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#1 courtnie

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 10:11 PM

Hi Everyone,

I asked John where I should post this and he suggested here.This here since it has suddenly become an issue in my life. A few weeks ago my Father received a letter that a certian oil and gas company would like to lease the mineral rights under his home. They spelled out what they are willing to offer, including no surface rights etc.. He called to verify what property it was they were talking about and they asked if they could send the lease out. Once he received the lease it stated things very different. He called me to see if I had received a letter since I own property in the same neigborhood. I hadnt at that time. Saturday I got the same letter he received but I have yet to call them. My neigbor came over and inquired if we had gotten a letter and said that He called and the terms were a bit different for him and they wanted him to come in and sign the lease, they werent willing to mail it to him. My Fathers neighbors have received the lease as well and attempted to negoiate and were told that if they changed it for them, they would have to change it for everyone. We all have the same thoughts: 1st they arent getting out mineral rights. 2nd We arent signing anything.

I guess what im asking is has anyone else run into this yet and does anyone out there have any knowledge of gas drilling and are we about to be taken for a ride.....

Any help would greatly be appreciated. Im not one to really stand up and fight..but I do fight for things that mean a great deal to me...and that neigborhood does...For one we have the mcmansions popping up around us at alarming rates and 2 now we have to deal with the oil and gas companies wanting our minerals....

#2 hipolyte

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 03:02 PM

Hi Courtnie,
You should probably check out this website.

http://www.fwcando.org/

The people behind it have been against urban gas drilling from the get-go...with support only from individuals like yourself, who have been directly, and in almost all cases, adversely affected.
Pay particular attention to the words 'urban gas-drilling'. No one is against gas drilling as a concept...just against drilling for a highly explosive material in the middle of where our families live.
Good luck.


#3 courtnie

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 03:52 PM

Thanks for that website....Ive emailed them... This will be a fight to the finish....Crestwood may seem like a sleepy neigborhood..but the bite is worse the the bark.......



#4 rogerdr

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:46 PM

I think this is something that deserves long-term watchdogging. Our deed doesn't include mineral rights, which I believe are held by the city. I'm willing to bet most residential housing in the city is the same, this means that there's the possibility of an explosion (pardon the pun) of misuse of private land by the city in this regard. Is anyone here knowledgeable about just how far the city is allowed to go in extracting minerals from private residences? I'd hate to see wells drilled in backyards, legal or not.

#5 hipolyte

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:56 PM

The city has spent the last year studying the issue, and has aready issued their guidelines, which basically say a gas well can be placed 300 feet from your house. Unless you own the mineral rights, you can do nothing.
However, new developers can also build new houses within 100 feet of an existing gas well.
Check out the website for horror stories of gas explosions.

#6 RD Milhollin

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 08:39 AM

QUOTE(courtnie @ Sep 26 2006, 11:11 PM) View Post

A few weeks ago my Father received a letter that a certian oil and gas company would like to lease the mineral rights under his home. They spelled out what they are willing to offer, including no surface rights etc.. He called to verify what property it was they were talking about and they asked if they could send the lease out. Once he received the lease it stated things very different. He called me to see if I had received a letter since I own property in the same neigborhood. I hadnt at that time. Saturday I got the same letter he received but I have yet to call them. My neigbor came over and inquired if we had gotten a letter and said that He called and the terms were a bit different for him and they wanted him to come in and sign the lease, they werent willing to mail it to him. My Fathers neighbors have received the lease as well and attempted to negoiate and were told that if they changed it for them, they would have to change it for everyone. We all have the same thoughts: 1st they arent getting out mineral rights. 2nd We arent signing anything.


Courtnie, I am sure there are people on the list more qualified than me to answer this, but I have a few insights. First, know in advance the cards are stacked against the small land owner, and the urban dweller, and the consumer. Mineral extraction, especially of energy resources, is a huge business, and has over time strongly influenced legislation in their own favor. It might be argued that the most basic policies of the federal government at this time are ruled by mineral extraction concerns. The rights of the energy company to extract subsurface minerals they acquire rights to trump any surface rights you may enjoy, within some minimal limits. The pool of natural gas beneath Tarrant County is not neatly segmented into lot-sized compartments, it saturates a layer of rock thousands of feet down more or less evenly. When you suck it out from one point it serves to empty the whole pool. Relatively new drilling technology makes it pussible to drill down in a fairly isolated area, separated from residences and commercial businesses by required distances, and then when the drill bit reaches the gas deposit, it can be turned to drill horizontally thousands more feet to get right under your property. Thus no need for a drill rig in your back yard just to get at "your" minerals.

The drilling company needs a certain percentage of the mineral's owners (I don't remember how this is figured, as a % of land or of owners) to agree to allow drilling under their properties for this to be allowed. The Texas Railroad Commission can tell you what the number is and how it is figured. Thus, a single urban lot owner has very little say as to what goes on UNDER his or her land unless they band together with their proximate neighbors. A large landowner can negotiate, and this is usually what happens. The more land you own the better deal you can come out with. If you and a few other lot owners decide not to sign the lease but all your other neighbors do, the company will drill, "your" minerals will be extracted and eventually depleted, and you will have no compensation. This is all legal and business as usual.

