Volume LIXJanuary 2012Number 1

The Marcellus Shale Connection
Learn more before you take the next step!

In the past several years, Pennsylvania has become a flash point for natural gas drilling using a new technology called fracking. Although controversial due to the detrimental effects it can impose on the local environment, this form of drilling has resulted in the many mineral rights owners in the Marcellus Shale region being approached by oil and gas owners to lease their mineral rights for the purpose of drilling for natural gas.

Because many members of the fraternity and their families throughout Pennsylvania are property owners of mineral rights within the Marcellus Shale region, the Masonic Villages and the Masonic Charities of the R. W. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania have launched a new program to educate members, when requested, on the steps to follow in negotiating with a company for the leasing of mineral rights and other pertinent agreements.

The Masonic Villages is an owner of numerous oil and gas interests in Oklahoma and Texas derived from gifts it has received over the past 40 years. As a result, the Masonic Villages has retained oil and gas attorneys in Fort Worth, Texas, and landmen working in Texas and Oklahoma to advise us on lease options and how to maximize property protections, royalty payments and bonus money. Where leases have already been entered into, the Masonic Villages has experience in renegotiating such leases at the end of their terms.

The Office of Gift Planning also has experience in working with individuals who are considering making gifts of mineral interests to the Masonic Charities. More importantly, we have experience in establishing a charitable trust with such mineral interests which could provide a source of income for mineral rights owners and their families for years to come. A charitable trust provides a substantial tax advantage in return for the Masonic Charities receiving the mineral interests at some future time.

In the spring of 2012, the Office of Gift Planning staff and its advisors will be conducting several workshops in the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania on what critical steps to take if you are approached by a landman, or similar individual, about leasing your mineral rights. If you are interested in attending one of these workshops, please call us at (800) 599-6454. We will endeavor to schedule workshops in areas where we have the most interest.

If you are interested in leasing your mineral rights or have already leased your mineral rights, we urge you to contact the staff at the Office of Gift Planning to learn more about options available to you. Call (800) 599-6454 and ask to speak to the staff person in charge of handling our Mineral Rights Leases.

Please be aware that the educational information provided to you by the Masonic Villages and the Masonic Charities are complimentary, but are not intended to be a substitute for retention of a professional advisor to assist you in the mineral rights leasing process.

The Masonic Villages is also a member of the National Association of Royalty Owners and its local chapters in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Texas.

Call the Office of Gift Planning at
(800) 599-6454 for information or to
request to attend an upcoming workshop.

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