Harrison County, WV - Oil & Gas Discussion archives

Harrison County, WV oil & gas discussion group. Share your experience regarding lease bonus, royalty rates, drilling activity, and oil & gas news.

I know Antero Resources is busy up in Harrison and Doddridge Counties right now. They're offering 14-15% royalties and about $1500/AC signing bonuses from what I've seen from my clients. Anybody else?

I have been contacted about leasing my mineral rights in Harrison County. Anyone have any iformation on whats going on in Harrison County and has anyone dealt with a company called XTO Energy?

I'm afraid I don't have any specific info on XTO. I know they're out there, and are a legitimate oil and gas company. When I worked as a landman one of the brokerages I worked for had them as a client. I know Antero is very busy in Harrison County as well. If you want to get somebody into a bidding war with XTO it would probably be them.

I just found this website today while trying to find information regarding oil and gas leases, particularly in Harrison County West Virginia. Several family members are apparently heirs to an oil and gas lease originated by my Great, or Great, Great Grandmother in 1899. We have been contacted by Antero Resources and sent documents to sign to modify the lease to include a "Pooling Clause", which they say must be done in order for them to include our lease in "one or more drilling units for the purposes of drilling one or more horizontal natural gas wells". Is this something we should do? I am only in touch with my brother and three first cousins involved with this lease and have no idea how many or who all the other heirs are and/or what they are or aren't doing regarding this matter or if that has any affect on what we do. Can you offer any advice?

Hi Sharon,

1899? Wow. That's the oldest existing lease I've run across. And I've been doing this oil and gas stuff for five years now.

If you're not from a part of the country that has gas shale production, here's a quick primer. The developer will drill down to the producing formation, then curve the well sideways until it's running horizontal. They'll then drill out as far as a mile through the producing formation. There aren't any tracts of land out here that can contain the entire horizontal leg of the well, so they have to combine tracts into a pool. That's mainly what they're asking you to do.

While they're asking for a modification of the lease, make sure that you talk about bumping up the royalties, and request a bonus. If they want to change things, you should get to change things, too. Keep in mind, though, that they probably won't want to change much. Pooling is good for you, so it's not like you're giving something up. But it'll be more than just an annoyance for the developer if you refuse. Get what you can. Also, find as much of the family as you can, and band together. Gives you more negotiating leverage.

Kyle

Thanks for the reply, Kyle. I spoke to the landman from Antero regarding this lease modification, but did not get the feeling that there were any possible negotiations, at least at this time, regarding royalties, or signing bonuses or anything else that I see being mentioned on these forums. He just said that they need a certain percentage of the total acreage interests to agree to the pooling clause before they can start drilling horizontally. Can you tell me when or if they would be negotiating any payment terms. Would there be new terms that would have to be agreed upon that would be replacing the existing terms for the vertical well? He says the vertical well has been producing since its' inception, but not to the degree that would've made royalty payments practical in the past. I'm still a little confused and would be willing to pay you for some consulting advice if you think I need it.

It sounds like the landman is out talking to all your neighbors. You should, too. If enough of you are in the same situation, you can all negotiate together. In this case, it quite literally pays to be neighborly.

You'll have to feel things out, but at some point they should be willing to give you something in return for signing a pooling agreement, especially if you're nice and friendly whenever they come around. If they're being hard-nosed, you might just have to sign and wait for a nice royalty check down the line. This is the kind of situation that really is very fact dependent, and you have to make a judgment call.

The document they will be talking about will usually have two purposes, one, ratifying the existing lease, and two, allowing for pooling. There usually won't be any other new terms.

I'm curious about his statement about the vertical well not producing to the point that it would make royalty payments practical. Have you been receiving a flat fee royalty?

If you do want to talk to me, send me a personal message and I'll get in touch. Also, if we do talk, have the API numbers for the wells that are already on your property handy. I'd like to look at the production numbers for them.

I did just try to send you a message, but it said you had to be my friend, so I sent a friend request. I don't have any API numbers, just a copy of the original lease my great great grandmother signed.

Antero is trying to get me signed up for "pooling" on the old family farm at Big Issac WVa.

Do any of you know any descendants of the Moffett's from Big Issac?

What is the best way to track down those "current" owners of mineral rights in Harrison County, W.Va.?

John, it is not straightforward to find mineral rights owners. If you know the description of the surface (district, map number, parcel number) that is just a phone call to the assessor. If the surface owner also owns the mineral rights, you have that. Otherwise if the rest of the legal description (number of acres, name of wstershed like river, creek, run) is same for minerals as surface, in the case of split ownership, maybe the assessor’s office can look it up or perhaps it is online. Often the description is different, if surface tract had part sold off but mineral tract is the original acreage. There are other possibilities also. In that case, a title search must be done, tracing the surface back to when minerals split, then tracing mineral owner(s) forward.

