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A Texas-based energy company denies that it was in default on a lease with the Carroll County commissioners on property at Atwood Lake Lodge.



Sierra Buckeye LLC Vice President Robert S. Fabris said that his company is not in default on the agreement.



He  said Sierra Buckeye released the lease with the county because the language in the lease provided that if Sierra Buckeye did not commence an optional well, or make an optional payment of $1,500, the lease would terminate on June 30, 2013.



On Aug. 19, commissioners announced that Sierra Buckeye was in default on the lease signed in 2012.



Sierra Buckeye had agreed to lease exploration rights for $2.25 million for  481 acres of the Atwood Lake property. The county received $4,500 per acre last year.



But the contract also called for Sierra Buckeye to pay $1,500 per acre if drilling was not started within six months.



Here is the company's statement by Fabris:



Contrary to information incorrectly shared by the Carroll County Board of Commissioners on Monday, August 19, Sierra Buckeye elected to release a “Paid-Up Oil and Gas Lease” originally dated July 17, 2012 for the Atwood Lodge property between it and the Carroll County Board of Commissioners.



 Sierra was able to release the lease because it provided that if Sierra did not commence an optional well or make an optional payment of $1,500 per net acre, then the lease would terminate on June 30, 2013.



 It should also be noted that Sierra requested an extension of the lease until November 1, 2013 as it sought to further assess the economic viability of the Utica oil window. However, despite repeated requests the Carroll County Board of Commissioners failed to notify Sierra of its decision to not extend the lease. Instead, Sierra learned of the decision by reading news articles which stated that the Carroll County Board of Commissioners erroneously informed the public that Sierra was in “default” during a meeting on August 19.



 This is certainly not the case though, because as stated above the drilling of the Well and the remitting of the payment were optional actions in the lease.



 To ensure there is no further confusion, Sierra has executed a release instrument today which is being sent to the Carroll County Board of Commissioners by overnight mail for receipt tomorrow (Friday, August 23, 2013) so that it can be recorded in the records of Carroll County.



 Sierra Buckeye is a privately-held, Houston-based independent oil & gas producer focused on the development of unconventional oil and gas reserves whose employees and partners are committed to respecting business associates, land owners, clients and the environment. The company has approximately 60,000 acres under lease in Northeastern Ohio and an office in Canton.