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CHK in the past has been the J.R. Ewing of the O&G biz. I for one would like for them to clean up their act with their new top dogs. Bad apples make my job much harder. I don't think many in the biz would want to side with CHK.
I can understand your position but no other major player, including SWN, will even respond to questions about CHK's tactics or acknowledge there is a problem. When a person who states he worked as a lobbyist on the state level and asserts that CHK cannot be separated from the other players it begs a big question in the minds of anyone contemplating an agreement involving minerals. The more it drags on the more problems people in the industry will have if an agreement means nothing. If an agreement means nothing I am better off unsigned. The situation is not good for anybody. Even in stable times, these type of practices lead to unfortunate changes and over reactions.
I can only give you my personal opinion, having dealt with various landman who were representing CHK to lease land in La. and having also dealt with other operators and various landmen (over several decades) who were representing a variety of companies, both big and small.
I think CHK can be culled from the herd without any blowback to the other more reasonable operators.
In other words, in many industries, such rouge crooks have been stopped without the public painting all of the companies in such an economic segment with the same negative brush.
Enron comes to mind.
So it seems the real bottom line in this case is the law and whatever intent there is to break the law, i.e., intent to defraud others.
Ergo, if CHK is, in fact, breaking the law, then they should be stopped. And if they are stopped, this will help mitigate any negative PR other, more honest, operators have been characterized as.
It's that simple. Break the law and suffer the consequences.
Also, there are hundreds of thousands of landowners, like me, who've had numerous positive experiences with other operators and the landman representing a wide variety of . . . let's say . . . more honest O&G companies.
Most landowners I know aren't complaining about the industry, per se. No, they simply want fair treatment and a fair and reasonable lease. And many operators are, indeed, fulfilling these ethical parameters (in their eyes).
Plus, many landowners will overlook minor gouging, as long as it doesn't go too far.
With CHK, it obviously did and has gone way too far for way too many landowners.
If I was a betting man -- and I am -- I would suspect that the lawmakers in PA will soon correct that loophole that allows CHK to gouge landowners with a 50% (and up) set of deductions.
Also, if there are any state or federal lands being produced by CHK in PA -- I would suspect that the civil servants managing those minerals would not be properly protecting the fiduciary rights of the public if such gouging was allowed to go on without some sort of protective clauses in the government leases.
Yet I could be wrong.
I have experiences and have heard of others. This practice of CHK has evolved into established method of operation. They are cutting costs at the expense of royalty owners. Your choice of Enron is enlightening. Enron was groveled over by lobbyists and industry insiders until their speculative house of cards fell. As long as CHK can get away with operating they will continue. Industry insiders refuse to call out CHK, and more than Mr. Peel's observation confirms they are in the same class, any corrective tools used on CHK could be applied to them. Certainly you read Mr. Peel's earlier posts that other operators practice in the same manner and it is an increasing problem. He stated his legal friends told him so.
It is all a matter of personal opinion and preference. One values bonus money and any royalty given over the headache of dealing with possible theft and having principles that will not allow doing business under such circumstances. If one is so inclined to do business with such players in a business with a tradition of sharp practices, go ahead. Certainly, if we still are a free people some of us will hear the very landowners involved complaining about it on a forum.
Mr. Kaufman, I have a suggestion. Start a new Main Page discussion. Frame your question or point of view and let those who would care to participate post their replies. It is generally the custom amongst GHS members to allow the author of a discussion to decide the topic and to point out when a thread takes a turn from its intended purpose. I think Carol has made her desires quite clear in this regard.
It should be recognized that some of what CHK and others do are not criminal acts, but matters of contract subject to interpretation. It quickly gets complicated from there.
Good point, cs. One I hope you will reiterate should Mr. Kaufman decide to start a new thread.
Haynesville has not been profitable in North Caddo. The positive of the larger units is this: They are forming larger 960 acre units in the Haynesville/Bossier to allow for longer laterals, which should make for more production. Without the longer laterals, the Haynesville may not be profitable in North Caddo.
I remember years ago when some people on this site were complaining about $20,000 - $30,000 per acre lease bonuses not being enough for their Haynesville acreage. Big conspiracy by the O & G companies to take our minerals for cheap, they said. With the much lower natural gas prices of today, we don't hear much of that anymore.
Anadarko is spending $8-10 million on each of these relatively high risk long lateral wells in North Caddo and it's a major step out for the Haynesville. I'm all for it.