.
Important, when e-mailing the leaders please include your name and the county that your land is in. Honoring this one request would save us a lot of time in searching the database.

After last meeting we were swamped with e-mail requests, working 12-18 hours days to work though the requests and paper work.

Please make sure that you add the three e-mail addresses below to your address book.
  • (Columbia)
  • (Columbia)
  • (Luzerne)
Commitment Letters
I am now only e-mailing information out to those who have a commitment letter in with our group.

Passwords will not be given to anyone that does not have a commitment letter on file.

In the next few weeks I will be removing members from our group that do not have a commitment letter in with our group. This means, they will not move forward with any leasing opportunities.

We have only been asking for the commitments letters for 8 months now!
Web site
Public News Area on Web Site, Commodity Futures: Energy Prices and videos of Marcellus Shale and Gas Drilling, courtesy of YouTube have been added to the web site. I recommend the videos to anyone who wants more information on gas production, etc.
My Final Thoughts
Gas prices are elevated compared to a month ago.

There is a lot of interest by gas companies and as the price of gas increases to a projected rate of $7, we may see lease values continue to climb and companies having an even greater interest in our area.

The weak dollar monetary value is my only concern.
Ken Long (Ross Twp, Luzerne County leader)
Ken Long gave a presentation on the 192 page Chesapeake Investors Report that was just released recently. The Marcellus section of the report is interesting reading. Here is the link:

October 11, 2009
Important Update

There are many rumors that Chesapeake has withdrawn offers. Here is what I know to date. Chesapeake has withdrawn some offers in Wyoming County.

I have heard from people in Luzerne and Lycoming Counties, Chesapeake landsmen have said their offers are withdrawn. I believe this is impacting our entire area as well and affecting all groups. There is nothing that we could have done to prevent this from happening; companies do this from time to time as we have seen. This appears to be a last minute change in policy on their part. I would expect that they will be back again offering leases. I am still in communication with Chesapeake and plan to remain in communications. I am also in communications with other energy companies and leave all options open.

Remember every time we have waited, prices have gone up, from $25.00 per acre to $850.00 per acre, on up to last year to $3000.00 per acre. Recently just to our north, gas leasing prices have been in the range of $5500 to $5750 per acre, and we were looking at the potential of being in this price range. As the PA gas association said recently at a meeting I attended, this will extend out over 150 years, and is the largest economic boom since the eighteen hundreds.

Hold tight and let this play out, current gas prices are up, making it more profitable for the companies to be here.

We have a meeting Thursday at the Benton High School and I will update everyone with whatever information is available, please check the web site for the meeting times and other updates.

October 10, 2009
Update Meeting

The next Columbia County Land Owners Coalition meeting will be on Thursday, October 15, 2009

Meeting Times are as follows:
  1. 6:00 pm to 6:45 pm -- Fairmount
  2. 7:15 pm to 8:00 pm -- Ross Twp & Columbia above Rt 254 and 239
  3. 8:30 pm to 9:15 pm -- Columbia County below Rt 254 and 239

Please help us by following these times for where you live.

October 7, 2009
Our next CCLOC meeting tentatively will be next week, I am still awaiting approval from the school. I will confirm the date as soon as it is available.

October 6, 2009
We just want to make our members aware that other groups are now using the Benton High School for their meetings. This will require our members to pay close attention to our meeting dates.

We will send out e-mails with the dates of our meetings at the Benton High School and the meeting dates will be posted on our web site. We also have a volunteer committee who has graciously offered to call members who have no e-mail in Columbia County. This will require our members to pay close attention to our meeting dates.

