Is there anyone who might have an update on any activity in Marion County. I know that the Smackover fields in southern Arkansas and Louisiana are active, but I didn't know if there might be any updates on Texas?

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I think that McAlpine purchased my Aunt's rights to her property?? This info comes from our landman???? I haven't talked to her in years.

If McAlpine is only surface owner, and you are the mineral owner who has leased to Bachtell, then McAlpine, by permitting, cannot stop Bachtell from drilling.  I don't know who McAlpine is getting a permit from since he does not own minerals or have a lease from you.  Railroad Commission of Texas is not going to give him a permit if he does not have the right to develop the minerals.  McAlpine does not have the right to develope the minerals, if what your saying is accurate, only Bachtell does.  About all McAlpine can do is drill a water well and he may not have to get any type of permit for that depending upon the location.

 

Lastly, in Texas, mineral estate trumps surface estate.  That is long established precedence and there is significant case law on it.  About all a surface owner can do, assuming driller is acting in good faith, not in a urban area, etc., is delay the drilling.

McAlpine owns at least a small % of the minerals.  I think (not 100% sure about this) that he got some with the purchase of some of the land - he owns about 2000 acres on both sides of 59 north of Jefferson.  He also conducted a vigorous campaign to purchase minerals from existing owners.  His attempt to purchase the minerals owned by my family was very intense and vigorous since we own pieces of minerals on several tracts.  His efforts probably were successful with others, so he probably owns a portion of the minerals, but I'm almost certain that his mineral ownership is a minority.

 

His permits are documented in RRC records and shown on their website.  It's been several months since I saw them, but I believe there are 7 of them. 

 

I don't know anything about a "moratorium" other than these permits, but I'm sure McAlpine is looking for and using any delay tactic that he can find.

 

There is already a "Hollywood" movie about fracking.  It's called "Gasland".  It's not Hollywood quality even though, amazingly, it won some sort of award for a documentary.  It was not done by a movie studio, Hollywood or otherwise.  It is the work of a single individual.  It is a poorly done collection of amateurish video with a lot of inflammatory commentary.  It is short on facts and long on sensationalism.  Just the sort of thing that appeals to a lot of folks, unfortunately.  If you subscribe to Netflix, you can get a copy to review.

It would be nice to know just what permit McAlpine still holds, definition of his power, and how much longer? This would allow us to have some light on the situation. 

Victoria,

I looked at the RRC records.  McAlpine, dba STM Oil and Gas LLc, has at least 7 permits in Marion Cty.  6 of them are on the west side of 59 in the Hamilton A185 survey.  The A185 survey is where our family owns minerals.  I'm not certain, but I think that's where your minerals are located also.  There was at least one STM permit on the east side of 59, but it was not in the Hamilton survey.

These are all drilling permits.  Nearly all of them were approved in May 2011.  I saw one that was approved in December 2011.  The term of the permits is 2 years and they are not renewable, according to what I read in the fine print.  My understanding is that the permit reserves exclusive drilling rights to the permit holder for the term of the permit on the plat submitted with the permit application, assuming the permit is approved.  The plats on the six approved permits in Hamilton A185 cover at least a majority, if not all, of that survey.

If there is a way around this, I don't know what it is.  I can tell you that IF McAlpine drills, we will all get our fair share of the proceeds from the well(s) since we have executed leases even though those leases are with another party.  It's my understanding that that's the law.  The only problem is I don't think McAlpine has any intention of drilling.

Dave, It is so nice of you to have tracked that information down. Now, if I understand you, McAlpine can't renew if he hasn't started drilling.? And if he does, he must share the profits with all under contract with in a certain geographic area? Victoria

That is my understanding - on both issues. 

Dave , I left you an email message. Take a look and I would like for you to respond asap.Victoria

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