Thanks for the comments and questions.
Here’s the link to one of the comments about getting 100% - I could be totally wrong in how I interpreted the answer…but that what it sounded like to my tired brain:
Here’s the comment:
NOT LEGAL ADVICE
Dear Mr. Ohman,
As I have stated elsewhere, I do not have much experience with subdivision leasing, so you will have to confirm what I state here with somebody else. But my belief is that if Chesapeake can obtain leases covering 80% of the acreage in their proposed drilling unit, then they can proceed with the drilling without your permission. Yes, once they meet this threshold, which I believe is 80%, then can proceed and “drain” from your property. And it is my additional belief that if their well is successful, you will be treated as a “working interest” owner, like a joint venturer, and you will get paid 100% of your royalties instead of 22% or 25% or whatever they were offering you. HOWEVER, you will have to wait until the well is paid for before you get any royalties at all, which could take a few months or a few years depending upon a host of variables impossible to predict.
Nothing happens to your mineral rights. Nobody can take those away from you without your consent, well absent a divorce case, foreclosure, or other court proceeding. Good luck.
Cherokee Horn has sent out a map several times showing who in our housing development has signed and who has not. We are in a newer small development that is surrounded by older houses. I don’t know how much of the area they have been leasing, but according to the map there are about 40 of us who have not signed yet they say they have over 80% of the area signed. We live on a circle and are one of 3 houses not signed. The other holdouts are pretty scattered through our development which would cause it to be difficult for them to get a straight line without petitioning the RRC. I figure that’s why there is so much pressure.
I have told my husband many times that I wish I had the time to get all us holdouts organized. My “problem” is I have a 2 and 4 year old, my husband and both work full time and I have so many projects and just general housework that doesn’t get done because there’s just not enough time in the day for me. I’m exhausted already! I am considering sending them all a letter, but know I don’t have the time or knowledge to organize anything. When this all started, there was a big group that organized and fought to get more money. At the time they were offering $500 signing bonus which lots of people jumped on. This group was pretty big, I forget how many but I was so crushed when they sent out the word that the negotiations were done, they wouldn’t get a better deal and everyone had 2 weeks to sign and get the new deal of $700. Almost all of them signed.
As to my family’s health? Don’t know if you have heard the news in TX lately but there are cases of leukemia in Flower Mound that are raising lots of concern about air pollution and there’s lots of testing going on. Water contamination has happened in areas around us. They will be drilling right next to a small creek that runs throughout our town (two streets from our home - we walk down and ‘play’ in it all the time) and you know there will be leakage, run off and accidental spills that will contaminate that killing all the wildlife. I am not sure exactly how close the drill will be in feet or anything, but it is about 2 streets over. We will definitely see, smell and hear it! It will be way too close for my comfort.
With all of these kind of things, it’s always after the fact and after the damage is done that we learn the truth. Now that the drilling has been going on a while they are doing air quality testing that shows higher levels of contaminants than are safe. People are getting sick and will continue to get sick. But if you listen to the drilling companies it’s all perfectly safe…
Jim Colley said:
I’m just a bit confused, which isn’t hard for me to do. Can you link me to the comments that said you’d get 100% for doing nothing?
The way I understand it is, if you do nothing, you get the least possible royalty allowed by law - not the max. I can definitely tell you (now that I know you’re in Texas) that if you don’t sign up but the majority of the property owners around you have signed, then you can be forced into the pool and get very little and in some cases nothing at all because they could simply drill around you. I’ve seen survey plats from several different gas drilling companies that have done just that.
Do you know the status of your neighbors? Have they all signed or can you still organize a coalition of property owners to negotiate with Exxon enmasse? The old adage “strength in numbers” works in this situation and just might be alot cheaper than paying 3 lawyers like Philip said.
One other thing, you mentioned your family’s health. Are they planning to drill right next door to you or something? How do you feel your family will suffer?