September 30, 2009
  1. Meetings: The meetings will continue to be at the Benton High School. I was advised that we have to make our meetings open to the public after someone complained.
    1. New Change: The password will no longer be released at the meetings. I will be placing it here in this area a week or two before the next meeting. It will remain the same until the second meeting in October. The new password after the second meeting in October will be "bonus5". Please write it down.
    2. Next Meeting: We are now currently looking at holding three (3) meetings the night of our next meeting. Please bear with us as we try to schedule the next meeting, tentatively next week. More information will be coming out as soon as the meeting is approved.
  2. We are experiencing high volumes of e-mail (over a hundred a day), mainly verification of paper work and sign ups. All the leaders are handling the e-mail as soon as possible. Also please only submit one copy per parcel of the paper work! We are seeing duplications of paper work that had previously been sent in.
  3. Important!!!! When e-mailing any of the leaders you can help us make our job easier, please add your name, township, and county. We are wasting so much time answering e-mail that does not have a name or location, causing us to send e-mail that we could answer the first time around.
  4. A few days ago we met with a Vice President of Land for Chesapeake, and observed the signing of leases for the Wyoming group.
  5. I will be setting up our calling list for the 9 volunteers that volunteered to make phone calls for Columbia County. We appreciate the help and I thank our volunteers..
  6. We have been handling a tremendous amount of paper work, besides e-mails, over the last several days.
  7. Remember we are in the beginning phase of talks with the gas company; many questions cannot be answered until we proceed on with this journey. We will know a lot more over time and release as much information as possible.
  8. Update below is from Ken Long, Ross Twp Leader

    Let's look at a few facts.
    1. Chesapeake is very busy completing the 37,000 acres of Wyoming County leases.
    2. When they are ready, probably next week, we will meet and start working on a lease.
    3. We get one chance to do this right. We will not be rushed into a bad lease.
    4. Decisions made during negotiations are made with the input and oversight of our entire leadership group of 12 members representing the various areas of the coalition.
    5. Many landowners who did rush into signing leases and agreements the last year wish they had a second chance to make that decision over again.
    6. We are doing this to help our members not for personal financial gain.
    7. We will work to get a lease with the best protections for you and your property and the best financial returns that we can.
    8. We have invested our own resources and time to inform and educate you so that when the time comes you can make the best decision for yourself and your family.

September 29, 2009
September 24 Meeting Notes

September 25, 2009
Columbia County Land Owners Coalition in talks with Chesapeake Energy

Area land owners walking into the Benton High School last night for a gas leasing meeting with the Columbia County Land Owners Coalition passed a white car sitting in the parking lot with "Chesapeake Energy" emblazoned on the door panels. Group leader Bruce Anderson introduced the company to Coalition members. The Columbia County Land Owners Coalition is now in direct talks with Chesapeake Energy regarding leasing land in the county for exploration and drilling for natural gas. The membership was given a very informative presentation by the company representative. Chesapeake Energy is the nation's largest gas producer. The Columbia County Land Owners Coalition, with a combined total of about 80,000 acres in Columbia County, Luzerne County, Sullivan County, and Lycoming County, hopes to complete a deal with the company before the end of the year. Currently, Chesapeake Energy has made lease offers to another large landowners' group in Wyoming County in the range of $5,750.00 per acre with a 20% royalty.

September 21, 2009
The Columbia County Land Owners Coalition is having an important, members only up-date meeting on September 24, 2009 at 6:30 pm at the Benton high School. This will be a split meeting with no exceptions to the time slot for county you belong to;

For people that live outside the area or those that cannot make the meeting, notes will be placed on our web site a day or two after the meeting.

This will be a meeting for members only who have signed a commitment letter with the coalition. If you have not turned in a commitment letter you can download a copy at or fill one out at the meeting. Any questions about the commitment letter only, please e-mail me: . If you need to fill out a commitment letter at the high school please come a little early.

I will only be responding to questions at my address at as time permits.

I will also, in the future only be giving out the password or any information to members that have signed a commitment letter.

We are in early discussions with a large gas company for leasing with our group.

September 17, 2009
Columbia County Landowners Coalition

It appears gas leasing and prices are accelerating across northeastern Pennsylvania. There are many rumors out in the community. Once again landsmen are in our respective areas offering standard basic leases that may not be in the landowner's best interest. Staying with a group increases both the monetary amount and better lease terms than the standard basic lease. The lease is the most integral part of leasing that affords the landowner the protection of property and rights that a landowner will have to live with for many years to come.