I was approached by Dale Resources who was interested in acquiring a lease for my mineral rights. Dale prides itself on being an expert in "urban gas drilling", and from what I have gathered there are certainly worse operaters in the business than Dale. They are slick, and know their business, and you can rest assured that any successful operator in the field does as well. They mailed a sample contract that they stated was a standard Texas Oil and Gas Lease, with one addendum that specified no surface operations on my land. This is good because there is not room on my lot for a house AND a drilling rig.

The compensation offered was a $200.00 signing bonus and 20% of net, divided of course among all leasees. Estimates of this annual payment were $1000 - 1200. I spoke to a friend who has worked as a "land man" examining deeds at the courthouse to determine ownership of mineral rights to key properties in one company's area of concentration. I was advised that by banding together with neighbors one could raise the signing bonus to $500 or so, and the percentage to around 22%. He also advised inserting a stipulation that the lease was for gas only (no gravel or sand specifically) and that the rights extend to the Barnett Shale and 100 feet past, but no deeper. That would require the company to come back and renegotiate at a later date when and if drilling technology advances so that deposits deeper than the Barnett are made accessible. The term of the lease was stated at 5 years, but the way a Texas drilling contract runs is for 5 years unless a successful well is brought in, in which case the lease runs unchanged until the well is abondoned. When I suggested these changes to the contract presented, the representative basically said the same thing you were told, "this is a standard contract and the company is not prepared to change any portion other than the stipulation prohibiting surface disturbance. I also asked about the amount stipulated in the contract for "signing consideration". The company by printed letter and via personal representative stated the amount was $200 ($1000 if you owned an acre) but the contract read $10. The representative assured me that this practice was universal and legal under TRC rules, and that it was to prevent other landowners from knowing what you were paid for signing bonus. All these leases are filed with the county and are public record.

The entire process was rather frustrating. Play by their rules and get some cookies. Don't, and go home with nothing. Most neighbors I spoke with about this were happy to have some pocket money, the gas under their property was a vauge, abstract concept they really didn't seem to have the time to deal with. THEY were never going to drill for it, so why not take cash from a company that would. I first noticed this desire for immediate cash about 1.5 years ago during public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council concerning a drilling ordinance. When points were raised about tightening up distance requirements between wells and residences, as Fort Worth has done subsequently to the "accident" in Forest Hill, some residents were furious that we would consider limiting the company that was going to give them a few thousand dollars. Greed is indeed the driving force behind the applicable state laws and local ordinances governing this industry, but what else would you expect?

Yes, I signed.

#7 AndyN

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 12:36 PM

I also signed. Like Prairie Pup said, sooner or later they are going to get enough property owners to sign on to form a unit and the well is going to get drilled. You might inquire where the drilling site will be located. In my case it is supposed to be on TRWD land near the law enforcement helicopter facility near I-35. This is a great distance from my property, so I have no concern. We already know from another thread that they will be drilling at the old drive-in theatre. I imagine in your neighborhood the well will probably also be drilled on TRWD property along the river.

When I was working in Oil & Gas in west Texas, the rule of thumb was 32 oil rigs per section (or 640 acres) and 1 gas well. I recall that the Texas Railroad commission recently changed the rules for gas wells to allow denser spacing due to the geological properties of the shale. I don't remember the specifics, but they now need only 320 acres (or perhaps 160 acres) to get a unit to begin drilling. While there may be property lines and fences on the surface, there are no barriers underground to prevent your minerals from being acquired, so while you may not have a gas well bored directly underneath your house, you will not receive any income and the gas will be extracted anyway.

I received letters from two different companies who were trying to put together urban production units. I think the other was Sterling, but not sure. They were offering a little more money than Dale.

As I understand, the typical lease is 3 years, so anyone asking for 5 years is asking for more than normal. The lease rate for Barnett Shale has been runnning anywhere from $500 to $3500 per acre. If you don't know your acreage, you can probably check your tax bill or with the Appraisal District to find out what you have. Most lots in the city are less than an acre (I think I have 0.3 acres on a large lot off Samuels Avenue).

Regardless of RogerDr's thoughts, it is doubtful that the city owns the mineral rights beneath your property. The city does own mineral rights beneath city property and probably has already negotiated leases on it. If you own your minerals, the landmen have probably already contacted you or will be before too long. Nobody ever thought it would be economical to go after the minerals in the Barnett Shale, so that is why most of the lots in Fort Worth still have their mineral rights attached. I was floored when I found out that I owned the minerals underneath my property.

