Last year and again this year I emailed or called every company I could who showed any interest in Tioga Co. Besides East, only Ultra was interested in Delmar Township, and they said that any wells here would be a joint venture with East.
I have 2 acres in the Stock well unit. Im on the corner of Wolf Run & Horse Thief Run.
I have no lease yet, but they came to me a few days ago offering $500/12.5. I know other landowners in that unit got around $2000 last fall. They want my answer this week.
I wonder if you went to the courthouse and asked if a unit can be approved for drilling if you refused to accept that offer. Perhaps the courthouse is not a place for an answer, but they can probably point you in the proper direction. It doesn't seem fair or legal that they can run rough shod over any landowner, making them accept whatever offer is given. If that is the case, why bother offering anything more than a token gesture - say $5 an acre? Two acres may not be enough to swing them, but then again, why wouldn't they do what they can to satisfy you for the use of your two acres to avoid a great deal of trouble and anomosity? Please let us know how it turns out.
That would probably be very wise and helpful. Do you own more than two acres and they only want to include those two acres in the unit for now? If so, perhaps they are reluctant to pay you a fair price for your additional acreage, thus setting a precedent for other landowner deals? Have you asked them for the same offer as your neighbors recieved yet? If so, did they refuse?
It would be helpful if each of us knew for sure what our neighbors' current lease status was. This website is organizing some kind of mapping arrangement, but I don't know how specific it will be. i have recently thought perhaps I should copy off a map of my particular township (Middlebury), mail a copy to each of my neighbors, and ask them if they might outline to the best of their ability their holdings and state who they are leased with and what the terms were. If they did not wish to participate, fine, no hard feelings. After all, it is really their own private business. If they participate, then a map of what might be offered as a chunk or patchwork of land to potential leasers. Each neighbor could continue the map chain on to his/her neighbors. At this time few people seem certain as to how locked in they truly are or not.
The East rep told me (for what it's worth) that as long as the drill bit doesn't enter your property (either above or below ground), you don't have to be leased, and they don't have to pay you if you aren't, even if you are in the middle of what they call a unit. The fracking can run for a long distance under unleased properties. Once they start extracting gas, the lower pressure causes the higher pressure gas (even if it's under unleased properties) to flow toward the well. It's perfectly legal under PA's "rule of capture". They can't make you accept any offer, but they CAN take your gas and give you nothing. That's the way I understood what he was saying.
Anybody know a good lawyer. I will let you know the outcome of this after his return visit later this week. One point i forgot to mention - a different landman visited me last year and was offering the 2000/12.5 and i told him that i had to think it over and he told me that everyone in the unit was recieving the same amount (LOL). Before i got back to him East stopped taking anymore leases and now here i am again. I wonder what happen to there policy of everyone getting the same deal??
I refer to the offer that East made about a year and a half ago to landowners such as myself. I have an old lease with East, signed in 2005 for $50 an acre on the first year and $5 an acre (I think) after that. The royalty was 12.5 %. This lease has a Pew (spellig?) Clause that prevents them from drilling over $7000 feet. There is more to it than that, but in a nutshell, it limits them severly from drilling as they need to for Marcellus Shale. They offered myself and others $300 an acre to rewrite it so that they could drill as needed. If they had blanket offered everyone this amount, both currently leased landowners and unleased landowners, this amount, most people would have never been the wiser and would have signed. They did not, they offered unleased landowners $2300 an acre, even when that land was surrounded by currently leased land. So... people started to learn more about this leasing business and that is why we are having these dicussions today.
Currently there is a group of landowners, centered in Middlebury, Chatham, and Farmington townships, that is organizing a negotiating consortium. There is a frontman negotiator involved who has been involved in this business for some time. The acerage tally at this time is about 6000 acres. The landowners are leased with old leases with East, some are on old leases with Futurna, and some are unleased. We are hoping for a top lease or at least some healthy competition generated. I have not seen the maps. Some of this land is in continous blocks - hopefully a larger percentage. Even if you are not located anywhere near this area, you might be able to join the negotiations. Perhaps you and other neighbors may join together to organize larger blocks of land in your area. I have not gotten an okay to give out a contact number on this website, but if you have an interest, I could make the connections. If I get a go ahead, I will post a contact number.
A bit of gossip only; I have heard that if your lease does not have the words Marcellus Shale specifically mentioned in the lease, they will not drill you. I guess a lawyer would have to sort out the value of such a situation.
Brian; do you know of any unleased land owners in Delmar Township? The more I think about East's offer, the more unhappy I am with it. Why should I take $1500/15/5 when properties touching mine signed for $2300/15/5 last year? My gas rights are worth as much as theirs. I fear that I am the lone holdout in my area, and I'm not sure that having only 42 acres gives me much bargaining power.
What makes this site so great? Well, I think it's the fact that, quite frankly, we all have a lot at stake in this thing they call shale. But beyond that, this site is made up of individuals who have worked hard for that little yard we call home. Or, that farm on which blood, sweat and tears have fallen.[ Read More ]