Recently two groups have commenced negotiations with gas companies offering substantially higher lease values than previously seen across Pennsylvania.

  1. The Friendsville Group: the group's acreage is in Susquehanna and Bradford counties in Pennsylvania, as well as its land in Broome County. They have an offer of $5500.00/acre and 20% royalty.
  2. The Wyoming County landowners group has an offer of $5750.00/acre and 20% royalty.

This is the beginning of the higher lease values; there are reports of lease values in the $6000.00 to $7000.00 range.

Do not be blinded by the money amounts, no amount of money can buy the peace of mind if your land and health are not protected.

We continue to look for the best lease and money values we can obtain for our group.

Luzerne County update

Ross Township group has been in contact with a gas company and they have made a verbal offer only, with similar amounts as above.

Currently they are waiting for a copy of the lease from the gas company.

Also landsmen have been contacting individual landowners offering them a lease.

September 13, 2009
News Article Update

Bradford County Pa. The news of the day is "Fortuna Energy agrees to pay $165 million for gas rights; 600 members of coalition to receive $5,500 per acre, plus royalties". The royalty amount is 20%. The group's acreage is in Susquehanna and Bradford counties in Pennsylvania, as well as its land in Broome County, officials with the coalition said.

Susquehanna and Bradford counties in Pennsylvania have gas wells being drilled in their region already. I have said it is only a matter of time before lease values increase. Hopefully this deal will translate into higher lease values across our area. You do not want to be in a rush to sign a lease.

Their lease is a five year lease for $5,500.00 per acre, with a possible three year extension for an additional $3750.00 per acre for the three years. We have said you would prefer to sign a five year lease, if it goes beyond five years the landowner should be compensated as in this case.

Some companies offer 10 year leases and I often wonder why someone would sign such a lease and lose additional money.

August 26, 2009
Summary Meeting Notes (not all information from the meeting is contained here)

August 13, 2009
The next meeting for the Columbia County Land Owners Coalition has been approved for Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 7:00 pm. Please remember if you have not turned in a commitment letter you can do so at the door or pick up a copy to fill out. Columbia county landowners only, can verify that their commitment letters are on file at the door.

July 30, 2009
We are still requesting members to send their commitment letters into us as soon as possible. If you are serious about leasing, we need to have the commitment letters in to prove our acreage.

We continue to talk with several companies and I will talk about this at our next meeting. The next meeting date will be posted as soon as it is approved.

June 23, 2009
Summary Meeting Notes (not all information from the meeting is contained here)

June 10, 2009
The next meeting for the Columbia County Landowners Coalition is June 23, 2009 at the Benton High School at 7:00 pm. I want to remind members about commitment letters that we need signed and returned to Bruce Anderson, 140 Derrs Rd, Benton, PA 17814. We will have copies of the commitment letter at our next meeting but you can also print out a copy on this website and bring in the completed form to our next meeting or mail it to the address above. Only those who have sent in their commitment letters will have their parcels mapped for future presentation to interested companies.

May 25, 2009
We continue to talk with several companies as we move forward. Activity with gas companies seems to be picking up lately. We have had face to face talks with representatives with one company on our lease, and continue to work on the details. Remember, we do not have any deal unless we have the cash in hand. These are still preliminary talks.

April 30, 2009
Meeting Notes

April 18, 2009
The next meeting for the Columbia County Landowners Coalition is April 30, 2009 at the Benton High School at 7:00 pm. We continue talks with several companies as we move forward. I want to remind members about commitment letters that we need signed and returned to me. We will have copies of the commitment letter at our next meeting.

April 10, 2009
Many gas companies work on the principle of divide and conquer with groups; they try to make separate deals with landowners within a group.

If you allow them to do this, usually the lease offer is of lower quality then what a group will negotiate. They are in business to lease your land for the least amount of money with the least restrictions to drill on your land. This may cause you to lose critical protection for your property and you.

