Landowner associations forming in Ohio to achieve more favorable oil and gas lease terms

A new, grassroots trend resulting from the Marcellus and Utica shale boom in eastern Ohio involves the formation of landowner groups, a recent newspaper article explained.  The idea is simple: aggregate a large number of acres, make those acres available for oil and leasing, and receive "higher prices on lease bonuses, higher royalties on natural gas and oil production and better environmental protections."  For example, Bob Rea, a landowner in Columbiana County, started the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley in late 2010 with 18 families.  The group has now grown to more than 3,000 landowners in nine (9) counties, and a pool of 100,000 acres was leased to Chesapeake Energy in February 2011.  That initial group of ALOV landowners received a bonus payment of $2,250/acre and royalties of 17.5%.   Other landowner groups are popping up all over Ohio, including the recently formed Southeastern Ohio Landowners Association, Inc. in Washington, Guernsey, Monroe, Noble, and Morgan Counties.