Throughout much of the state, issues surrounding Marcellus Shale have become almost commonplace. In our area, however, there has been much less activity - but that doesn't mean people don't have an interest.
This week, the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce hosted an informational meeting to help land owners learn what to expect when they are approached by oil and gas companies seeking to drill on their property. It was originally planned as a small gathering at the Medallion in Philippi, but the reservation list soon outgrew accommodations and the event was moved to the Barbour County Courthouse.
While the presentation included a good topical overview, there was a major emphasis on contracts and property owners should heed the advice given.
"Never sign a document that you don't fully understand," attorney John Ashcom told the group.
"If somebody's pressing you to sign something, you don't have to," attorney Hunter Mullens added.
These are good things to keep in mind when making any commitment, and when it comes to issues involving property it may be even more important.
We commend the Barbour County Chamber of Commerce for hosting the forum. As oil and gas drilling becomes more prominent in our area, hopefully more meetings such as these will be scheduled.