I don't think you will be able to prevent production because by pooling leases of the people who do sign the company can drill when they get enough acreage to put a unit together. You can always ask for money than they are offering, within reason. This is kind of a poker game. They need you to sign, but only until enough other people sign, and then they don't need you. I asked for a reasonable amount more than they offered and I got it, so don't let them tell you it's non-negotiable.
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#8 courtnie

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 03:03 PM

Thank you for all of the responses. I dont have a problem with them drilling. Its the lease that bothered us. Dale is the same company that contacted us and its my entire neigborhood. They want the lease for 5 years but they own the minerals under your house for ever after that. They also own any minerals you might aquire if you buy property in that area. They arent willing to deal, they have given everyone a different story and even mentioned eminate domain. They have offered 400 sign on bonus but mention nothing of that in the contract and 20% royalties for 5 years. I know they will drill the gas one way or another but I feel as a property owner I do have the right to say something and people might be happy with alittle pocket change for a while but what happens when they want to drill in your back yard....and you have already signed the lease....Im not willing to sign not even for alittle money.Its the principal of the thing....not the thing itsself. Our letter stated that they would have no surface rights but the lease stated differently. Again thanks for the suggestions I do appreciate them and welcome them.

#9 lens314

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 03:38 PM

I have a question related to all this. Just south of my neighborhood, there was(is?) a new drilling rig setup a couple of months ago on or very near a farm field (near I-820 & I-35W).

The tower(rig?) is now not there. Does that mean it was a exploratory drilling spot and they didnt find anything, or do they not need the tower there when the well is actually producing? It is a aways from the road that I drive on, so I cant see very far while I am driving the road, but they did remove part of the curb and replaced the curb with a concrete ramp to get to the gravel road that leads to the rig.

The tower that was there is the same type of tower that you can see on the south side of 820 going east towards 35W.

They are such an eyesore, im glad the one near my place disapeared.
-Doug

#10 RD Milhollin

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 04:13 PM

QUOTE(lens314 @ Sep 28 2006, 04:38 PM) View Post

The tower(rig?) is now not there. Does that mean it was a exploratory drilling spot and they didnt find anything, or do they not need the tower there when the well is actually producing?


The rig is only in place during the initial drilling and fracture process. Once that is done, all that is left is the wellhead, often referred to as a "christmas tree", basically a pipe coming up from the ground with a few valves on it, and a pipe going to a storage or pressure tank or directly into a pipeline. In this area, with existing technology, it would be odd indeed if they drilled and missed in the area you are describing.

#11 lens314

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 04:36 PM

Ok, then the well is probably still there I would imagine.
-Doug

#12 AndyN

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 04:58 PM

QUOTE(courtnie @ Sep 28 2006, 03:03 PM) View Post
They want the lease for 5 years but they own the minerals under your house for ever after that. They also own any minerals you might aquire if you buy property in that area. They arent willing to deal, they have given everyone a different story and even mentioned eminate domain. They have offered 400 sign on bonus but mention nothing of that in the contract and 20% royalties for 5 years. I know they will drill the gas one way or another but I feel as a property owner I do have the right to say something and people might be happy with alittle pocket change for a while but what happens when they want to drill in your back yard....and you have already signed the lease....Im not willing to sign not even for alittle money.


I can't comment specifically on your MINERAL LEASE since I have not seen it, but you might ask them where the clause is in your lease that states surface access is prohibited. Perhaps they sent you the wrong form?

You are not transferring ownership of minerals. If they own mineral rights in any property in "that area" it is because they bought the mineral rights outright from the owner.

I don't know why they would use eminent domain if they do not want surface access. If they wanted to drill in your back yard, they would have to negotiate a separate SURFACE LEASE for the backyard. Then, they would have to break a bunch of City Ordinances regarding the separation of drill sites from residences. They will do the drilling in a wide open spot along the river and once they reach a certain depth, they will drill out towards the area underneath your neighborhood.

You say there is nothing in the contract about the $400 sign on bonus - please reread Prairie Pup's post. Because the lease is filed in the County Clerk's Office and is a public record, the contract usually says "for and in consideration of $10 dollars cash and other good and valuable consideration in hand paid". This is a normal false value consideration shown on many public records to conceal the true amount paid. While consideration (something of value) is not necessary between a grantor and a grantee in order to create a valid deed, lack of legally sufficient consideration can leave the deed conveyance open to challenge by a creditor with a preexisting debt. It is for this reason that deeds routinely recite that “sufficient consideration” was paid. I have also seen "love and appreciation" as the consideration listed in a deed (usually from parent to child).

If you are worried that the oil company is going to try to jerk you around and only give you ten dollars, then you meet the guy in person and have him hand you the $400 check when you hand him the signed lease.

It behooves you to educate yourself about this process. You are more than welcome to not sign and protest your heart out while they move forward and drill the well anyway. Don't let them bluff you or scare you into doing nothing or signing for less than you feel is a fair value. They are relying on your ignorance to some extent, but geez, don't leave easy money sitting on the table. That 20% royalty turns into a regular royalty check, too, once production starts - if they drill within 5 years.

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#13 AndyN

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 05:12 PM

Interesting website about the Barnett Shale. A little technical and some spelling and grammar errors, but good info. http://www.thebarnettshale.com/
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#14 hipolyte

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 09:30 PM

I'm amazed by the replies here. Basically, you're saying resistance is futile...so just grab the money while you still can.
It may be cynically pragmatic...but is it government by the people? Or only by mineral rights owners and drilling companies?
A remote riverbottom is one thing, but with recorded blast radii of a mile or more, I would still have major problems with a gas well within 300 feet of my house and children, which under the current ordinance is perfectly legal.
Are people truly that powerless?


