SANDYBROOK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION

GAS LEASES INFORMATION


06/28/08 - The Northeast Fort Worth Mineral Leasing Task Force (NFWMLTF) now has a web site where additional information regarding their efforts are being posted. We ask everyone to continue to be patience and wait on the community lease before signing a gas lease.
http://www.nfwmltf.org/

02/23/10 - We have formed an alliance of Texas counties, including Tarrant, called the North Central Texas Communities Alliance. Investigate our website at www.nctca.net for add'l info on our rapidly declining quality of life in North Texas.
http://www.nctca.net/

The Sandybrook property owners began receiving gas leases from Dale Property Services LLC on Saturday September 15, 07. We had several people at our Association meeting on Sep 25, 07 to discuss the leases. We are recommending people to not sign the leases unless you fully understand the lease and have all the required paper work.


04/13/10 - NFWMLTF Meeting 04/13/10 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 04/13/10 NFWMLTF Gas Task Force meeting where we discussed the gas leases, force pooling, and other issues.

04/07/09 - Cobblestone Meeting 04/07/09 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 04/07/09 Cobblestone meeting where we discussed the gas leases.

11/09/08 - NFWMLTF Meeting 11/09/08 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 11/09/08 NFWMLTF Gas Task Force meeting where we discussed the gas leases and force pooling.

10/02/08 - JTWNA Meeting 10/02/08 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 10/02/08 JTWNA meeting where we discussed the gas leases.

09/18/08 - Sandybrook Meeting 09/18/08 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 09/18/08 Sandybrook meeting where we discussed the gas leases.

09/09/08 - Cobblestone Meeting 09/09/08 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 09/09/08 Cobblestone meeting where we discussed the gas leases.

08/07/08 - JTWNA Meeting 08/07/08 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 08/07/08 JTWNA meeting where we discussed the gas leases.

07/18/08 - Sandybrook (NFWMLTF) Letter of Intent - This page contains information about the Sandybrook (NFWMLTF) Letter of Intent and a downloadable version of the letter.

07/16/08 - Dale is Back - This page contains information about Dale's activity in our area and their current offers and a reminder of other things to consider.

06/09/08 - Dale's Certified Letter - This page contains a copy of the certified letter Dale sent out to property owners beginning 05/30/08 and our response to it.

Greater Meadowbrook Mineral Leasing Update 02/28/08 - This page contains an update from the Greater Meadowbrook Mineral Leasing Task Force that was put out on 02/28/08.

Greater Meadowbrook Mineral Leasing Task Force Meeting 12/13/07 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 12/13/07 Greater Meadowbrook Mineral Leasing Task Force meeting where they discussed and presented the gas lease draft. There is also a link to the draft lease.

SNA Meeting 09/25/07 - This page contains a link to the audio from the 09/25/07 SNA meeting where we discussed the gas leases.

The Railroad Commission website - has a map that shows gas (and oil) wells and gas transmission pipelines all over the state of Texas.

Reasons Why You Don't Want To Sign Gas Leases - This is a pdf of reasons to not sign the gas lease you were mailed. To save the file right click on the link and select "save target as". The link to the site in the pdf is www.fwcando.org.


NEWS STORIES

04/22/10 - Louisiana Well Blowout Forces Hundreds From Homes - Louisiana Well Blowout Forces Hundreds From Homes

04/22/10 - Underused Drilling Practices Could Avoid Pollution - Underused Drilling Practices Could Avoid Pollution

02/13/09 - Barnett Shale drilling causes nearly as much air pollution as vehicles in the Metroplex - Air pollution from natural gas drilling in the Barnett Shale

06/28/08 - Paradise Lost - Their acreage in Azle was “stress-free” until the drilling started.
Paradise Lost - PDF version of this story.

06/28/08 - YOU CAN'T DRINK NATURAL GAS - A Burning Water Warning
YOU CAN'T DRINK NATURAL GAS - Text version of the story.
YOU CAN'T DRINK NATURAL GAS - PDF version of this story.


OTHER STORIES AND INFORMATION

Below is information and input we have received regarding gas leases and other issues dealing with gas drilling.

06/28/08 - Gary Hogan's Insurance Concerns - This page contains a copy of an email sent out on June 20, 2008 by Gary Hogan and his story and concerns about our home insurance.


