It’s their land and it comes with a big decision about drilling. Many West Virginia and Ohio residents are exploring options about drilling as interst in Marcellus and Utica shale continues to grow.
"The large bonus payments that the landowner could get. The potential of some of those royalties and how it can change our communities," says Chris Penrose, an Extension Educator with Ohio State University. "We see it in Morgan County, and right here in Washington County, with some of the businesses expanding. So, those are some of the advantages."
But, where there are advantages, there are most likely a few drawbacks as well.
"Some of the disadvantages could be that it will change the face of our communities. Some of the communities, the expansion has been so great, that the infrastructure is busting at the seams," Penrose continues. "And also, it can create some issues between friends and neighbors."
Both the positives and the negatives were center stage at the Wednesday night meeting at Washington State Community College, where the take home message was to educate yourself before you sign on the dotted line.
"You have to continually educate yourself and you're not going to know everything," says Clif Little, from Ohio State University. "This is a process that is going to take some time. The negotiation is going to take a very long time. So, be patient and don't jump not anything."
Those patience could pay off in the future.