|letter from Landman representing Chesapeake|
Over the last two years NY landowners, tired of fraudulent pressure tactics used by landmen to get people to sign leases, appealed to the Attorney General. One company, Fortuna (Talisman) agreed to halt those practices.
But Chesapeake refused, and this week a Towanda, PA landowner shared a letter received from a landman representing the energy company. The landowner has, over the past three years, refused to lease his mineral rights to any gas company.
But on May 5, landman Craig LaPointe from Redsky Land LLC, “agent for Chesapeake Appalachia” sent yet another letter, one using language clearly meant to intimidate the landowner into signing a lease.
“Due to an undisputed fact ... your parcel can/will be cut out of production forever,” LaPointe wrote. He explains that he wants to make sure he is giving them “…as many opportunities as possible to make your final decision.” Of course, he mentions that the money would impact the landowner and many generations to come.
The landowner, just as concerned over those many generations to come, does not want to leave a legacy of health problems, air pollution, water contamination and soil erosion. According to an email from the landowner, “Chesapeake has just completed construction of a well pad on a farmer's property approximately 4,000 ft. to the east of our home.” After describing the land, he adds, “Chesapeake plans to drill horizontally in a northwesterly direction towards the river. The northernmost 11.6 acres of our 20 acre property is within their planned drilling grid.”
Thus the letter and landman LaPointe’s observation that “… current laws cannot keep the drilling from extracting the gas from under your property…”
|preparing well site in Towanda, PA|
Remember, this letter is addressed to a PA landowner. They don’t have compulsory integration or “forced pooling” in that state, so the drillers can’t go under their property. Though they can drill right on the border and fractures “could” extend hundreds of feet under unleased land because – hey – they can’t control exactly where those fractures go, right?
After listing two parcels that, he says, have been cut out of units forever, LaPointe ends his letter by reminding the landowners that “There are many types of riders you can add to your lease that are already available if you are concerned with protecting your land.” While he signs off with a helpful offer to answer any questions and concerns, the tone of the letter is … bullying.