#15 AndyN

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 07:58 AM

Ask your neighbors. If enough of them turn down the offer and don't lease the rights, then there is no well to drill. Unfortunately, the city and Tarrant Regional Water District ARE your neighbors and ARE leasing, and I doubt the company will have any trouble putting together a unit.

Like I said, go ahead and sit it out. But I think it is a fait accompli.
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#16 RD Milhollin

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 09:26 AM

QUOTE(AndyN @ Sep 29 2006, 08:58 AM) View Post

Ask your neighbors. If enough of them turn down the offer and don't lease the rights, then there is no well to drill. Unfortunately, the city and Tarrant Regional Water District ARE your neighbors and ARE leasing, and I doubt the company will have any trouble putting together a unit.

Like I said, go ahead and sit it out. But I think it is a fait accompli.


Agreed Andy, and hipolyte I am a n honest believeer in the power of the people, but also a pragmatist. Resisting the oil and gas companies who have written the law, have a virtually unlimited warchest, and have the majority of entrenched politicians in their pocket (books), is an uphill battle.

Is now the time to start a SERIOUS discussion of renewable and decentralized energy sources?

#17 courtnie

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 03:21 PM

Like I stated before, it has nothing to do with the money. Its not about leaving money on the table or off. They are not drilling in my neigborhood its about a mile and a half under my house and my property is a tiny bit of the entire picture. What I dont want is someone encroching on me and if I sign and give then the rights they can always come back later and say well you signed so comply. The well will be on the other side of the trinity but it is still very close to my house. Im just simply stating my concerns. If I was just out for the money....This thread wouldnt be here and I would sign the lease.

#18 rogerdr

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 03:37 PM

Now my small fears of a well in my (or my immediate neighbors') backyard is relieved, as none of us have enough space for one, but this doesn't mean the parks or ISD properties couldn't be used unless they have separate ordinances. My thought is that since the gas bearing rock is generally distributed the only reason companies would have to encroach on residential areas is the drilling limits per square mile already mentioned. I would have little problem with centralized drilling in locations such as business parks or warehouse areas. The space just north of Seminary Drive between Granbury and McCart comes to mind. Doing it altogether in easily accessable places would make it easier to monitor for safety.

My biggest gripe now is if the city and county will be drilling, will we be seeing relief in property or sales taxes? Somehow, I doubt it. After all, it COSTS money to drill, whether they get anything out of it or not.

#19 RD Milhollin

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 04:08 PM

QUOTE(rogerdr @ Sep 29 2006, 04:37 PM) View Post

My biggest gripe now is if the city and county will be drilling, will we be seeing relief in property or sales taxes? Somehow, I doubt it. After all, it COSTS money to drill, whether they get anything out of it or not.


rogerdr, this may be a little picky, but the city and county are not in the drilling business. They ARE landowners however. And they are LARGE landowners, and they have lawyers on retainer. This makes them better able to negotiate with the DRILLING COMPANIES to get the best signing bonuses and percentage once a producing well comes in on or under their property. It does not COST the city or county or ISD or Water Board anything to drill, just as it doesn't cost a homeowner to drill.

As to your second point: This Barnett Shale gas phenomenon is a seriously sweet windfall to the owners of mineral rights in the western part of the Metromess. This includes governmental entities. It can safely be viewed as a one time shot. If those cities were to use that windfall to reduce the taxes of citizens today, what about the future generations of citizens? They are going to have to live with the consequences of drilling. Once a well is abandoned you cannot build anything on top of the hole. There is always the possibility of poisonous gas leaks even years after the well is abandoned. So the value of surface rights at today's drilling sites are going to be permanantly diminished, and under the current method used to determine property taxes that is going to impact future government revenue after the gas is gone, assuming we cannot improve the taxing process.

I suggest that a better use for that money would be to use it to acquire buffer zones around urban areas as Portland OR has done in order the help rein in suburban sprawl. Another use might be to build a municipal "endowment" that could be invested and the returns used to enrich the lives of the future citizens through parks, art, revitalization, improved transportation, etc. I suppose the way I choose to look at this is that the gas under us that can benefit the government should benefit the greatest number of citizens possible. Since the citizens of the past are dead, we can't do much to help them (maintain cemeteries?), but we can look to the citizens of the future and try to leave something for them. I do not see a valid justification for using municipal gas revenues to reduce property taxes since the drilling process will negatively impact tax streams in the future, and I see no connection between this windfall and sales tax at all.

#20 AndyN

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 04:10 PM

The city and county do not drill. They lease rights to the drilling companies. I am sure the city will spend their share of the revenue as quick as they can, so I doubt you will see any relief.

Courtnie, perhaps I don't understand your question. If you sign a lease that does not allow for surface access, then you have no fear of someone coming onto your property, regardless of the amount of time that lapses. If they are presenting you with a lease that says nothing about restricting surface access, then you would be right not to sign. Although again, I do not understand how much real estate you possess since most drilling operations would not fit in someone's backyard on an average city lot.

