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.