This is a warning to all who will heed.

I guess I need to start out by saying, “I did not want to do this”. I can’t type and do not even like to write that much, but I hate liars and cheats even more. I was raised and taught that a man is only as good as his word. When two people came to an agreement and gave their word on a deal, then they were bound by honor to see it through to the end. That is one of the reasons I am doing all of this. Secondly; it is also a warning to all who will read this that J.W. Porter & associates L. L. C. along with Chesapeake Energy will lie and cheat you till no end. Thirdly; I told them if they lie to me I would do this. And I keep my word. This is our story of what they did to us.
Let me explain who we are. I am a son trying to help out his parents, or at least that is how it started. My parents received a call from a land man wanting to lease their land for drilling. They didn’t know that much about the proceedings so they ask me to help them. They are my parents; so therefore, I am obligated and honored to do so. Now it’s not that I know all I needed to know about this, but I have friends that do.
Once I was doing the talking to land men my brother and aunt wanted to throw in with us. That was fine with me and I told my parents that the more land that we have to bargain with, the better off we would be. So they talked to some cousins and they threw in with us.
Our story starts out in early July of 2008. Three different oil companies were negotiating with us, of which one was Chesapeake. We finally decide to go with Chesapeake through Beta Land Services. All we had to do was agree on some amendments to the lease. We met with their land man and decide on them. He then went back to type it up but before he could get them back to us for signing, Chesapeake told him to withdraw the offer but would not say why. I believe this happened on July the 29th. We found out a few days later that Chesapeake had just acquired a very large deal with Sustainable Forests (Blackstone Minerals) property and they were running low on money.
So here we go again. I start anew hunting the best deal I can find for my parents and have just about settle with another company when, low and behold, Chesapeake comes back in through J. W. Porter & Associates L. L. C. They came back with the same bonus offer and percentage we had earlier agreed on. This offer was better than any other offer we had at that time. I know some will say, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, same on me”, but I was trying to help my parent get the best deal they could.
Now let me state right off that the land man I was talking to with J. W. Porter & associates, was and is, a good man to deal with. I have no hard feelings toward him. It is the other people I was dealing with at J. W. Porter & Associates that messed us up. Here is an outline of events and timeline.
8/29/08 Sent email with location and acreage of most of the land to land man with J. W. Porter & Assoc.
9/2/08 A phone call with land man on bonus offer and percentage royalty. It was agreeable. I needed to come up with provisions. Sent email with location and acreage of all the land, along with names of owners and legal descriptions to land man.
9/3/08 Sent list of amendments to land man for tweaking.
9/5/08 Received first draft of lease document with provisions.
9/6/08 Sent lease provisions back to land man with minor changes.
9/8/08 Sent email to cousin to say I was going to call land man to tell him everybody was happy and he could go ahead and get the secretary to type them all up and send them out.
9/8/08 After I talked to land man on the phone to give him the final “OK”. I sent an email to him to say it had been a pleasure working with him.
9/17/08 My parents received Lease documents and draft in the mail. Only it had the wrong number of acres on it and the draft also was for the wrong acres.
My mother called Christine, with J. W. Porter, about the problem. She said she would take care of it. I also called the land man to explain what happened and asked him where the rest of the leases were. He apologized and said to hold that draft and lease and he would get them to reissue a new one with the correct amount and send it with the new lease document for my parents, along with all the other leases.
9/19/08 Sent email stating that I talked to landman on the 18th. He said that the secretary was typing the leases.
Called and called and called, to no avail.
9/26/08 Sent email to land man to get info on what’s going on.
Landman called to say they need husband’s name on one tract of land.
9/30/08 Sent email to landman with husband’s full name.
10/03/38 Sent email to everyone that states, landman said he was assured that the leases would be mailed no later than today.
10/13/08 Talked to land man. He said that he thought that the leases and drafts had already been mailed out. Found out that Christina was still holding them. Her boss was meeting with Chesapeake and they didn’t want to use their “usual” lease form. They want her to retype them on a different form. Christina said she would retype them and have them in the mail by the 14th. (Problem: When I negotiated the lease. I did not use Chesapeake “usual” form. Therefore they shouldn’t have need retyping)