Everyone in you neighborhood needs to know that we have formed the Greater Meadowbrook Mineral Leasing Task Force and we are attempting to assemble information needed by anyone who wishes to sign leases, and also information for those that do not want to sign. All we are asking our member neighborhoods is "do not sign until we can finish our work." Then make your decisions based on ALL the information on gas drilling.

You may know this, but here is a biggie just on the financial side. Two neighborhood areas in west Fort Worth received signing bonuses of $10,000 per acre and 25% royalties! I guess Dale and Chesapeake thinks we are just a bunch of country bumkins over here and will just lay down for anything. Also, Dale is only offering predominately minority neighborhoods $1,500 signing bonus per acre and 20% royalties! Just south of JTW they have offered Ryanwood $3,000 per acre and 25%. The message for JTW should be "hold off signing for now."

Numerous neighbors have rec'd large packages from Dale Resources in attempt to spread MORE propoganda & urge those who have not signed away their properties to do so. Each package appears to be personally prepared for the intended victim by specifically showing the homeowners' lot, block, addition & physical address on an included contract to be signed & returned to Dale by the homeowner.... The tantalizing offer is a $2,000 per acre signing bonus. My fear is that more & more will be FOOLED by these folks!


Questions to consider before signing a lease:

What are OTHER communities doing with leasing?
Should we have an official community lease?
If I don't sign can they take my minerals anyway?
If I don't sign can I be sued?
How much are the property taxes assessed by TAD on the mineral estate?
State levied "Severance" taxes on production?
Income taxes in the signing bonus and royalties?
How to productions costs affect my royalty payments?
Surface rights or the lack thereof in the lease?
"Hold Harmless" clause in leases?
Subordination agreements with mortgage companies and charges for them?
Increased insurance rates?
Decreased property values?
What are the SAFTY issues, and should I be concerned?
What are the environmental issues and should I be concerned?
How do you know if you own minerals?
What happens if I don't own the minerals?


I used to live on Newberry Ct. West (3 years ago). I bought a home in the Mallard Cove subdivision off Randol Mill Rd. (about 3/4 mile east of Loop 820).

800 ft. behind our property there is a natural gas drilling site with two wells on it. We do not have mineral rights. Even if we did, knowing what I know today, I would not sign a lease.

The actual drilling process took two months. For those two months, we were subject to non-stop obnoxious drilling sounds. The noise was 24-7 and could be heard inside our home at all hours of the day & night. The back of our home was lit up like an airport runway. During the drilling process and for many months afterward, there was a steady caravan of eighteen-wheelers and other various industrial trucks careening up & down Randol Mill and behind our home. It has been 18 months since the original drilling operation and there is still industrial activity going on with almost daily processions of trucks coming & leaving the site.

There are also several 10 to 12 ft. high compressors on the site. They rumble pretty much 24-7. If you know what an eighteen-wheeler sounds like when the engine idles, imagine several eighteen-wheelers all parked & idling non-stop. That's what we live with. The operators of the site have put up sound blankets. I guess the blankets help some, but the noise is still present and constant.

Did I mention the "fracing process"? After the drilling operation, the wells are "fraced". This is a process where water, sand & other various chemicals are forced into the well under extreme pressure. This fractures the shale and releases the gas. There is another huge tower erected and horrible noise during this process also, which can last for days. I understand fracing can be done as often as is necessary to keep the wells productive (30-50 years).

The danger of explosion is probably small, but exists regardless. If you follow the news, I'm sure you have heard the horror stories.

When the gas men tell you they will only be there for a month or so, and then be gone...don't believe it! There will be industrial activity going on at these well sites long after you and I are gone.


Gas deals' fine print can be costly

By Mike Lee

Star-Telegram staff writer

FORT WORTH -- More than a year ago, homeowners in Oakhurst, a middle-class neighborhood northeast of downtown, became some of the first in the city to sign up for natural gas drilling.

The landmen called it "mailbox money." By signing the leases, the property owners would get a royalty check for the life of the gas well.

Now, those homeowners are learning about the fine print in natural gas leases. Before they can cash their royalty checks, they have to get legal releases called subordination agreements from their mortgage companies. And the mortgage companies are asking for fees that amount to several years' worth of royalty payments.

Gas-company officials said the problem may affect every homeowner who has signed a gas lease after reaching a mortgage agreement. That could include thousands of people in Fort Worth.

