I have run up against a wall with Chesapeake. Bought property that was unleased because the man who owned it was dying of cancer during the leasing period and Chesapeake rep didn't take the time to explain anything to him. He was in desperate need of money at the time too. We came along and bought his property which by the time we got it, it was in horrible condition. We let him live there the few weeks he had left before going into the hospital to die. Contacted Chesapeake after that and put them on notice we were owners at which time they said NO LEASE and we said fine. In 2015 the well paid out by my calculations and we contacted them. They agreed and we have been getting a monthly check since then. They told me in writing that when they got ready to drill other wells they would lease us. They permitted new wells. I contacted them and yes, first landman said they would lease. then yesterday out of the clear blue I get an email saying they will not lease us. In meantime I have friends who have unleased minerals in a super area where all wells have paid out and 17 months later Chesapeake doesn't know if they will put them into an old lease that was on the property before the foreclosure  or leave them unleased so they WAIT. I have 2 other friends whose spouses have died and 2 yrs. later one just got a check and the big mineral owner died before he could get a check on over 100 ac with several wells. In both instances Chesapeake said they were still looking at the Succession papers.

This is a small tract I have but I don't like it when someone goes back on their word. Is there any regulating board to report them to?

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share the Land Man name for other unleased owners.

Short answer to "any regulating board", no.  Dynamics that move energy companies are ever evolving and largely opaque to mineral owners.  As far as the Haynesville Shale is concerned, I expect a lot of Chesapeake plans changed when they bought the Eagle Ford assets of Wildhorse recently and announced that they were moving two of their four rigs in LA to S TX. and, that going forward they would run a one or two rig program in the LA Haynesville.

Skip I heard the same thing yesterday about Chesapeake moving their rigs into territory they bought from Wildhorse. Heard they were leaving only ONE rig in the Haynesville

CHK made an official announcement.  It's not a rumor.  And it will have a material effect on their NW LA drilling plans which will in turn will have an impact on their land decisions.

Skip did Chesapeake buy all of Wildhorse assets? I know Wildhorse bought some major assets from other drillers in 2017.

The only assets mentioned in the articles on the sale were Eagle Ford.

Skip

Fairly certain if you dig deeper, CHK bought out Wildhorse in its entirety (for good or bad).  

Thanks, dbob.  I'll take your world on it.

It was a merger with CHK on top by 55/45 or so.

jay

KCM,
You need an O&G lawyer at this point, and you also need your friends and their acreage to interest one. Since they don't have a clue about what to do and this could be big money in their case, they should let your case run parallel to theirs out of gratitude. Start looking for an attorney now, as it may take some time to find one versed in Louisiana O&G law. They're kind of a rare breed, to say the least. You and your friends probably have valid claims if production is ongoing and the acreage not leased. Don't just "sit" on your rights very long. Best of luck.

A letter from CHK stating that they would offer a lease on new wells is not a contract and not legally binding.  Since all the Haynesville Drilling & Production units are "compulsory", CHK has no obligation to offer a lease.  I have talked with several attorneys and industry associates about the possibility of legislation to require a standard lease with no bonus and a quarter royalty as an option for unleased mineral owners who do not wish to stay unleased.  Not much likelihood of that at this point as mineral owners are not seen as critical constituents by the majority of politicians.  Many of those politicians are indebted to the O&G industry for campaign funding.  CHK, and any operating company for that matter, should be held to the requirements of the Mineral Code regarding Unleased Mineral Interests.  An experienced O&G attorney could advise on the specifics of that issue.

"an (oil company) has no obligation to offer a lease"

And they might or might not if you fit a certain vulnerable landowner profile and they think they can beat you out of your money.

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