We seem to have struck out again, first with Vine and now with Indigo. We signed all the paperwork in May and have been getting one excuse after another about why the check is (NOT) in the mail--but with assurances that it's coming. Has anyone else had this experience? I've lost faith in Indigo as well as Ruffin out of Lafayette.

We are in 16 11n 15w (McCoy well, Logansport) and 27 12n and 15w (Collins well, Grand Cane).

It's been so long since I've looked for documents in Sonris, can someone point me to where I'd find if they've sought a permit, or whatever? I do know that they restarted the McCoy well, after Chesapeake stopped production.

(They promised this week and it's Friday, but my mail hasn't come yet. My well of hope is no longer springing eternal.)

Thanks.

Gayle

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Gayle, there are now two Indigo operating companies, Indigo Minerals (the original) and Indigo Haynesville (Indigo and a couple of capital partners that bought acreage from Chesapeake).  They may share a name but are two separate operating entities.   Both of your wells were acquired by Indigo Haynesville with the official change of operator date, 1/14/17.  Although it takes some time to transfer pay decks you should have received a royalty statement by now unless you have a very small interest in each well.  Here is the contact information for Indigo Haynesville from the state database.

60052

INDIGO HAYNESVILLE LLC

Address Information

Oper Type

Addr1

Addr2

Add Type

City, State Zip

ATTN Name

Contact Name

Phone Num

Phone Type

01

600 TRAVIS STREET

SUITE 5500

01

HOUSTON, TX 77002-

BILL PRITCHARD

(713)237-5000

OFFICE

01

400 TEXAS STREET

SUITE 600

03

SHREVEPORT, LA 71101-

ADONYA DRYDEN

(318)429-2277

OFFICE

01

600 TRAVIS STREET

SUITE 5500

05

HOUSTON, TX 77002-

RAINIE ROMERO

(713)237-5000

OFFICE

01

400 TEXAS STREET

SUITE 600

06

SHREVEPORT, LA 71101-

ADONYA DRYDEN

(318)429-2277

OFFICE

01

600 TRAVIS STREET

SUITE 5500

11

HOUSTON, TX 77002-

BILL PRITCHARD

(713)237-5000

OFFICE

Skip, yes, we've received the paperwork for the sale from Chesapeake to Indigo and have even received checks noting the change to Indigo. But in April and May we negotiated a completely new lease with Indigo Haynesville, LLC. That's the one that's gotten bogged down. 

Thanks for that number above, though. I called it, and here's what I've learned and done.

The information above says Indigo Haynesville LLC, but the Houston number and address are both for Indigo Mineral. I asked the operator if they were the same and was told that they are the same company.

The operator first gave me the "senior revenue manager's name (her message said "Indigo Minerals"), but it was clear that she deal with checks, and I'm asking about a new lease and bonus.

I called the operator back and re-explained, and she sent me to the company's landman/landoffice, where I left a message: Friday afternoon and all that. (And the check wasn't in the mail today, either.) I'll try again Monday. 

Elizabeth Glassell

713-237-5036.

I don't think Ruffin in Lafayette knows any more than we do, but for some reason, they're reluctant to say so.

Is anyone else having this experience?

Thanks.

Although Indigo Minerals is the operating entity, the two companies are separated by differing ownership interests so I suspect the accounting is independent, one from the other, even if done by the same staff.  I further suspect that Indigo Haynesville is now grappling with some of the land issues they inherited from Chesapeake.  If I was Indigo Haynesville I would not pay a penny off the Chesapeake pay decks until I had done a thorough review and surveyed the units and tracts that Chesapeake skipped over.

Skip,

I think there may be a bigger problem. Chesapeake lost their lease (McCoy well) with us because of nonproduction but never sent us a letter stating that. That confirmation became an issue last summer and fall when Prestige/Vine came into the picture. They wouldn't complete their new lease with us without a letter from Chesapeake confirming this fact. There was lots of discussion back and forth with them, Chesapeake, our lawyer, and me. Prestige wanted me to get the letter, whereas I felt it was their job to get it, but I did my best. I was treated rudely by two different customer service reps at Chesapeake, who basically lied to me, saying that Chesapeake still held the lease. They didn't.

Eventually, the landman at Prestige confirmed to me (I have the email) that Chesapeake had released the mineral rights. So we were free to complete our contract with Vine. Within a week, however, Vine dropped us, no explanation. And probably not coincidentally, I've never received the official release letter, though I'm looking for it now.

As it turns out, 3 days after Vine dropped us, Chesapeake sold "certain [our] assets in Desoto Parish" to Indigo. I have that in writing in a March 15, 2017, letter from Indigo that stated that they had acquired the Chesapeake assets on October 1, 2016. At the time, I didn't question that acquisition or the fact that the McCoy well was again producing. I was just glad to see that it was.

Also at that time, Indigo started negotiating a new lease with us. 

Here's the problem.

If Chesapeake lost our lease, then it wasn't theirs to sell to Indigo, correct?

