Bob Downing

Karl Henkel of the Youngstown Vindicator reported that more than 1,000 Trumbull County landowners voted in favor of what is Ohio's largest single-county gas-oil lease.


The agreement covering 84,000 acres is with BP, the Lond0n-based energy giant.


The agreement was approved by the Associated Landowners of the Ohio Valley, a landowner-advocacy group that negotiated the pact.


The agreement was confirmed today by BP and marks its first involvement in Ohio.


Financial terms were not disclosed by the group's leaders because the agreement was approved late Monday but has not yet been signed. There is also a confidentiality agreement, they said.


The lease signing is slated for April.


People attending the meeting told Henkel that the agreement calls for lease signing bonuses of $3,900 per acre plus a 17.5 percent royalty on gas-oil produced. That could produce an estimated $331 million in lease bonuses alone.


Each acre owned  entitled a landowner to one vote at Monday's meeting.


The meeting was by invitation only.


The negotiations took about six months.


The group, headed by Bob Rea, has negotiated drilling  leases on about 250,000 acres in Ohio.


Several other landowner groups have pooled their land and negotiated pacts with energy companies in Ohio's Utica shale.