The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 7, 2013

CSA makes counteroffer on land lease for drilling

David Hurst

— Cambria Somerset Authority is submitting a counteroffer to a driller that wants to extract natural gas from authority land in Jackson Township.

The board voted Thursday to offer a land broker who is collecting property for Chevron a $500-per-acre lease for 31 acres bordering Blackburn Road near Vinco.

If the offer is accepted, it would mean $15,500 for the five-year lease, plus 14.5 percent in gas royalties if drilling would occur. Royalty payments have the potential to far exceed up-front payments, CSA officials have said.

The authority’s counteroffer was in response to an offer of $300 per acre plus more than

12 percent royalties made in January by Terry Sochacki, a land broker hired by Chevron.

The authority gave Chevron permission last month to have an independent firm study water resources in the area to establish a pre-drilling baseline before drilling operations would occur.

Jackson Township officials said in January that Chevron has shown preliminary interest in putting several gas well pads in the area.

Sochacki was not available for comment Thursday.

The authority also voted to have its property committee begin formal negotiations with the land broker.

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