They are still only leasing certain areas to finish units, still very minimal competition, this could cost them a lot more money by working this way? With Natural Gas starting to break out this may lead to other companies coming in and trying to take a position with new leases and acreage forcing the other players to pay a lot more for land to drill on. The cards have been all aces for the Gas/oil companies the past 5 years but they be getting ready to be dealt a losing hand if they aren’t careful? I hope new companies do come in, I would rather deal with someone else than the current companies who are pushing landowners around.
I suspect it would depend on how the local E&P has their leaseholds set up. Leaving unleased acreage here and there is strategic on their part.
They tie up enough acreage to make it implausible for a new Operator to enter the theater, while at the same time, saving leasehold costs for the time when they are ready to pull the trigger and develop.
I fear, to the detriment of many of us....we got who we got....unless they sell out.
A sustained upward tic in NG pricing might bring a few new wells....but they have seen this before....seeing gas prices plummet while they are in development mode. I believe we will see carefully paced development.....the Wild West days are behind us.
Some areas are going to be tough for another company to enter, but there are several townships and counties where Gas/Oil companies showed interest, did all the legwork, all the seismic testing, and then leased and then walked away a few years later to go work the proven hotspots. Competition is good for everyone other then the few Gas/Oil companies that don’t want to give landowners a fair price to lease their land. This same pattern happened at other big gas/oil fields, big interest and big money swooped in and then it calmed down for a few years and then it got even bigger the second time through. I have no doubt in my mind that the big money days are far from over, now many landowners are more knowledgeable and won’t sign nearly as many bad leases in the future. Cracker plant, power companies, billions and billions of new projects are popping up all over PA, Ohio, and WV, the gas companies need the landowners to survive and supply all these projects.
I hope you're right and I'm wrong....but I am not optimistic.