The shale gas boom continues to draw interest from outside the Ohio Valley.
Nobel Marcellus, based in Addison, Texas according to the company web site, sponsored a "Town Hall" style meeting for mineral rights owners at The Highlands. On the agenda -- lease extensions and pipeline rights-of-way. A company officer says the first thing they tell owners, is to find a good oil and gas attorney. Interest from drilling companies has increased, due to the type of gas extracted, as well as current market conditions.
Martin Fleming, Senior Vice President of Noble Royalties, said, "Even though natural gas has been trading at pretty low rates -- in fact, historic low rates -- the oil component, or the "wet" component of what we're seeing in this area, has caused it to be a little more valuable than it would be otherwise." Fleming continues, "And so, that's given great opportunities. That's why you're seeing a lot of the drilling activity. Some great companies up here."
Fleming also says many people have an interest in what they can do with their oil and gas leases as they exist now. Nobel Royalties does not drill or operate wells. Instead, the firm typically offers a lump-sum payment to a mineral rights owner in exchange for the future royalties. According to the company's web site, the firm has acquired interests in over 145,000 distinct producing oil and gas wells on more than 9 million acres of land.
Noble Marcellus recently opened an office in Washington, Pennsylvania.