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Published: Monday, 9/26/2011 - Updated: 4 years ago

As gas companies snap up drilling leases in Ohio, county office bombarded by representatives


COLUMBUS, Ohio — As companies snap up drilling rights leases on land above Ohio's oil- and gas-rich shale formations, a typically-quiet eastern-Ohio county recorder's office is being bombarded by visitors.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Harrison County recorder's office is being flooded every day with dozens of company representatives who are racing to secure drilling rights to the oil and gas in Ohio's Utica and Marcellus shale.

Tracy Boyer, county recorder since 1993, says even in the coal days of the 1950s and '60s the office wasn't as busy as it is now.

The recorder's office keeps track of deeds and leases dating back to 1813. Decades-old leases can apply today, even if current property owners didn't sign them, so companies are researching whether old leases could invalidate new ones.

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