First time posting however I have been checking in on the site for info on what is happening and what others are facing. Background on us, we have a small farm in Noble Cty. Oh. We are HBP with an Oxford lease. Most Oxford leased landowners have horror stories of their leases being altered by Oxford, items deleted, signatures appearing on forms never before seen by the landowner etc.. Oxford and their agents were well trained in the art of deception. That deal is done. It is a new day. We all have hope.
Lets look at Eclipse. They purchase Oxford for a bunch of money, almost all of it borrowed. Eclipse will tell you that they are 70% Antero and 30% Eclipse. That is how their company is set up. The agents for Eclipse have come around with an amendment for Oxford leased landowners to sign. They have been rude, threatening and just plain mean not to mention telling lies about what they can do. Really bad business on their part. At first they needed the landowners to change the unitization clause and now, after the court ruling in Belmont Cty., they may have no leases at all to seek amendments to. Really, really dumb to treat the landowners in that manner. With the ruling as written, the Oxford leases, at least most of them, are invalid. The judges ruling stands, the Motion to Stay applies only to that case. A landowner can hire an atty. and file suit in the Cty. of residence against Eclipse citing the arguments and ruling and have a very good chance of getting the same outcome, along with a Motion to Stay the ruling by Eclipse. Seems like a big circle going nowhere fast. One possible action might be to get as many Oxford leased landowners in each Cty. to get together and file as one. It would reduce court traffic and since the leases would be constructed the same it should be, not always true, but should be able to be ruled on as one. Of course, Eclipse would file a Motion to Stay. Eclipse is saying with that motion that they don't know if the leases are good or not. One Court says no, they want a second or third opinion. If they aren't sure the leases are valid and file a Stay, I would think the Atty. could seek an injunction against Eclipse selling any product from those leases until Appeals are final. It could constitute Unlawful Taking of the minerals. If Eclipse has no leases due to this ruling, they should be blocked from taking resources as ALL mineral rights would return to the landowners.
No one should be entertaining thoughts of signing anything with Eclipse until this gets sorted out.
There could be some poetic justice in all of this. You have the ex owners of Oxford who took advantage of everyone they could who now have a bunch of money, borrowed money, from Eclipse. Eclipse who pays a bunch of borrowed money for possibly nothing, who sends out their hired landmen to harass landowners, whom they need, now more than ever. Landowners who may due to the Court ruling get all of their mineral rights back. Eclipse, who in an attempt to stave off having the leases terminated, filing Stays to stop Courts from terminating the leases, which is only giving time to the ex owners of Oxford to allow them to move and hide the money they got so when Eclipse comes after them for selling something they did not own, the reserves held by the leases, Eclipse won't be able to get their money back.
This will be interesting and could be fun. Everyone should sit back, take a deep breath and watch.
I would also encourage each person to be talking to your neighbors, checking in sharing info, just seeing how each other is doing. It is really what we should do anyway.