HARRISBURG - The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has finalized a natural gas lease agreement.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has paid the commonwealth $120 million to access 32,896 acres that are surrounded by tracts of land for which drilling companies already hold lease agreements.
Because most of the newly leased tracts can be accessed by gas operations on the adjacent tracts, the amount of new state forest surface area that must be disturbed should be minimized.
The newly leased acres cover 11 tracts in the Moshannon, Sproul and Tiadaghton state forests where Centre, Clinton and Lycoming counties meet.
For 27,185 acres on ten tracts, Anadarko agreed to pay $4,000 per acre, consistent with the average price paid during DCNR's January 2010 competitive lease sale.
For the remaining 5,711 acres on one tract, the commonwealth will receive $2,000 per acre because the geology underneath is not as promising for gas production.
The lease of the 11 tracts totals about $120 million. DCNR's January 2010 lease sale generated $128 million - $60 million of that went toward this year's General Fund budget and the additional $68 million will be applied to a target of $180 million to help balance the state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2010.
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