I was born and raised in the middle of the oilfields of west Texas. Drilling and production were a fact of life out there and I suppose I don't worry about things like this as much. I don't think I am necessarily shilling for the oil companies, just doing my best to help explain a situation that you all might not be familiar with.
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#21 rogerdr

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 06:33 PM

Prairie Pup, if the city uses its windfall to build in or revitalize itself I would have no problem, as that would be a kind of tax relief. I'm only saying that I'd rather see the drilling done where it will do the least damage to homeowners OR businesses. What you say about buffer zones sounds a bit naive, however. Do you believe city growth can, in any way, be stopped? Surely you must mean something else, as I'm pretty sure the population of North Texas isn't going to level off any time soon, and the City of Fort Worth has made no secret of its ambitions with regard to land growth.

That the areas used to drill become permanently scarred only redefines my use of "cost". The lost revenues from the drilling sites after they are abandoned would eventually overtake their worth. This only adds to the complexity of a situation the citizens barely know about, much less have a reliable voice in, though the City seems to be moving ahead full steam.

#22 courtnie

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 08:19 PM

My concern is not the drilling or the issues that come with it. My issue is that the oil and gas company is saying one thing and doing another. We have a couple of peices of property in Crestwood. I dont mind leasing the mineral rights but what i do mind is the "fine print" so to speak...it might be S.O.P. in the oil and gas world but its not in my world. one way or another they will get what they want and why is it that they offer my neigborhood 400 signing but across the river its down to 200 signing....just something to chew on...

#23 hipolyte

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 09:35 PM

"MOUND VALLEY, Kan. Authorities now say one person died in a natural gas explosion and fire in southeast Kansas this afternoon.

The blast occurred when a construction crew ruptured a high-pressure gas line while replacing old pipe.
The work in Labette County was being done by Double-J Pipeline Construction of Baldwin City.
Parsons Fire Chief Tim Hay says the dead man is believed to be a Double-J employee, possibly from Texas or Oklahoma. Authorities were trying to make a positive identification before releasing his name.
About 50 construction workers and residents were evacuated from a one-mile radius of the explosion and fire. The gas was shut off around noon, and firefighters contained the blaze within an hour."

And again...
"At 5:26 a.m., mountain daylight time, on Saturday, August 19, 2000, a 30-inch diameter natural gas transmission pipeline operated by El Paso Natural Gas Company (EPNG) ruptured adjacent to the Pecos River near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The released gas ignited and burned for 55 minutes. Twelve persons who were camping under a concrete-decked steel bridge that supported the pipeline across the river were killed and their three vehicles destroyed. Two nearby steel suspension bridges for gas pipelines crossing the river were extensively damaged. According to EPNGS property and other damages or losses totaled $998,296. (reference)"

and again...
"Published: April 9, 1992
Crews today began trying to snuff out a geyser of blazing gas spewing from a pipeline ruptured by an explosion that killed a child and injured 18 other people on Tuesday, and prison inmates helped homeowners clear away the wreckage.
Workers hoped to put a plug in the pipeline to stop the flow of liquefied gas to the break, said Joe Sides, a spokesman for the Coastal Gas Pipeline Company.
Officials of Coastal Gas, which operates the pipeline, and the Seminole Pipeline Company, the operator of a nearby underground storage cavern, joined Federal investigators to try to determine what caused the explosion.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice sent crews of inmates to aid homeowners in clearing burned trees and rubble from the scorched area and burying dozens of steers and other livestock killed in the blast.
The explosion occurred in a rural area seven miles south of Brenham, a town of 12,000 people about 70 miles west-northwest of Houston."

#24 safly

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Posted 01 October 2006 - 11:44 PM

I say get them to pay your property taxes perpetual to life and next of kin. Have accident and cleanup waivers COMMITED( They do tend to leave messes). Get to KNOW these particular companies and see who they tend to do business with. GET THE INSIDE TRACK on em. See if they offer stock options! They are after all DOING BUSINESS WITH YOU, so get what YOU WANT out of it.

Band together as a commuity on this and set some standards. Take this story to your local political rep and MAKE IT A REAL ISSUE. It is however another VOTING SEASON. I say try to get your community involved with some appropriate legal representation and or this particular website to assure them that they DO HAVE OPTIONS.

Ask yourself how long will you actually own this property, and or do these "urban drilling" properties tend to be viable RE investments in the short and long term future.

As for ED, I seriously doubt that is even an issue, but I would bring that issue up to your local and regional political reps.

The way ENERGY FUTURES are at stake, I say get what you want.
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#25 AndyN

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 09:59 AM

There was an excellent article in this Sundays Star Telegram by Mitch Schnurman about fair lease prices.

Schnurman Webpage


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#26 Yossarian

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 12:44 PM

Courtnie:

Sign a lease; but sign your lease. By that, i mean that nothing restricts you to signing the particular lease presented by the E&P (exploration and production) company. There are some very basic principles in an oil and gas lease with respect to landowners. Address those issues only and nothing else.

You can draft your own lease and have it reviewed by a partner at a major firm for roughly less than half of one month's royalty on a typical urban lease - a good value.

The things you need to really address are as follows.