10/16/08 I received a call from Christine with J. W. Porter. She said she had “good news and bad news”. (Good news)She had finished retyping all the different lease forms and had walked them through their approval process and had them ready to be mailed. (Bad news) Management had met with Chesapeake that morning and she was told to “put the leases on hold”.
From that day until the week before Thanksgiving, I was on the phone almost daily trying to get this problem resolved. I talked to the landman, Christine Pellerin, Michael Long and Jane Cassel. All I got was the brush off, if they would even answer their phone. I tried to talk to J. W. (Whit) Porter, but he was always too busy or not in the office and he never returned my calls. I even tried to get a hold of someone with Chesapeake to talk to them. But they would not return my calls.
11/21/08 I went to the “Haynesville Expo” at the civic center. I wanted to see if I could meet some of these people and talk to them face to face. I got a chance to talk to Mr. Kevin McCotter, Chesapeake’s PR man. I told him our story and even showed him our time line of events. He told me that it was the folks at J. W. Porter that were to blame because if they would have sent it out when they frist said. It would have already been finished, so therefore it was not Chesapeake’s problem. I told him that Chesapeake had hired J. W. Porter to work for them to do the leasing so that made them to represent Chesapeake. Therefore Chesapeake could fix the problem. He said I need to talk to J. W. Porter. I told him I would if I knew where to find him and asked if he would point him out to me. As luck would have it, Mr. Porter happened to be coming thru the crowd and he pointed him out to me. I then went to talk to him. I tried to go through everything with him, but all he could say was he didn’t want to discuss this out in a public place. I told him that it didn’t bother me to be in the public eye with this and it shouldn’t him if he wasn’t guilty and afraid it would hurt his business. He kept tiring to tell me it was Chesapeake’s fault. If they had not put a hold on leasing, it would have gone thru. I kept asking him what happened to all that time between 9/8/08 till 10/16/08. We should have had the leases within a few days after 9/8/08. If we had gotten them when we should have, they would have been sign and the drafts cashed in before Chesapeake put a hold on leasing. All J. W. (Whit) Porter would say was it was Chesapeake’s fault. It was plain to see that this man has no morel conscious. He couldn’t care less what’s right and what’s wrong. Once I saw that, I told him if he continued to give me the run around, I would be forced to write this and try to give him as much bad press as I could. I then noticed another man standing there listening to our conversation, so I ask him his name. He told me that he was Foster Holly and he was the head landman for J. W. Porter. I then asked him what he thought about all of this. He said that he wasn’t going to be in the office the next week, Thanksgiving, but if I would call him the week after, he would see what he could do.
12/1/08 I started trying to call Foster Holly. I finally got him to take my call on the fourth. He told me he had gathered all our info and had forward it to Chesapeake and he would call me the next week with the results. I didn’t hear from him.
1/5/09 I started trying to call Foster Holly again. It was a little over two weeks of two to three times a day before he would take my call. All he would tell me was that I need to talk to Chesapeake. They were handling our case now. I thought it was going to take an act of congress to get him to give me a name and phone number with Chesapeake to contact. Finally he gave me Kyle Nevels number with Chesapeake but getting that was like trying to pull hen’s teeth. He would not talk with me. Just about all he would say was that I needed to talk to Chesapeake.
1/20/09 I started trying to get a hold of Kyle Nevels with Chesapeake. I have left message after message, day after day, but still have not talked to him.
Well now you know our story. As I hope you can see. We would have had plenty of time if J. W. Porter and his people would have gotten off their backsides, or Chesapeake could have fixed the problem. As for a “letter of intent”, I still have the lease and draft dated 9/16/08 for the wrong acreage, signed by Christine Pellerin, with J. W. Porter.
Companies like J. W. Porter and Chesapeake hires PR men like Kevin McCotter to “Muddy the truth” for them. They will spends millions of dollars on commercials to “Improve their image”, when “doing the right thing” would have cost them less. I, on the other hand, don’t have that kind of money. All I have is the truth and my honor to back it up. I warned them I would write this if they didn’t fulfill their end of our bargain. I have kept my word.