One of the latest items that should be in a lease is a vertical pugh clause or your land may be tied up longer than you realize. We will talk about this at our next meeting.

Being a member of a group gives the group greater negotiating power and better terms and protections for the landowner.

Our next meeting is being delayed due to the school availability. I will post the new date as soon as it is verified.

March 27, 2009
We have been in touch with numerous oil and gas companies. We continue preliminary talks with several gas companies as we remain very active. Six members of our leadership committee recently attended a NARO (National Association of Royalty Owners) sponsored meeting in Susquehanna County. The meeting illustrated what one needs to know when leasing is completed. Representative Sandra Day Major summarized all of the bills being proposed regarding natural gas production in the state of PA. I will be announcing our next meeting date soon.

March 12, 2009
Just some clarification rules to go with the commitment letter;
  1. The leadership will announce when we are in negotiations when we have a letter of intent from a company.
  2. The maximum length of time for negotiations is 90 days, after which if a parcel owner decided to withdraw, they could by written request, withdraw their letter of commitment within a 15 day window. Then if needed, we would recommence negotiations on a 30 day rotation.

March 9, 2009
Our commitment letter is now available on the left-hand side menu bar. The purpose of the commitment letter is to meet the requirement of the companies and to allow us to track if a parcel owner leaves the coalition.

We are requesting members of the Columbia County Landowners Coalition to fill out this commitment letter and mail to Bruce Anderson, 140 Derrs Rd, Benton, PA, 17814, or you may bring or fill one out at our next meeting.

March 4, 2009
We have seen some activity begin to reoccur in PA in the last several weeks. We have noticed the return of some leasing landsmen to the Columbia County area. We have been contacted by an Oil & Gas company, with some interest, and we have started very early preliminary talks with them. I will try to keep everyone informed should anything further develop.

Feb 09, 2009
Marcellus Shale Gas Development Regulatory Issues

The Lycoming College Clean Water Institute and the Susquehanna Chapter of Trout Unlimited are partnering to host two public meetings regarding the local environmental and economic impact of the Marcellus Shale gas development regulatory issues. The meetings, scheduled for Feb. 11 and March 11, will be held in the College's Heim Science Building G-11 from 7-9 p.m. The events are free and open to the public.

According to Dr. Mel Zimmerman, director of Lycoming's Clean Water Institute and a professor of biology, the discovery of vast natural gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale formation, which underlies the Allegheny plateau centered in the northern portion of Lycoming County as well as Clinton, Sullivan, Tioga and Bradford counties, has resulted in an influx of energy companies moving into tap what is reported to be the largest natural gas field in North America.

"There are significant issues involving the withdrawal of water for and disposal of wastewater from fracking the shale, as well as the impacts of truck traffic hauling the water and wastewater, and building well pads, lagoons, ponds and pipelines on a massive scale," said Zimmerman.

Zimmerman says the Feb. 11 meeting will feature a panel of speakers to describe and answer questions about the ramifications of this large scale extraction of natural gas and the current regulatory programs which are being put into place to control the impact on the environment, local waterways and cold water fisheries.

Included in the program will be representatives from National and State Council Trout Unlimited, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Penn State Cooperative Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry.

On March 11, the meeting will include a discussion with representatives from the natural gas industry to learn about how they are going to addresses the challenges of developing the gas extraction in an environmentally responsible manner.

Feb 06, 2009
Meeting Notes from 2-5-09

Jan 26, 2009

Dec 05, 2008

Nov 12, 2008

Oct 29, 2008

Oct 12, 2008

Oct 10, 2008

Oct 08, 2008

Oct 03, 2008

Sep 30, 2008

Sep 19, 2008

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Sep 03, 2008

Aug 31, 2008

Aug 30, 2008

Aug 26, 2008

Aug 22, 2008

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Aug 01, 2008

Jul 30, 2008

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Jul 26, 2008