Term - how long is the lease good for if no drilling takes place
Drilling commitment - how long do they have to get the property into exploration before the lease terminates
Acreage and depth - where are they looking for gas/think of it three dimensionally
Bonus - $300-600 would be fair for urban leases in this price environment/risk field (searching for gas in the Barnett is the proverbial barrell fish shoot
Royalty % - 20 is a little low. 25 is reserved for those who have enough land to form at least one unit, so shoot for 22 to 23%
How the price of gas will be determined for purposes of Royalty payment - this is really the most complex issue in that certain deductions are "standard" but in no manner mandatory upon the landowner.
Penalties for untimely payment - what interest rate is the company going to pay if the royalty chaeck is late - a lenders fee on what is in essence "your gas".
Indemnification - who pays if something goes wrong, and to what extent will the liability be assumed
Notifications - when and in what circumstances are they obligated to contact you/seek further approvals (this applies in cases where the company you sign the lease with may in the future sell that lease to another company.

A good chunk of the info posted so far on this board is semi-correct/acurate at best. Look for sample oil and gas lease forms either on-line or at Border's/Barnes and Noble. Put in your terms and have that reviewed by a partner at a descent sized firm (will cost you between $400 and $1000) and then submit that to the company seeking rights to your land. Whoever said it is a poker game is correct in that you do not want to scare "the pot" too much but convey that you are amenable to finding equitable terms for mineral lease; and you DO want to lease it for minerals. 25+ years of accruable royalties from Barnett production is extremely valuable - something you would be remiss to forgo just on principle.

#27 courtnie

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 08:56 AM

Well we had our neigborhood meeting lastnight and I am releived because the neigborhood feels the same about this issue. We are banning together and we are going to have another meeting just for the Oil and Gas Issue in a couple of weeks. We have decided that we are best in numbers and we have a better shot of getting what we want that way...so at least this is looking better.

#28 hipolyte

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 02:32 PM

BREAKING NEWS - GAS LINE EXPLOSION - Decatur school district officials said that children who live in the area affected by a gas line exlosion just before noon will be taken after school is dismissed today to Carson Elementary School on business U.S. 81/287 South. Superintendent Gary Gindt said buses are not being allowed into the area and that parents should pick up their children. The Atmos Energy line exploded about 11:30 a.m. today south of County Road 4530 near New Fairview. Officials said the line was being worked on when the explosion happened. Firemen on the scene said at least three people were working at the site during the explosion, but no injuries were reported. A Lifestar helicopter was providing aerial assistance to locate any possible victims. Residents on County Road 4530 and other areas within a quarter mile of the site were evacuated. By 2:30 p.m., emergency officials, including Wise County Sheriff’s Deputies, volunteer firemen and Texas Department of Public Safety officials, were preparing to let some residents return to their homes


#29 AndyN

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 02:57 PM

I will concede to you that large accumulations of natural gas do cause explosions when exposed to an ignition source. I couldn't help but think of you when I saw this article this morning. You could also include an article about the leaky gas line in Fairview.

You have made it clear that you are opposed to the exploration, production and use of natural gas; however I think you are getting a little off topic here. Perhaps a new thread about natural gas pipeline safety would be more appropriate for daily updates on gas pipeline explosions.

Regardless of whether drilling is allowed in the city, the use of natural gas as a home utility is already a fact and the distribution lines already criss-cross Fort Worth. In fact, they have gas explosion problems in other parts of the US where they don't even produce natural gas. Perhaps a thread discussing the safety of pipelines and whether we need to get rid of natural gas service would be of merit, but it seems to me that the discussion here is about how to deal or not deal with mineral leasing issues. My neighbor is not going to be happy when you come to take her gas range away. :-)

On a side note, I am curious what fuel bronze foundries use to make sculpture from. The brass and aluminum foundry I use fires with natural gas.
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#30 RD Milhollin

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 04:21 PM

QUOTE(AndyN @ Oct 4 2006, 03:57 PM) View Post

Regardless of whether drilling is allowed in the city, the use of natural gas as a home utility is already a fact and the distribution lines already criss-cross Fort Worth. In fact, they have gas explosion problems in other parts of the US where they don't even produce natural gas. Perhaps a thread discussing the safety of pipelines and whether we need to get rid of natural gas service would be of merit, but it seems to me that the discussion here is about how to deal or not deal with mineral leasing issues.


Hmmm. You are probably right about a separate thread for non-drilling gas issues. For example:

Residents given all clear in gas leak

By DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR.
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

HALTOM CITY - About a dozen residents were given the all clear Wednesday after crews repaired a ruptured natural gas line.

Fire officials had ordered residents to stay indoors because of the gas leak.

The accident happened about 10:25 a.m. on Lower Birdville Road and Glenhaven Drive after a backhoe ruptured the 4-inch gas line. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters went door-to-door in the neighborhood, alerting residents to the ruptured gas line. Police also stopped traffic from traveling in the neighborhood.

Crews took about an hour to repair the gas leak.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-685-3822 ramirez@star-telegram.com

#31 AndyN

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 06:22 PM

Woops, I meant Haltom City in my previous post. Brain fart.
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#32 hipolyte

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:38 PM

QUOTE(AndyN @ Oct 4 2006, 03:57 PM) View Post



You have made it clear that you are opposed to the exploration, production and use of natural gas;
On a side note, I am curious what fuel bronze foundries use to make sculpture from. The brass and aluminum foundry I use fires with natural gas.


