Auction Bids On Northern Pa. Marcellus Shale Gas Land Hit $16,700

Court-ordered auction of 435 acres with Marcellus shale gas and mineral rights in two counties drew bidders from eight states and netted $2,448,600.

Published on: Nov 15, 2013

A Pennsylvania court-ordered auction of 435 acres of land in Susquehanna and Bradford counties drew 38 live and online bidders from Alabama, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Widely promoted as having 222 acres of prime Marcellus shale natural gas plus all mineral rights, the October 30 auction raised in $2,448,600.

One land parcel was for 224 acres. The sale offered a total of six parcels in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale gas play, some of which fetched as much as $16,700 an acre, according to Auctioneer Randy Jelliff. He believed that to be a record for both counties.

The 435 acres was comprised of seven separate tracts, six of which were sold pursuant to court order. All were sold with gas and mineral rights. Some was purchased in hopes of turning around and leasing it for Marcellus drilling. Some of the land may have been purchased by drilling companies. Those details were not available.

Auction Bids On Northern Pa. Marcellus Shale Gas Land Hit $16,700
Auction Bids On Northern Pa. Marcellus Shale Gas Land Hit $16,700

All acreage was conveyed with 100% (as owned) oil, gas and mineral rights. Certain of the available acreage was already generating royalty income while other acreage was expected to soon do so. Select parcels also included timber rights, woods, cabins, streams, a horse barn, fenced pastureland and more.

Old days no more

Before shale gas fracking, most land owners above the Marcellus shale formation bought land to farm or hunt on, or to just have some dirt to play with. If you paid $1,000 per acre, that was a high price.

No more, contends Mark Bondiett, real estate broker specializing in Marcellus shale assets for Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, at Pittsburgh, Pa. Buying and selling land and/or mineral rights has become much more complicated. The terms of a mineral lease or the potential terms of any future mineral lease directly affects the value of the land.

That's what drove up the bids in the Oct. 30 auction.

Courtesy of Marcellus Drilling News