A group of homeowners in southwest Fort Worth showed last week why it pays to negotiate mineral rights leases. Potestas Corp. of Dallas, which has already filed more than 800 Tarrant County leases, originally offered royalties of either 12.5 percent or 18.8 percent and a signing bonus of $400 per residential lot. After neighborhood organizers called a meeting last week and more than 100 homeowners attended and asked questions about the going rates, Potestas quickly raised its offer to a 25 percent royalty and $750 per lot, according to two homeowners who attended the meeting. The sweetened offer was accepted by many. The homeowners said Potestas showed them a proposed drilling site at Hulen Street and Risinger Road. Potestas representatives could not be reached immediately for comment late Thursday.
According to Tarrant County records, Potestas has signed numerous leases with a royalty of 12.5 percent, or one-eighth. According to recent Star-Telegram reports, residential lease rates currently average between 22.5 and 25 percent royalties and $3,500 to $4,000 per acre. The Parkwood Estates lease that homeowners won at their meeting is right in line with that. Negotiators for the Tanglewood, Ryan Place and Berkeley Place neighborhood associations have pretty much set the bar with a 25 percent royalty and bonuses of $10,000 per acre in recent deals. Those leases, with XTO Energy and Vargas Energy in Tanglewood, and XTO and Fort Worth Energy in Ryan Place and Berkeley, were driven by tough negotiations and stiff competition between the drillers and Chesapeake Energy.