Oh no. You can't paint me with that brush and therefore write my opinion off as the ramblings of some luddite whacko.
I am not opposed at all to the exploration, production, or use of natural gas.
I just don't think it is a very good idea to engage in the exploration and production of natural gas just yards from where large numbers of people and their families are living. That's my point.

As a science fiction buff I am in most definitely in favor of technical solutions to mankind's problems. Gas, wind, nuclear power (with some reservations, mostly based on storage at half lifes) are all fine with me.

Exploitation of natural resources is logical and good, and follows a natual progression, from ancient Egyptians and the seasonal flooding of the Nile, the early whaling and coal industries, the gradual transition to petroleum and natural gas, to (hopefully) cleaner hydrogen and cold fusion technologies.

Natural gas is already piped to almost every residence in every city...but it is piped at a very low pressure, and has an odor artificially added to assist in leak detection. Basic safety precautions.

Raw gas coming from the ground is a different story. The city will soon be crisscrossed by high volume transport gas lines. Higher pressure, no odor, invisible. You discover a leak mostly when it explodes.

Most people would not argue that regulating how close bars, liquor stores, or strip joints can be to family neighborhoods is a good idea. Why then would you allow a potentially dangerous industry to move in next door. One that has a track record of frequent fatal explosive mishaps.
Not because the gas industry is careless or inept. It's just a very dangerous material to handle. Mistakes happen. You minimize the effects by keping out of high population areas.

I am also aware that a the discussion would differ if we're talking about individual or collective viewpoints.
In todays 'every man for himself' economy, it would make sense for an individual to sign the lease, accept the royalties, sell the surface property(albeit at a reduced rate due to the now reduced property values) and move to a safer, saner city.

Collectively however, the city has a wider responsibilty to protect it's citizens from undue hazards, even if it means regulating 'free enterprise'.

Far from being off-topic, any honest discussion of this subject (gas drilling in Fort Worth) must, or at least should, include an analysis of risk versus benefit. If you are not interested in the pros and cons, then you should rename this thread "How to negotiate with gas drillers to maximize your personal profits without regard to longterm consequences to the city in general".
Alright, that's my opinion, and my last post on this thread.


#33 AndyN

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 07:35 AM

I appreciate your response. I think that full discussion of the negative factors of natural gas is more productive than cut and pasting of articles about pipeline accidents. My apologies if I painted with too broad a brush. For the record, I assumed you were a tree-hugger, not a luddite. smile.gif
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#34 rogerdr

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Posted 06 October 2006 - 09:57 PM

Hear, hear, Hipolyte! Before seeing the comments, I didn't realize there were so many accidents. I think it can be made safe, however, and I'd go so far as to say that used wells might not just be capped but plugged far into the ground so that the land can be reused. There's no great physical reason why this shouldn't be possible. Also, it's true that North Texas is already awash in domestic gas use. Could we, perhaps, make ourselves a bit more energy independent via these new wells? So far, I just sense the new revenues going to shortterm budget solutions. That sounds suspiciously like Council graft to me. But then, maybe I'm just a treehugger.

#35 courtnie

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 04:12 PM

we have two gas companies fighting for our mineral rights. not surprising..im sure there will be more... there have been lots of articles written about this all over the country. and I believe there is going to be a CBS special on this topic as well. Just wanted to keep everyone updated.

#36 AndyN

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Posted 16 November 2006 - 09:17 PM

Keep us posted, Courtnie. I was thinking about you last night when I drove past LaGrave field and thought I saw drilling trucks in the their south parking lot. Not sure, since I didn't get a clear sight, but it would make sense to drill near there because of the open spaces.

I found out that my family has some more mineral rights on property near Azle, where most of the adjoining property minerals were severed in the 1950s. I asked the guy about Dale Energy and he implied that they like to tie up leasing rights and hold off on drilling - which would explain the 5 year lease I signed.
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#37 courtnie

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Posted 04 December 2006 - 12:37 PM

Hi All..its been a whirl wind since I last talked with you about the gas drilling. We ended up sigining with four sevens. They offered more signing money, a shorter least term and are willing to bring more money to the table if needed and not penalize those that have signed already. Our neigborhood association decided to create a commity (too little to late I might add) to get a good deal. four sevens is willing to give them what they want and give the ones that have signed already more money as well. Needless to say Ive noticed all of the wells going up and its kinda scary. Im sure there will be more and more. I think they are going to drill about 7 wells around me. Ill keep you posted.

#38 lens314

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 03:03 PM

QUOTE(courtnie @ Dec 4 2006, 12:37 PM) View Post

Hi All..its been a whirl wind since I last talked with you about the gas drilling. We ended up sigining with four sevens. They offered more signing money, a shorter least term and are willing to bring more money to the table if needed and not penalize those that have signed already. Our neigborhood association decided to create a commity (too little to late I might add) to get a good deal. four sevens is willing to give them what they want and give the ones that have signed already more money as well. Needless to say Ive noticed all of the wells going up and its kinda scary. Im sure there will be more and more. I think they are going to drill about 7 wells around me. Ill keep you posted.


