Understanding an unleased mineral owner well report from Chesapeake

My investors finally got put in as unleased mineral owners on 5 wells in one section with Chesapeake. They get their first check this week ( after owning the property 20 months). First check has 10 spots and each say January 2019 Cutback and an amt. They get the total of the amount which is certainly no where near what they are due. A day later they get a copy of well EXPENSES but not well production but we can look that up on Sonris. The only thing the report says is PERIOD 1. It doesn't have ANY dates. I have been in touch with their legal dept. and they don't know what it means. Said they have to wait until revenue tells them. Has anyone experienced this. Does anyone know how Chesapeake defines Periods 1, 2 etc without any chronological data.

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You are being snowed with BS. Pure run-around. You aren't their first rodeo, but based on what you've said it's yours. Get a qualified attorney.

No offense intended with my tone, but if you don't get it in gear, they will skin you alive. 

Experienced mineral investors should know how to deal with this without asking questions on a website.

I thought this website was to help people and I needed help. I can assure you I won't ask for help again

This website is not a substitute for an O&G attorney.  Some questions are sufficiently simple and straight forward for industry members or even knowledgeable mineral owners to answer.  Your question does not fall into that category.  If mineral investors do not have competent legal counsel, they are playing with fire.  Especially in Louisiana. 

I can't speak to the direct question of this thread, and do not intend to hijack it.  That said, its my opinion that the "liberal agenda" posts you are referring to are important to understanding the future of Natural Gas, regardless of the political winds in the US.  The continued growing importance of LNG and natural gas export to build demand for natural gas brings the world wide political landscape into play.  As such the climate/energy source decisions made in other countries (and here) ultimately affect the pricing and ultimate development that we can expect to see in the Haynesville and most other shale plays.  

Having grown up poor in Louisiana, with parents and grandparents having been landowning farmers, I never held someone's politics again 'em. What mattered to me was if they told me the truth and didn't lie to my face. That's what was most important, not their darn politics. But as the years have come and gone and now that I'm not as spry as I once was back in the '50s, there seems to be fewer and fewer people of honor, integrity, and character. Those are the traits that mean the most to a guy like me, like I suspect they do to most hardworking/honest landowners who live out in the country in our fine state.

So that's why I always like reading posts by a pro like Jay. His honesty seems to be undeniable. And Skip and dbob are also known to be quite truthful with their intel. Of course, I know when it comes to making money and bringing home the bacon, some folks have to manipulate things a bit to line their pockets. But that's just business. It's not politics. It's nothing personal.

So coming from a family known for its military service, with a nephew of mine presently risking his life everyday to serve and protect, I know when guys like him put their lives on the line to protect our country, whether liberal or conservative or libertarian, Uncle Sam and those in foxholes don't care one iota what brand of politics someone is affiliated with. A good American is a good American. Dying for your country makes you a patriot, not a member of whatever political party.

well, we are clearly in the 'Hijacked" territory on this post, and we are about to make this more like a typical blog than the place we have all been following for many years now.  

If there is a post that doesn't interest me, I just pass it by.  It's just like one of my friends from years ago who can't seen to resist posting something political every single day on his facebook page.  He and I are on opposite sides of politics, so I just pass them by and don't get into an argument with him.  

I'm now retired, and my declining "mail box money" is more important to me than before, so I'm interested in reading about all topics that may affect the future of natural gas.  I don't necessarily look to read about them here, but don't mind that either.  Many of the re-posts are information I would not have otherwise seen.

And if I don't want to read them, then I won't.  Maybe something will rile me up enough to object or debate some days, but not likely.  Seems to me that this blog is slowing down so much that interesting posts should be welcome.  In any regard, we should all try and keep our posts civil.

Well casingpoint I still have my skin and it was Chesapeake who ended up helping me. I came to this site to find out if anyone had a concept of Chesapeake's "period" in defining payment. Obviously no one knew because no one ventured to even guess but referred me to an O&G Attorney. Well guess what, the O&G attorney I know didn't know what Chesapeake's time periods for payment were. Each company defines its time periods for back payments and I found out from Chesapeake what their time periods were and no they didn't skin me alive. They DID pay my investors the back pay due and it was very close to the calculations that I and a friend who is a landman had calculated from the expense sheets they provided against the productions we were able to pull from Sonris.  I have to say Chesapeake was more helpful than this forum was.

This forum is not meant to take the place of experienced landmen or O&G attorneys.  And specific situations as complicated as yours ( or your "investors") should not be something that we attempt to cover.  GHS should never be used in such a manner.  The Internet has its limitations.

Good luck.  I became an unreleased owner when Chesapeake "found" an acre in adjacent section and included it with their section.  It took over two years for them to tell me (I got a request for a TIN number addressed to the previous owner).  I contacted them several times and they denied that they had and production under my name.  Only after I threatened to send a demand letter did they confirm that the acre was in their unit.

I have a copy of the survey so I know the interest is correct but there is no way back into their numbers.  They show both a decimal interest and an owners interest (they say it is because there are several companies that participate in the well).  I have a PE and a background in finance but I can not back into their production numbers. I have used SONRIS and even used the severance tax to back into production.  They are always about 10% low.  

I have placed numerous calls to them but can never get an actual person that can answer my questions.  No one ever calls back.  It is only one acre and  legal help costs more than it is worth. 

To answer your question.  I currently get a monthly production report which looks like most other companies reports (I get it online) I also get a "netting report" which takes out an additional amount for other expenses (about 10%)  in the mail.  When they first "found" me I got several reports and checks that covered numerous months.

One general question -- I live in Texas the well is in Louisiana.  Can I file a claim in Texas small claims court against them?

Full name I can give you direct numbers to talk to people. Message me

I am an oil and gas attorney. I practice in Texas.  I retired some years ago as vice president and general counsel of the largest upstream company in the United States.  I am also a non-operating working interest owner in north Louisiana.  Your issue concerns one aspect of a matter about which I am currently working.  First, the devil is in the detail and as you have noted, you do not have and will not get that detail.  Second, as a small interest owner in a single tract it is unlikely that you have, or are perceived by the operator as having, the resources to challenge the operator's misconduct.  Third, not that it is any comfort, your issue is very common and often deliberately so.  In essence the operator co-opts the unleased mineral interest owners share of production.  

The laws of Louisiana are very clear on your rights.  You can easily find the specific statutes and commentary online.  I assume from your description that you are an unleased mineral interest owner.  If so you are subject to a set of rules different than a leased non-participating interest owner. You would not be subject to a risk penalty, but would be liable for your proportionate share of the cost of drilling and completing the wells and the cost of supervision and production.  You are also entitled to the exact, itemized amounts of these costs.  I suggest you send Chesapeake demand letter to such effect, copy their general counsel (available on line) and the oil and gas division of the Louisiana Conservation Commission. Send all of that certified, return receipt requested.

Finally, I suggest calling the oil and gas division.  Numbers are available on their website.  You will have to work at ultimately connecting to the right person, but will eventually succeed.  Hope you succeed.  The issue I am focused on is the overhead fee being charged on older, marginal wells.  The fee being charged by many operators produces a profit far in excess of the value of the hydrocarbons produced.  It is literally an issue of first impression any where in the United States. I believe the same issue applies to unleased, force pooled interest which are subject to a supervision charge.  This is particularly egregious as those parties did not agree to an unfair, inequitable fee that, in effect, rendered their property worthless.

Best wishes.

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