Attorneys Jonathan Samel, Merle Ochrach and Mark Himsworth presented on the topic of Marcellus Shale at the February 27, 2012 meeting of the Montgomery County Estate Planning Council of PA. The meeting was held at the William Penn Inn.

Two factors are driving the rush for gas exploration in Bradford, Susquehanna, Tioga, Lycoming, Sullivan, Lackawanna and Wyoming Counties. First, new technologies have recently been developed to extract gas from deep bedrock. Second, there is a huge and understandable national desire to find alternative energies domestically. These factors have combined to make Pennsylvania one of the leading states in the naiton for natural gas exploration.

This course addressed negotiating and reviewing leasing/development agreements with the gas companies and evaluating existing leases to determine if they have been violated. Also addressed, was how to insure that gas companies have complied with environmental permits, and if incidents occur, how to handle claims on behalf of property owners. This course also explored favorable tax and estate planning options involving the leases and how to work with and advise municipalities with respect to the appropriate scope and manner of regulation and oversight they may impose on gas development activity in their area.

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