That's good your neighborhood is getting money out of the deal.

There has been alot more activity at the well I was talking about earlier in this thread. After quite awhile of not seeing much activity, it looks like they put up a bigger rig, and you can get a better look at it on the ramp from 35W SB to 820 WB. The eyesore is back. :/
-Doug

#39 Holden

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:20 AM

Received a letter in the mail last week from Dale regarding their offer on the table of $300 and 20%. Will have to look over the letter again and see if it mentioned how long the lease term is for. I live in the Sylvan Heights neighborhood in Riverside and it appears they are doing the drilling north of NE 28th on Kimbo Rd. Glad I found this thread, lot's of good info here. I've also given the letter to a friend whose family owns property in SW Denton county and has dealt with these companies with both good and bad results for the last five years. They've advised me on many of the things posted here: checking the contract for changes, verifying no surface drilling/intrusion, etc.
The signing dates are for the 18th and 25th of this month, so I hope to talk with some neighbors this weekend to hear their thoughts and concerns. If anyone has any new info or advice, I'm all eyes!

Thankyaverymuch!

#40 AndyN

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Posted 11 January 2007 - 02:31 PM

Barnett Shale Forum tonight at 7p-9p at the 9th Street Intermodal Station sponsored by the League of Women Voters:

Barnett Shale Forum Flyer
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#41 stormalong

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 04:33 PM

Looks like more is on the way: Drillers Ready To Tackle Downtown Fort Worth. dry.gif Isn't this getting a little out of hand?

#42 safly

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 12:00 AM

Not unless they office or HQ in DTFW? And if they do drill, bye bye GRACKELS. smile.gif
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#43 courtnie

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:20 PM

word of advice..take it from me...dont sign the first thing you get...trust me...they are all waiting at the door like tricker treaters on halloween...you are the candy my friends......be the candy..wait and they will give you more money..300 and 20% is LOW!!!! remember you want to know how many wells they are drilling around you and how soon. 5 yr lease is TOOO LONG you want a 2 yr lease...3 max...

#44 safly

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 08:00 PM

INDEED, five years is too long.

Especially if this were to happen. YIKES! ohmy.gif

Nothing to be alarmed about, RIGHT? huh.gif
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#45 hooked

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 07:20 AM

At one point near the end of the Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Trailblazer awards ceremony last Monday night, a screen was lowered on the stage of the Bass Hall, and the following words slowly came into focus:

"THE BARNETT SHALE: NATURE'S LITTLE JOKE ON DALLAS."

Everybody, including myself, had a good ole belly laugh.

#46 Dallastar

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 07:25 AM

QUOTE(hooked @ Mar 30 2007, 08:20 AM) View Post

At one point near the end of the Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. Trailblazer awards ceremony last Monday night, a screen was lowered on the stage of the Bass Hall, and the following words slowly came into focus:

"THE BARNETT SHALE: NATURE'S LITTLE JOKE ON DALLAS."

Everybody, including myself, had a good ole belly laugh.


Hey "Hooked" I'm sure this is really funny, but can you explain what this means or is that part of the joke mellow.gif

Thanks!

#47 safly

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 07:49 AM

I take it that the SHALE to be exact "Barnett's" does not quite extend over to the Dallas region. Therefore, one would suspect that Dallas is not in the eversoaring profit gas exploration game. But if you look quite carefully into WHO'S doing the drilling, I bet a perty nickel that there is definitely some Dallas money involved here or there. Probably mostly here or there. And what would majorly suck is if there is OK money involved as well.

Them line jumpin land grabbers. May Cochise wreak havoc in their nightmares for all eternal. unsure.gif
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#48 hooked

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Posted 01 April 2007 - 03:58 PM

A Fort Worth company that owns a bunch of property in DTFW and has a name with three initials and flags on top of their buildings has done a ton of drilling in the Barnett Shale; and yes, safly, even an Oklahoma company (Chesapeake Energy) is getting a big piece of the pie.

#49 safly

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 09:44 AM

I had no idea Chesapeake BAY was in OK. Wow!

Or maybe they like stealing popular names of out of state destinations too. Maybe. dry.gif

I also heard from a DTFW businessman that the Chairmans daughter of that particular company (so if I read you right) has also purchased an entire floor of the TOWER. And believe me, just to make a quick sidenote, she looks ABSOLUTELY STUNNING in her new PCarrera (great pick BTW). Like ROCKY would say ,"AB-SOH-LOOOTELY!"

Haaaahhhbburrbbubrubrubrubrubruhh! (laughing til my monocle falls off and the brandy spills all over my smoking jacket)

Over half of DTFW is pretty much JUST OWNED by 2 maybe 3 entities, and their families. WITH MINERAL RIGHTS! That is something else. laugh.gif
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#50 hooked

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 07:16 AM

There was another pretty funny joke ath the awards ceremony along the lines of the MasterCard "priceless" commercials - something like the hole left by the Landmark Tower implosion giving XTO a forty foot head start on drilling to the Barnett Shale tongue.gif




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