As expected, Washington County Commissioners Thursday unanimously approved a lease with Range Resources to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale beneath 135 acres for which the county owns the mineral rights at the Washington County Airport, which lies in both North and South Franklin townships.
The county is part of a coalition of land owners in the airport vicinity known as the 10,000-acre Penn Gas Lands. Some of the owners are leasing with Range Resources and others are entering into leases with EQT, so the motion the commissioners unanimously approved included the names of both energy companies.
Matt Pitzarella, Range spokesman, said the acreage for which the county owns mineral rights at the airport is within Range’s domain. The airport lease excludes surface rights so that flight paths will remain unobstructed.
The lease calls for land owners to receive $6,400 per acre, and when production begins, a royalty of 18.25 percent.