Supervisors unhappy with potential profit share from compulsory integration

PRESTON – An interpretation of law rendered by Chenango County Attorney Richard Breslin that would limit taxpayers’ ability to profit from a natural gas well to be drilled adjacent to Preston Manor is not sitting well with members of the Chenango County Natural Gas Committee.

The opportunity, which needs to be decided by Jan. 13, represents a second time that county-owned land in the Town of Preston would be integrated into a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation spacing unit: The first, back in June of 2008, involved a 4.5 acre strip of land along county Route 10.

Thanks to a committee that is monitoring the natural gas industry locally, at least this newest compulsory integration offer is known. The first was signed by the county’s attorney and Chairman Richard Decker without the board’s knowledge. (Both involve wells drilled by contractors for Norse Energy, Inc.)

When compulsorily integrated into spacing units, landowners have three options in which to participate in the profits from production, all offering differing levels of reward and risk. It could mean the difference between a 12.5 percent share or 18 percent share of the profits, for example, or as much as 50 percent greater royalties over a number of years.

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