Joe Walker, who has lived in Oakhurst two years, found out about the paperwork requirement in mid-July when he got a letter from Chesapeake Operating Co. He had about two weeks to get the paperwork processed or have his royalty payments "suspended" by the gas company.

Walker sent the paperwork to his mortgage company, Countrywide Home Loans, and got a letter back asking for a $500 fee. And, the letter said, even that $500 didn't guarantee that the company would agree to sign the paperwork. He eventually negotiated the fee down to $75, but the bank said in a letter that there's no guarantee that it will approve the agreement. And the third-party investor who has bought Walker's mortgage might impose other requirements, according to the letter.

Walker wondered why residents weren't told about the need for subordination agreements when they signed the leases in 2006.

"Somebody should have been able to figure this out," he said in an interview last week. "That would have given people a year and a half to get this taken care of."

Oakhurst resident Jann Miles got a letter from her mortgage company, Washington Mutual, asking for $700 in fees, along with a new survey of her property.

At least one bank, Colonial National, has refused to sign the subordination agreements that Chesapeake sent out, although bank officials say they're willing to work with Chesapeake and the homeowners.

Enough residents were concerned that they held a neighborhood meeting with an oil and gas lawyer and Chesapeake representatives.

Dale Resources, one of the pioneers in inner-city gas leasing in Fort Worth, handled the original leases in Oakhurst.

Company President Larry Dale led VIP tours of the drill site, near the Mercado Juarez restaurant on the west side of Interstate 35W, to show how drilling could be done with minimal impact on the neighborhood, which is east of the highway.

Dale later sold the whole operation to Chesapeake. A spokesman for Dale referred questions to Chesapeake.

Julie Wilson, Chesapeake's vice president for corporate development, said her company wasn't involved in the leasing process.

"It's hard for us to know what they were told or what they weren't," she said. "I don't think there's any misrepresentation on the part of any energy company or anybody signing a minerals lease."

Tim Malone, an oil and gas lawyer who spoke to residents at their meeting last week, said part of the problem is that urban gas drilling is so new.

When a gas company leases mineral rights in a rural area, it might need subordination agreements for only two or three landowners. Chesapeake has about 600 leases with homeowners in Oakhurst.

"The logistics are just much more cumbersome," Malone said.

Wilson, the Chesapeake executive, said dealing with property owners who have mortgages is a relatively new experience for the company. Until recently, most gas exploration was done in rural areas, where land is more likely to be owned outright.

"We do realize now that there needs to be a better job of telling people upfront," she said. "We're changing our language in the leases and telling people that they have a responsibility to make sure they get the subordination."

Alan Hegi, a real estate lawyer who is president of the real estate section for the Tarrant County Bar Association, said it's important for homeowners to know what they're doing when they sign a lease.

"Do your homework," he said. "Oil and gas companies are trying to sign up people for leases but they're not going to hold everybody's hands through the process. [Homeowners] have got to have some ownership responsibility."

Banks typically are cooperative, Hegi said.

"That additional income to the homeowner does mean that the homeowner will have an enhanced ability to pay," he said. "I'd be surprised if lenders were refusing to give permission. I'm not surprised if they're charging a fee; that's what lenders do."

The residents give Chesapeake credit for trying to resolve the situation. Chesapeake agreed to pay residents for up to 90 days, even if they had not processed the paperwork. And the gas company also offered a simplified version of the paperwork, known as consent of lien holder.

"I'm not mad at Chesapeake, I think that the mortgage companies are trying to make another dollar," Miles said. Miles' bank, Washington Mutual, did not respond to three requests for comment this week. Nor did officials at Walker's bank, Countrywide.

Officials at Colonial, the bank that has not signed any subordination agreements, said they're looking out for their interests and customers' interests.

But the company uses a different type of subordination agreement, one that gives it the ability to take over the gas lease if a homeowner defaults on a mortgage. Gas companies typically don't want to get into the middle of a foreclosure.

mikelee@star-telegram.com
Mike Lee, 817-390-7539


I received this from a resident of Sandybrook.

"One of the managers that I work with lives in Keller and his sub division is going threw the same thing. They have two lawyers that live in the neighborhood who are investigating and have recommended that nobody sign yet. Also as they remove the gas they are to fill it with solid material."


email You can e-mail me questions, comments, about this site at sandybrook@charter.net



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Last updated 05/14/10