Has anyone looked into forming groups for the landowners who already have their mineral rights leased - but under old contracts?
In Harrison, Tuscarawas, and Guernsey counties, (and probably everywhere else), there are several companies holding mineral rights with working shallow wells that potentially don't have the equipment to reach Marcellus shale. Immediately I think of Redhill (Dover, OH), Tipka Energy (New Phila, OH), and possibly Enervest (TX). Even if Redhill and Tipka can manage to come up with resources (millions) to do a couple of horizontal wells, I don't believe they have the billions of dollars of seed money that would be necessary to drill more than a couple. Since larger chunks of ground are needed to pool enough acreage to make the Marcellus profitable, these companies will likely begin negotiating to sell/trade their rights to the larger companies (Greenwich, Chesepeake...) so they can get a bigger piece of the pie. In such circumstances, the current leases may need to be revisited to add additional terms, ie pooling. It would all depend upon their current wording.
Would it be beneficial for these leasees (landowners) to be in a position to actually 'negotiate' and not just agree to what is offered?? (I could forsee some companies just saying 'Here, we need to add this addendum to the lease agreement, sign off and you can be in on the Marcellus money', without really 'offering' anything over the % that is in the old lease). Maybe there should be a group just for Tipka, and one just for RedHill, and etcetera.. so if the opportunity arises these people are more prepared (and organized) to get a reasonable deal.
Everyone seems to assume that if a well is already present, then the landowner (leasee) has no say. And I think this is mostly correct. But if the old leases need modified, then doesn't that change things? Any comments (or maybe some info from someone with more knowledge than me) would be appreciated. I could be thinking about this completely wrong.