RUSK — Some new neighbors have come to Rusk, and they’re based in the building next door to Rusk City Hall.

Chesapeake Exploration Limited Partnership has purchased the building as a base for their gas and oil lease purchasing operation, and Trae Ellerbe said the company is happy to be in Rusk.

“The people are wonderful,” he said. “We’re very well received. They know who we are, and we’ve got people coming in our office on a daily basis giving us business.”

Ellerbe said 30 employees work out of the building on Main Street — three of them Rusk residents.

“We go out and by oil and gas leases and do all the necessary courthouse work to determine the gas rights,” he said.

He said Chesapeake, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the number one gas producer in the nation, has been in operation in Rusk for seven to eight months, and they will not leave anytime soon.

“Chesapeake expressed to me they feel like we could be here up to 10 years,” Ellerbe said.

He said the company is working on a major gas plain between Alto and Wells and one east of Rusk.

“The market price of gas and oil right now are at a level that it’s worth exploration out in the area,” he said. “There’s been some smaller (gas rights purchasing) companies in the past, but there was never a well drilled in our area.”

Chesapeake does not intend to stay in town, though, without becoming a good neighbor and a part of the community.

He said the company plans to give a donation to the Rusk Baseball Association, which lost its annual funding of $5,000 from the city, and to the Alto Baseball Association in the upcoming weeks.

“We want to start donating to the area out there,” Ellerbe said. “Chesapeake is going to do what it can to help the Rusk Baseball Association, and Alto.”

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