This is a general response to the point about different neighborhoods receiving different lease offers. There is no such thing as a "standard" bonus payment, nor a "standard" royalty payment. Every single term in a lease is negotiable, including where the drill site is located.
Two big variables affect how rich a lease a property owner can command. One is negotiating from a position of strength, whether because the landowner controls a lot of acreage in a desirable location or is part of a group of landowners who work together. The second is the level of competition for the property. That's why Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, country clubs, municipalities and well-organized neighborhoods have won the best lease terms: They control a lot of land and they manage to drum up strong competitive bidding for their property.
In general, lease terms have become richer as the Tarrant County portion of the Barnett Shale has developed and has proved to be one of the richest portions of the field. Judging by reports we have reported in the Star-Telegram, lease terms have gone from about a 20 percent royalty and a bonus based on about $2,000 an acre or less, to about a 25 percent royalty and a bonus ranging from about $4,000 an acre or more.
Click here to read about TCU's gas drilling deal.
-- Jim Fuquay