Bethany College and Oklahoma-based Chesapeake Energy Corporation have agreed to terms of a contract that will result in drilling for natural gas on non-campus lands owned by the College.
In accordance with the contract, terms of the agreement were not disclosed by either party.
Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College, said the agreement is the result of three years of feasibility study, research and negotiation by a team of Bethany College and Chesapeake representatives. The terms were recently authorized by Bethany’s Board of Trustees, which enabled the College to execute the agreement with Chesapeake Energy.
"During the past three years, we have thoroughly explored all aspects of Marcellus Shale drilling, as well as the capabilities and commitments we can expect from Chesapeake Energy Corporation," said Dr. Miller. "Like many of our West Virginia neighbors in Brooke, Ohio and Marshall Counties, we concluded that we should take advantage of this opportunity, which could contribute significantly to the College’s long-term growth and development. In so doing, we recognize and embrace our responsibility as a prominent college and large land owner to be good stewards of our environment and ensure safety of our community. We have and will continue to work closely with Chesapeake Energy to protect the natural surroundings and the quality of life in the region.”
Dr. Miller added, "The long-term financial impact could be quite significant for Bethany College. It will enable us to build upon the tremendous success we have achieved over the last three years, helping us to execute our strategic plan going forward and advance our position as a nationally ranked, residential liberal arts college.”
Drilling will occur on college-owned lands along Route 88 North outside the town limits of Bethany. The College and Chesapeake Energy Corporation have agreed to a location and project specifications that will limit the impact on the community. The site pad is located in a large, unoccupied field surrounded by forest and rolling hills, which will provide a natural buffer. All precautions have been taken to minimize any impact to neighboring property holders and the Bethany community.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the state’s oldest private college.
Formed in 1989, Chesapeake Energy Corporation the second-largest producer of natural gas, a Top 15 producer of oil and natural gas liquids and the most active driller of new wells in the U.S. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company's operations are focused on discovering and developing unconventional natural gas and oil fields onshore in the U.S. Chesapeake owns leading positions in the Barnett, Haynesville, Bossier, Marcellus and Pearsall natural gas shale plays and in the Granite Wash, Cleveland, Tonkawa, Mississippian, Bone Spring, Avalon, Wolfcamp, Wolfberry, Eagle Ford, Niobrara, Three Forks/Bakken and Utica unconventional liquids plays. The company has also vertically integrated its operations and owns substantial midstream, compression, drilling and oilfield service assets.