Mysterious Ohio memo meant to harm industry or the real deal?

A mysterious memo that was left in the driveway of a Greene County, Ohio, home at the beginning of April, appeared to coach prospectors of oil and gas leases in the less-than-finer aspects of acquiring a lease using unscrupulous practices and deceptive key talking points. The rhetoric and wording used in the memo was disturbing enough to warrant an investigation by the state’s Attorney General Mike DeWine, resulting in no solid conclusions.

Northeast Ohio is no stranger to the Marcellus Shale boom and company representatives from large energy companies have descended on the area, going door-to-door in an attempt to lock up leases for natural gas drilling. The question the memo’s lack of ownership raises is, is the memo real or a plant to stir up more controversy in an already-heated debate?

Read the full details on what the memo included here.

No link could be found to the 20-year veteran with West Bay Exploration Co., who had been primarily working in the area last spring trying to seal up leases in the neighborhood the memo was found. West Bay Exploration Co, based out of Grand Rapids, Mich., was the only drilling company in the county seeking leases at the time.

Some have suggested theories such as that it was planted by either an environmentalist with a larger agenda to rid the area of new drilling, or that a rival drilling company planted it to plant seeds of distrust in the small community.

For those outside of the industry, it’s no surprise that many suspect it’s a real document that landmen use when talking with landowners on what topics to avoid discussing in light of the industry’s poor public relations and spotlight on hydraulic fracturing.

For those inside the industry, what is it really?

Do you suspect the memo is a plant by someone? A poor joke? The real deal?

Is the memo a less than stellar side of the industry made apparent by the vast amount of potential available in the Marcellus Shale or a twisted joke meant to screw the industry over yet again?



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