The Village of Barnesville's mineral rights lease with Gulfport Energy Corp. for the approximately 700-acre Slope Creek area has been automatically renewed for another five-year period for $4,087, 827.39.
On Tuesday, July 25 Barnesville Mayor Dale Bunting said the village received the check and the money will go into the village's general fund,. He said council will approve its use for needed projects and investment in the future.
The village's original lease was signed in September of 2012 with Antero Resources for just under $6 million. That lease was for 1,047 acres of village-owned property outside of village limits in Somerset and Warren Townships, including the Slope Creek area. Antero later sold their lease for the Slope Creek area to Gulfport, while retaining the original and separate water sale agreement.
On March 5, 2015 Gulfport filed a suit against the Village of Barnesville in U.S. District Court, Southern of Court, Eastern Division, "seeking a declaration of Gulfport's rights to withdraw water from Slope Creek Reservoir for its fracking operations.
That suit was later dropped and the village continues to sell water from Slope Creek Reservoir to both Antero and Gulfport, having recently ceased sales to Gulfport due to water levels.