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Landowners approached by oil and gas companies will soon need to decide whether or not to allow drilling on their property.
Educational programs are providing landowners with the facts they need to make an informed decision. Ohio State Extention Educator for Agriculture and Natural Resources Chris Penrose of Morgan County said the first step should always be to hire an attorney.
"A lot of times people get upset down the road about the lease, and it ends up being one of two things - either the lease isn't being followed or the people who signed the lease didn't understand it properly," said Penrose.
Penrose said the signing bonus is the only guaranteed money that landowners will receive. He said a study in Pennsylvania revealed that the leases can expire before the companies start drilling.
"A very small percentage of people have received any type of lease payments, and that tells me that there's a good shot that the most money you make is just that signing bonus," said Penrose.
Signing bonuses can pay thousands of dollars per acre. Those considering a lease agreement also have the option to join a landowner association.