Shale boom spawns lawsuits

MORGANTOWN (AP) Morrell Bolyard wasn’t suspicious when smooth-talking land men started knocking on doors in Preston County a few years back, offering as little as $5 an acre for oil and gas rights.

Bolyard, 72, said he had seen the same thing happen in the 1960s, when the going rate was $1. But the Tunnelton resident figured he could do better, so held out for $100, eventually signing a lease for 413 acres.

Like many of his neighbors, Bolyard had no clue that even in 2007, land companies were paying as much as $5,000 per acre to cash in on the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom that they, geologists and drillers all knew was looming.

 

 

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