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Comment by Larry T on March 13, 2009 at 15:48
Looks to me like the timeline was when the stock market tanked and Chesapeake was struggling to make it, to be honest, the land company and other contractors was probably having trouble getting paid. Not good luck, for the land owner, but no harm done, since you did not lose your mineral rights. I also was in the middle of a deal with PetroHawk, they paid first downpayment and hopefully they will follow up with the full amount when top lease executed, but if they dont, no harm done, as we still own the mineral rights.

Seems like someone should have been more honest and just said they had to back out because of the economic times.

Would not do business with CHK again.

Comment by Margaret Wren on March 2, 2009 at 7:21
here is the email for Geoffery Kallenberg who is doing the documentary on the Haynesville shale.
Comment by Jack Blake on March 1, 2009 at 9:14
Oh Boy.........I am sorry to hear these horror stories.
I signed in about June 08 with Stacy Avant a Landman for JW Porter who was working for Chrsapeake.
I did not get huge $. (got $4,000/acre). Stacey told me to shop it around if I wanted to.
I talked to a Lawyer who told me he could get me the best deal. I tried to shop but did not know who to talk to and a HATE Lawyers and knew I did not trust them enough to get one involved for me.
To make long story short I signed a 3 yr lease with Chesapeake a week later. I scratched out the 2 yr. option clause. (I did have a great addendum page)
I got a bank draft the day I signed and had real cash money in the bank about a month later.
It was after this that I found out about Go Haynesville Shale. I kept reading all these horror stories about landmen. Porter and CHK so on this site I expressed my concern that CHK could just throw out my addendum page like it never existed. Somerone on this site said to just call Porterr and ask for a fully executed copy of my lease. I took the advise and did that. The lady at Porter was friendly and had it to me within a couple days. Also my 1099 or whatever form it is they give you for taxes had the wrong SS # on it. I called them and within about 10 days had the corrected one.
In short, I feel that JW Ported and CHK did not screw me and were great to work with. Yeah, I could have held out and maybe got $10.000.00 /acre like some neighbors( or I cound have got $125.00/acre like somr others or I could have been too greedy not sighed and been crying in my coffee like others are doing.
Sorry so many got screweed trying to get the big bucks.
Shell filed to make my section a production unit about 4 months ago. I hope they drill.
Comment by Florida Ginnie on March 1, 2009 at 7:20
Co's and people have to have licenses to practice business business dealings with consumers. Find out who,where to report these illegal doings! FTC perhaps, aka Federal Trade Commissioner. Oh and do not forget the Shreveport Times and the local news station, they love true stories and will do the same to Chesapeake as they have indeed done to you! I believe it is called slander, deceit business practice etc. Clay Baskin is the human Resource director, by the way and he is a cheat and liar also as the company to which he works for Chesapeake. They won't return my expenses Flights and meals when I came there to sign papers and they backed out.
Comment by Henry on February 28, 2009 at 6:31
Charles, I know many others that had a similar thing happen. Some have consulted with attorneys and have been told that they have a good case to recover the money owed to them. I'm not an attorney, so I cannot tell you if you have a good case or not. However, I'd suggest you consult an attorney.

And, while I'm here. Shame on you, Mr. McCotter for blaming J.W. Porter! Chesapeake hired Porter to conduct its leasing operations. Therefore, if Porter does something wrong, it is likely that it was done at the instruction of Chesapeake. And if Porter did this on their own, the responsibility is still on Chesapeake for making it right. This is worse than the old "dog ate my homework" excuse. Mr. McCotter should be ashamed of the cowardly excuse of pushing the blame onto J.W. Porter. Why won't he just admit that Chesapeake has skirted the law and conducted shady business practices?
Comment by Sweet Tea on February 27, 2009 at 16:18
Seeing a story like this makes me wonder if it would help landowners to be armed with the type of
info and research documents that the O&G people look for after the initial contact with a landowner. I've been told that confirming title and % of ownership is where the process can
get very complicated. It looks like to me that if individual landowners already had this information
handy, it might speed up the process. By either doing the research yourself, or hiring someone to do it for you, at least as a landowner, you'd know what you have .
I'm sure the O&G company will still have do double check
this information, but it might help save some time.
Comment by SL on February 26, 2009 at 17:56
Oh yeah....Foster Holley is who the lawyer said he was dealing with. But, of course, he would not call back either! And....we too have talked to many landmen with JW Porter, and they were great! So, all you landmen, this is nothing against you!
Comment by SL on February 26, 2009 at 17:54
I am so glad you posted! I have gone through the same experience. We had placed our land in a pool. There was a bid accepted and I had to return a letter of intent, which I did. I received the letter August 7 and returned it immediately. After a week, I began calling. The lawyer said JW Porter had bid on behalf of Chesapeake, and we should sign in the next couple of weeks. Weeks and weeks later, phone call and phone call later, I finally got the call to come sign my lease. My dad's lease was not ready to be signed yet. Now, when we put our land in the pool, we were told when we signed we got a check, not a draft. By the way, I have well over 50 emails backing all this information up from the lawyer. So, in October, when I was finally called, I went to sign my lease. After signing, the lawyer sat and talked, then finally told me he would call when the check arrived! NOt what I was told in the beginning. He told me it would be there in about 10 days. By the way, I have several emails that said it was not a question of "if" we would sign a lease and get paid, but "when." Well, that lease was signe don Oct. 20, and about a week later they called wanting me to fill out a form for tax purposes, which I did as soon as I received the fax that day. It is now fixing to be March, I have not been paid, I have tried to call Whit, he will not talk to me, I tried to contact Chesapeake, of course I could not talk to anyone, and now, I think the lawyer is avoiding me! What is aggravating, we signed a letter of intent, my dad was actually approached after signing the letter of intent, but because of "values" we did not speak to anyone else once it was signed! Now, I have never been paid, but signed a lease, my dad's lease was never signed, and not one time has JW Porter returned a call or corresponded with us! The lawyer assured us we would get paid, but now they are saying it does not look good and JW Porter will not talk to him.

OK....I have voiced my anger! I appreciate you making the first post! I realize others feel the same as I do!
Comment by Russell on February 26, 2009 at 17:09
I admire your commitment to your family, its is a value that is not often found. The last time I checked they aren't making any more land. There is a finite amount of acerage in the play. Now you know how the game is played; play it with zeal! Take your time, do not feel not be rushed. You have what they want!
Comment by TXsharon on February 26, 2009 at 12:33
Nice job. I'm going to link to this post.


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