Interesting message on my voice mail

Yesterday a message was left on my voice mail by a person named Paul (last name and company not understood). He said he was confirming contact info on interest holders on the Hawk Unit in Fayette county so he could send paperwork about two wells that his company wanted to drill into the Austin Chalk on that lease. He left this number 221-■■■■■■■■. I Googled the area code and got this.........

"CountryCode.org is your complete guide to make a call from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world. This page details Senegal phone code.

The Senegal country code 221 will allow you to call Senegal from another country. Senegal telephone code 221 is dialed after the IDD. Senegal international dialing 221 is followed by an area code.

The Senegal area code table below shows the various city codes for Senegal. Senegal country codes are followed by these area codes. With the complete Senegal dialing code, you can make your international call."

I have not returned the call. Any thoughts or advice? Thanks.

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Sounds like a new version of the Nigerian / African "We have large funds and need your help to get them to the USA" scam.

Danger!!!!!!!!!!!! IMO

I recently had a related experience and so I had enough interest in your question to research area code 221 on multiple websites. Nowhere is 221 listed for the USA.

If it were me, I think the safest thing to do is to make Paul do his job, which includes finding out your mailing address and sending you something. After all, what's the worst that could happen if you didn't respond? They couldn't proceed without you.

Thanks for responding. I was thinking the same thing although I just got off of the phone with a lady that works with the company that has that lease and she told me that there is some interest in a group of working interest holders that want to have more done to that lease with another company. She said she did not have all of the info yet but that she would try to find out what's going on for me.

She will email me sometime this afternoon with more info.

Good luck on this - please post what you can as to what is happening here. New activity is always interesting news!

Okay, here's the deal. Why would a group of investors (a company) want to lease mineral rights from me and offer all mineral rights owners 20% with NO bonus money to drill two horizontal wells on a lease that has a verticle well that never produced very much at all. I do not have and will not have the money for a lawyer if the wells come up dry. These are supposed to be upper Austin Chalk wells. Did anyone else get a lease agreement like this?

No bonus money is a non starter for a lease. I am guessing that they are saying "you share our risk" but that just doesn't fly.

Not a surprise to see horizontal wells do well after vertical wells in the same area are duds - that is the norm for the Eagle Ford and every other unconventional play.

I am not in Fayette Co with minerals - just commenting on what you have been offered

I understand what you are saying. My problem is that they do not leave me with a good way to negotiate because I cannot afford to pay a lawyer if the wells come up dry. I can only pay if I get a bonus or out of royalties if they do come in. I need a lawyer that will work on strictly a contingent basis. Or, one that can negotiate a bonus. I am not savvy enough to not have a lawyer read the entire lease agreement for me.

Why would you want to get a lawyer involved if the wells are "dry holes"? If the wells are bad / poor results, there is nothing that will change that.

Tell them you will look at the lease. Can't hurt to look. Don't commit to anything until you have seen the lease. Some people may be willing to read the lease for you and point out any pitfalls they see. The project may not happen but if it does happen you need to be in the loop.

There is more than one way to make money in oil and gas. Not all money made from oil and gas was made producing. Someone will be making money on the deal somewhere even if the bore stops 10 feet from the proposed zone. Maybe they think they can sell the lease to someone else and just skim off the bonus money? It's not bad work for a little bit of printing, postage cost and making a few phone calls? That may be a clue to your question of WHY?

I guess I'm getting more and more confused the more I know. So my first question is, are you in Texas? Your profile says that you're in Arkansas and that's OK because you may have mineral rights in Texas but it's confusing. If not, I'm not sure that I can comment any further because each state is a little different. Once we get that out of the way, from what I gather you have a pretty sorry producing well on your property and now a third party has come in asking about an additional lease? If your original well is producing, no matter how sorry it is, aren't you held by production (HBP) and therefore you have no say in the matter? But let's get past all that...

If it were me, I've been told over and over that the bonus payment is just chicken feed compared to what you can get on the royalties. If I could negotiate like a 27.5% royalty I might be tempted to blow off any kind of bonus payment. This is assuming that you have a small amount of acres involved. Otherwise you're talking real money and you can disregard my previous statement.

But as of January 20 you said that you were waiting on more information from '...a lady who works with the company who has the lease...'. So has she responded to you or not? If not this is just all idle conjecture. If she has, please enlighten us.

I am saying that I do not want to get a lawyer involved because they might be dry holes. The lawyer, if I got one, would still want to be paid and I cannot afford that.

I have a copy of the lease agreement. I would love for someone to walk me through the negotiation process on a contingent basis or free. Someone comfortable with legal mumbo jumbo and not in the back pocket of the oil companies. My family has been in the oil business since the 1940's. I worked directly in the oil field for 14 years. My profile photo is of me at one of my grandfather's wells in Texas when I was 12 years old. I am now 73 years old and I've seen more under-handed dealings than I can remember. I trust no one until I have to.

If there is no confidentiality agreement? Make a copy of the lease and take a marker and redact all of the identifying information, scan the lease and attach a PDF to a post. If at least 5 people don't read it? I will owe you a cup of coffee.

I was born and raised in Texas. I've been in Arkansas for 10 years. Retired. My grandfather was a geophysicist that had leases all over Fayette and other counties. This present well was drilled several years ago and was finally capped. A company in Texas was the operator and it seems is going to turn over operations to these new folks. I'm not really sure of the process at this point in time. But for the new guys on the block to drill they have to have the interest owners sign lease agreements. The lady told me that some working interest owners are the ones getting together to try these two horizontal wells. What I need is someone that can help me negotiate the lease agreement. Bonuses are "chicken feed" to people that have more money than I do. They come in very handy to my wife and I. Also, I have a Royalty Interest.

There is a confidentiality agreement attached to the email he sent.

In that case if they are ashamed of what they are doing I would just turn them down. I find that secrecy is seldom (so far never) to my advantage and turning down such offers keeps me out of trouble.

Out of curiosity what form did your agreement to keep the offer confidential take? Or did they just order you to keep it confidential? Or threaten to exclude you if you didn't keep it confidential? Just curious.

At the bottom of the email they sent. I have yet to receive one in the mail and I will post more info when/if I get one in the mail. My sister is a interest owner too and he doesn't know that. She has a different last name. If we don't both get anything in the mail then we know something isn't right.

Got to hit the sack now. Will be back on tomorrow.

This is just conjecture on my part, but I guess that because some of the working interest partners are the ones wanting to drill the horizontal wells somewhere that they already HBP, that somehow allows the proposed change. Other than that, I'd be curious about the Unit size. If the old wells are vertical, the unit size will certainly be greatly increased for the horizontal wells and your percentage of the entire unit will most likely be a lot less. But as someone else said, it's probably worth investing $300-400 dollars on a good attorney. All the best to you.

This just might be a big ole scam. I don't know at this point. I am going to contact a lawyer today but I'm not signing anything based on an email or a phone call with someone that I do not know. I'll post any updates. Thanks for the responses.