Bradford County - Has anyone heard any info on top leasing? We own land in Bradford County, which we purchased in the beginning of 2008, right before the leasing boom. This property all ready had a lease on it for a whopping $2 (not a typo) an acre. The lease is up next June.

I recently heard from a local banker that (at least Chesapeake) as offering top leasing to those with leases set to expire within the next 18 months. They are trying to lock in a rate of I believe $5,500 an acre. They are offering $1,000 an acre now, with the balance of $4,500 an acre when their lease renews.

Was wondering if anyone else had heard of that and if they had any further information. Our lease is currently with Chief Oil and Gas (not entirely sure if Chessie doesnt own a part of it?)

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What royalty % are they offering?
on the leasing aspect-does the lease itself have the signature of the oil & gas company, or just the landsman witnessing the signature(s) of the owner? If the company hasn't signed the lease, is this considered legal? I was of the impression that all parties to a lease need to sign. Am I wrong?
Dan
I have no idea what the terms are of these leases....I dont even know if they really exist....
I have been trying to contact both Chesapeake and Chief for information on these leases However, I have not been able to talk to anyone at either company. A landman(woman) from Chesapeake returned my call twice...but I can never seem to get anything but her answering machine. Chief has not even acknowledged my email...so I am at an impasse on finding out information.
When you purchased your property, as part of the title search, was there a listing of the mineral lease? Some title companies don't search mineral records but some do. If it is noted in your title policy, there may be a recording designation that will allow you to get a copy of the lease. You could also look through the records to see if the lease has changed hands via assignment to other companies.

How do you know the lease will expire? Do you know that there is no production from the lease or from a pooling unit that your lease is a part of? If there is production then the lease will be extended until all production ceases.

Be persistent with CHK; they are busy but keep dogging them. If they are interested, they will get to you with a lease. Since Chief currently has the lease, they may be rushing to get a well drilled on your property, thereby holding the property for a long time.
We have a current lease....and a copy of it...it expires next june....it was for $2 an acre. I am trying to gather info on "top leasing"....a practice of getting people to resign their leases now at a higher price to secure them for a further 5 years. Also, what I had heard was that they were securing these leases at $5,500 an acre ($1,000 now and $4,500 when the lease renews)....I heard this was to secure that price for them now...as prices might possibly go up. Course this could all be rumors...there are so many going around... but my feeling is...."a bird in the hand.....is worth a couple of wells in the bush!!!"
Okay. But do you know for certain the existing lease is expiring? If the current holder of the lease has established production either on the lease or in a pool that this lease is a part of, no matter what date or term the lease has in it, it will be held by production (HBP). So it is worth finding out if there is any production. If I were the company that holds that lease, and it was agreed to with such favorable terms (from the drilling company's perspective), I would do everything I possibly could to get a well drilled on that property prior to the lease expiration, thus holding the lease via production.

Also, in looking at the lease, or there extension clauses in the lease? Many leases have extension clauses that gives the lease holder the right to extend the lease for pre-defined terms.

If someone wants to come in and top lease you, they will check into all of these things prior to signing the agreement. It may be why you aren't getting any interest, but that is pure speculation.

Again, I'd keep calling/writing CHK. Give them your location, size of the acreage and when your current lease expires.
My lease will expire in February of 2011. It has an extension clause in it that says I must give the drilling company 90 days notice before the lease runs out that I wish to end the lease. Check for something like this. Also, my lease has a pew clause limiting how they drill and how deep. I am not certain how this clause works, but I know they don't like it. Are there any terms like this in your lease? If you are not sure, it would be worth your money to have a lawyer look at it.
As for the threat of being stuck in a unit or drilled upon before your lease runs out, that depends on where you are. If someone is actively drilling in your immediate area or if you have recieved notice you are in a pool or unit, time might be running out. If you are in a quieter area, most of these companies have an awful lot of permits and wells to drill in the more active areas. They have pipelines to put in. Even their pockets are only so deep - as we all found out when the economy collapsed. Drilling rigs are expensive. All of the support structure and equipmnet cost lots of money. Permits take time to obtain. Landmen seem to always threaten that you will be eminently overrun. Take a few hours or a day and see that lawyer and go to the couthouse or whereever they direct you to so that you may find out how many drilling permits have been applied for and issued in your immediate area.
I don't have the link but there is a PA state website that you can access and get a list of the permits applied for and approved. That might give you some insight.

I did hear the other day that Range got a permit in 18 days! That's certainly not the regular time frame, though. The above poster is probably right, though, if they aren't drilling in your area right now you are probably safe. But it never hurts to check.
http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/minres/oilgas/RIG09.htm

Here is the rig activity report amd it is updated every Monday
my lease expires in June of 2010. There is no clause for them to be able to extend the lease....the closest well sites/permits are in Burlington and Leroy, both several miles away (I realize this doesnt mean that by next month there wont be one close). My lease does have a clause in it limiting their access to our property..gives me right to refusal on where they can place a rig. I have noted on the phone and email messages I left that I am willing to relax this criteria.

I have no idea if they are interested in my property or not. was just trying to see if anyone else had gotten any interest and knew what this was about.

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