LETTER: Outdated natural gas production leases ignore current realities

Editor:

As a property owner in Columbiana County, I do not want to break up a natural gas storage field maintained by Columbia Gas, I just want my mineral rights.

Columbia Gas and NiSource are hiding behind the storage field, claiming that it gives them the right to the minerals under our properties. But they haven’t paid most landowners rent and have not drilled for years.

A lease is just what it says, a lease, not ownership. Columbia Gas and NiSource had their chance to drill and they missed. We don’t have a problem with the storage field, but we do have a problem with Columbia Gas and NiSource claiming they own our minerals.

Half of the property owners in the Brinker Storage Field have strata leases, and these people are free to lease. Half of the property owners have old production leases and cannot lease like their neighbors who have strata leases.

Columbia Gas and NiSource don’t seem to have a problem with the drilling companies drilling down through the storage field where the property owners have a strata lease. They do have a problem if the landowner has an old production lease. If Columbia Gas and NiSource were so concerned about drilling for oil and gas, why did they replace half of the acreage on the storage fields with strata leases?

Now more than ever, the Brinker landowners need support from neighbors and friends. Columbia Gas and NiSource are trying to take what is ours.

We purchased our properties, we pay taxes on our properties, and we raise our families on our properties. The properties and minerals belong to us, not Columbia Gas and NiSource.

Karen Hucko
Lisbon, Ohio

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