Nancy,

Thanks for responding. My Grandmother's family (Moffett) bought the farm in the 1,800's, site unseen, and had plans of continuing to farm, as they had in Culpeper, Va. Evidently, black liquid kept coming out of the ground when they would plow. My Grandfather (Kahle) was a wild cater from up near Oil City, Pa, and struck a deal with Mr. Moffett to drill the wells on the property. Mr. Kahle noticed the beauty of my Grandmother, Odessa, and they married. All the kids scattered after the turn of the century, traveling west to Ohio & south to Charleston. I would love to find the names of the other heirs and have a conversation with them concerning the family history, as well as a discussion as to how they are handling the negotiations with Antero. I could travel to Clarksburg and visit the Harrison Cty records dept if that what's you'd suggest. Could you please give me some guidance?

Thanks,

John Hensler

Hi John, Sounds like a fun trip, to go to Clarksburg and look at old records. It is almost like visiting with your ancestors!

You can call the County Clerk office and ask if anything is online (I don't know). If old records are, you can start searching. They probably aren't. Then, probably the best thing is to start with the index for Moffett, look for your grandmother's father's name, and find the deed where he bought the land. Then keep looking in the index to find if he leased it (probably to your grandfather Kahle). Keep looking until you find either a deed selling surface, or a will. If he sold the surface before he died, you can trace that purchaser's name (the grantee) forward, and see if he sold it, etc. Eventually you will find the present surface owner.

For the mineral owners, if you find a will, maybe all the beneficiaries will be listed. There might be a fidiciary record, stating the heirs (the people in the office can help some with this).

Another way, if the assessor's office has old records, is to find your great grandfather in those records, then keep going forward each year until you see where his heirs are listed, then keep following them. That is, if they kept up with it.

I haven't done this in Harrison Co., but have done some of this in Ritchie so I am familiar in general with the idea. I am not an attorney, so this is not saying how to do a legal title search, but my sister who is an attorney says I am getting good enough to be a paralegal! Anyway please ask questions if this isn't clear. A phone call to both the Assessor's office and the County Clerk's office should help you get an idea, also. Are there any of your relatives in cemeteries in Harrison Co.? I have a big list of cemeteries I'd like to visit.

Hello. We have mineral rights in Harrison County WV. We signed papers, lease, etc. couple years back but have heard nothing. How can I find out more? Should I assume no news means no results? Appreciate any help, advice, guidance or comments from anyone else in that area. Thanks, R Hooper

Richard Hooper: probably no news means no activities but not necessarily. If you live there, of course you can see what is happening. If not, if you know where that property is located you can search the maps on the WV Office of Oil and Gas website http://www.dep.wv.gov/oil-and-gas/databaseinfo/Pages/OGD.aspx

and see what permits and wells have been active, and see if that is near or on your property.

I have surface and O&G over in Doddridge. When Antero was originally wooing me they drove me to 4 or 5 pads in Harrison That was in various stages from full production to just setting up to drill. That was in 2011. So I'm sure that some people in Harrison county have received royalty checks by now. They drilled the first two wells on my pad last spring and in Sept. gas was flowing into the pipeline.

I have yet to receive a DO. Can/will anyone who has experienced the process tell what the time between Fracking, Turning gas into the line and the receipt of the DO and the first royalty check was. Sure seems like a long time to do a title search. Other than the length of time since completion and no DO or money, Antero has been pretty easy to deal with. Sure would like to get some feedback from people who have experienced the process.

Have a problem and please don't tell me its my fault for not knowing the laws I already know that now. My grandparents left 7 grand children myself included land and mineral rights. We have been receiving checks for years now. And I found out about two years ago that some of the relatives must have sold their rights and one person had been paying the taxes all these years, then the person seperated and the auditors office sent me the tax bill. I called and the person I spoke with at the auditors office didn't know what my bill was for exactly and to ignore it, so the following year here it comes again. I called again and found out they want me to pay all the taxes. I had just lost my job and told her to send them to one of the other owners as it said on the bill. They did. That person did not pay them either, but all the other owners got to pay their taxes this year and they are refusing mine and I just found out that there are tanks on my property that I was never asked if they could install. Does anyone know anything about what I can do about this tax problem that belongs to several people that the auditors office is making me solely responsible for and if they are allowed to just put tanks on my property without asking?

Linda, did either of your grandparents leave a will? It sounds like you need to get the estates straightened out with the assessor’s office. The County Clerk’s office should be able to help you get started. Ask for the person handling probate. The assessor’s office might be able to tell you if the property is leased. I think the companies report that to the assessor. It sounds like one of your grandparents or one of their children or grandchildren signed a lease. Those are some ideas to get started.

They did leave a will. I will try your suggestions Nancy, Thank you.