And if Indigo has restarted production in the McCoy well, why would they need a new lease with us? 

I now suspect that Ruffin Energy in Lafayette has dropped us on instructions from Indigo, and that the "check is in the mail" message we've been getting for 6 weeks is bogus. I realize that Indigo is the only game in town for us, but their conduct doesn't bode well for future business. At this point, I haven't dealt with a gas company yet that has been honest.

Where would I look for paperwork about the release of the minerals? I am going to call the clerk of court's office in Mansfield, but would these documents be filed in Sonris?

Hope you can follow this convoluted story. It's taken me awhile to put the pieces together.

Thanks for any suggestions you can give me.

Gayle

Is you attorney an oil and gas attorney? If not, you need one to sort this out. Shreveport has plenty of them.
Jay

Thanks, Jay.

I truly hope I'm seeing problems that don't exist, but I don't have a good feeling at this point.... If you or Skip have recommendations that you'd like to share, my email is gnesom10@gmail.com.

Yes, I can follow it, Gayle.  Unfortunately I've seen this situation before with Indigo.  Your McCoy well reported no production for 29 straight months and only 3 are required for a lease to expire.  Indigo, Vine, Chesapeake and Ruffian are all aware of this.  A release of a mineral lease would only be filed of record with the parish clerk of court.  If you provide me with the name of the lessor I can check to see if one has been filed but I'd be surprised if one was.

I'm sorry that you find yourself in this position and you will need an experienced O&G attorney to get a new lease which you have every right to have.  This is a cautionary tale for all LA mineral lessors.  When there is no production for 90 days and there is no language regarding "operations" in the lease which might serve to extend that time period, it is up to the lessor to demand that the lessee file a release of lease in the public record.  It is a mistake to let cessation of production go on for an extended period of time which can result in a situation such as yours.

I would be happy to refer you to an attorney that doesn't have a conflict of interest with any of the operating companies involved in your particular situation.

Geez, you've confirmed my fears. It's hard to say thank you for that, but I appreciate your response, for sure.

I just don't understand why I'm the only one having this problem. Anyone else? And why would others (I talk to two landowners, one of whom received his bonus months ago) not be in this same fix? A second owner is currently negotiating with Indigo, and I've advised to wait before signing anything. 

I would very much appreciate your lawyer recommendations. I had one with I worked with Vine/Prestige, but now I'm wondering how independent he was/is. I'm happy to send you my email if that would be better.

Here are my concerns, considering all:

1. I need to pull out the old lease from Pan American from 2005 that my mother signed, which rolled over to Chesapeake. Is there any chance that there's a clause in there that released Chesapeake from the nonproduction clause? I'm almost afraid to look.

2. Indigo is producing the McCoy well again, so why would they need a new contract with me?

3. I've already signed their new lease (my brother and I, that is, and it's been notarized, etc.), so does that mean that they are obligated to fulfill their end--that is, pay us the bonus? Could we pull out of it if we want to?

4. Since they haven't paid the bonus, is the lease contract valid? Or still pending? I don't think there's a clause protecting us to that effect.

5. I cashed the check from current McCoy production (new production). Did doing so negate the new contract?

6. Are Indigo and Ruffin, and were Vine and  Prestige, completely unethical and are they cheating landowners on purpose? If so, anyone dealing with them needs to be careful.

7. Wouldn't Louisiana, and specifically, the Desoto Parish clerk of court, be aware of any shady business?

8. And finally, I do have several phone numbers to start calling tomorrow, first to try to find that release letter from Chesapeake, unless they lied about it. I can be pretty persistent, but do I need to pay a lawyer even to do my investigations?

Am I missing anything?

I'm still interested in hearing from anyone else, especially anyone in S16 11N 15W, who has a contract with Indigo.

Thanks!

Gayle

You are not the only mineral lessor that Indigo is attempting to hold to a lease that expired.  I am unaware of any lease language that would allow "operations" to hold a lease for 29 months.  Yes, do look at the 2005 lease and pay particular attention to the pooling clause.  If a lease contains a clause which releases any lands not producing at the end of the primary lease term, that would eliminate one possibility.  Unethical is a subjective opinion.  Your attorney needs to find out specifically what circumstance Indigo believes holds the old lease they acquired in effect.  I can search DeSoto Parish records for a release if I have the name of the lessor, your mother.  Beyond that your questions should be answered by an experienced O&G attorney, preferably one that the operators know and that has a reputation for following up with litigation if a satisfactory answer is not forth coming.

I'd really appreciate any help you can give. My mother was Marion Cromwell Nesom. My brother and I are now the owners, and the clerk of court has the judgment of possession. Our names are also Nesom. Thank you.

There is no release of lease filed in the public records of DeSoto Parish in your mother's name.  If you need any further assistance please go to My Page and get my email address.  Good luck, Skip.

Gail: i am just a geologist but i can offer up advise because it is free. Hire an experience oil and gas attorney in Shreveport now. Otherwise i can't and wont help.
Jay

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