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Report projects PA landowners up for billions in natural gas drilling royalties

Written by Megan Lello and The Associated Press | Jan 27, 2013 11:38 AM

(Pittsburgh) -- Pennsylvania's private landowners could reap more than $1 billion in royalties each year from the boom in natural gas drilling, transforming some lives even as the windfall provides only a modest boost to the broader economy.

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An analysis by The Associated Press shows royalty payments could top $1.2 billion for 2012 in the commonwealth.

Jerry Simmons, the director of the Oklahoma-based National Association of Royalty Owners, says membership is growing fast in Pennsylvania.

The group says nationwide gas royalties totaled about $22 billion in 2010. Texas paid out the most, about $6.7 billion, followed by Wyoming at $2 billion, and Alaska at $1.9 billion.

Robert Inman, a professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania, says the royalty windfalls are good for individuals, but not a big factor in the overall economy.

For more on natural gas drilling in the commonwealth, visit StateImpact Pennsylvania.

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