Landowners are learning more about their options when it comes to shale drilling.
On Friday a panel of experts took questions from a packed audience at the John McIntire Library Auditorium in Zanesville. Executive Director of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program Rhonda Reda said the purpose of the meeting was to explain the process of setting up a lease agreement.
"What we tell any landowner is before you lease your property, you should always seek out a qualified legal counsel that's very familiar with mineral rights, because at the end of the day, this becomes a partnership between the landowner and that oil and gas operator or producer," said Reda. "This is going to be a long-term arrangement, so both parties have to feel comfortable with each other."
Reda said landowners are often blinded by signing bonuses, but it's critical to understand the fine print. Groups are being organized for neighbors to share ideas about the agreements.
"Going to landowner meetings is important, because they can hear about different lease provisions and it also gives them a good opportunity to learn about the entire process of having an oil and gas well," said Reda. "That's why I would encourage people to attend those, but again, it's still going to be an individual lease agreement."
Experts also provided information regarding economic development and workforce training.