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November 07, 2007


Kathy R

The Homemaker Hills Addition in South East Arlington has received an offer from Chesapeake Energy which is 2,000 an acre and a 20% royalty. We do not have a home owners association therefore it is going to be difficult to work on a combined effort.

The energy companies have the right to capture even if you do not sign a lease.

Also Pipe Line companies that are installing gas gathering lines can be considered a Public Utility which gives them eminate domain.

Kathy R

Kathy R

The Homemaker Hills Addition in South East Arlington has been made an offer by Chesapeake Energy which is 2,000 acre and a 20% royaly on oil and gas.

Please be aware that energy companies have the right to capture even if you do not sign a lease. They can drill around you and if they hit a gas pocket for instance even though it is on your property, if you did not sign a lease you will not be paid.

Pipe Line companies that install gas gathering lines can be considered Public Utilities which gives them eminate domain.

We do not have a home owners association but I am going to try to get the neighborhood together. It seems that you have to organize to get a good deal. Davis Land Services has not provided much information to the home owners. They skate around answering any question that involves production expectations or estimated royalty payments.

We are supposedly close tothe Quachita Thrust Front and that is why DLS says that our offer is lower. I have mapped out the trust front and it is not as close as they lead you to believe.

Kathy R

B. Humphries

BC: Not a problem, am working with a law firm out of Beaumont,TX
on this issue. You are the one who needs to quit misleading the


The sentence you are commenting on has to do with the rules in place that prevent a surface owner from keeping a mineral owner from developing their minerals. If I sell you some land & keep the minerals you can't stop me & the company I sign with from drilling a well on the surface (that I no longer own). It has nothing to do with bonus! It is you that has problems processing information. You have certainly been told by enough different people that you are wrong. If you want to appear foolish & waste your time writing letters go ahead. I am trying to help the people who might think you know what the hell you are talking about. Here is a link to an article from Texas Agriculture that may help:

B. Humphries

People, ignore comments by BC. He just can't process information.

Since the attorney said in this blog that "technically the bonus
money is not part of a lease." It makes the bonus's paid out
fall under the jurisdiction of the Railroad commission to ensure
that all mineral interest owners have the opportunity to develope
their fair share of the mineral's underlying their property.

If up front money is paid out, call it a bonus, call it a perk, call

it a gift, call it a bribe, call it what you want, it is money paid

out by an Energy Co. as an inducement to get you to allow them to

lease your minerals and develope the mineral's underlying your

property. Bonus money is not a Royalty.


If they don't have jurisdiction over royalties then they sure don't have jurisdiction over bonus money! An attorney has already told you in this blog that technically this is not even a part of a lease. You are wasting your time and encouraging other people to waste theirs! What about the info you have posted makes you think the RRC has jurisdiction? I have read over fifty of your posts & still don't know what your complaint is. How exactly were you shafted? Try and stick to the facts & not talk about how you stupid you feel, because after a lifetime of ignorance you should be used to it.

B. Humphries

BC: Read what the Railroad commission has jurisdiction over and who
to contact. The Bonus money is not a royalty.

I encourage all people who got shafted on bonus money amounts to
go to this website and e-mail the R.R. Commission a complaint.
Follow it up with a letter. Send them the bonus amount you were
offered in a cover letter or post card, and send them documentation
of the bonus amounts paid to other neighborhoods that are close to


From above: "The Railroad Commission does not have jurisdiction over roads, traffic, noise, odors, leases, pipeline easements, or royalty payments". Please stop telling people to call the RRC. This also applies to Bonus payments I'm sure!

B. Humphries

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Barnett Shale Information

Map of Active Permits and Producing Wells
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Texas Counties with Producing Wells
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Texas Counties with Drilling Permits
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Updated: October 31, 2007

General Information | Counties Affected | Tell Us What You Think | Benefits of Natural Gas | Economic Benefits | Jurisdiction Information | Water Issues | Statistics | FAQs

What is the Barnett Shale?

The Barnett Shale is a hydrocarbon-producing geological formation of great economic significance to Texas. It consists of sedimentary rocks and the productive part of the formation is estimated to stretch from the city of Dallas west and south, covering 5,000 square miles (13,000 km²) and at least 18 counties.

Some experts say that the Barnett Shale is the largest onshore natural gas field in the United States. The field name for the productive portion of the Barnett Shale formation has been designated as the Newark, East Field by the Texas Railroad Commission.

History of the Barnett Shale

John W. Barnett settled in the San Saba County during late 19th century and named a local stream the Barnett Stream. In the early 20th century during a mapping exercise, geologists noted a thick black organic-rich shale in an outcrop close to the stream and named it the Barnett Shale.

The Barnett Shale has acted as an important source and sealing cap rock for conventional oil and gas reservoirs in the area. It was thought that only a few of the thicker sections close to Fort Worth would support economic drilling. It was not until the 1980's with new advances in horizontal drilling and well fracturing technology used by Mitchell Energy, a small independent, that the potential of the Barnett Shale was realized. Significant drilling activity did not begin until gas prices increased in the late 1990's. Devon Energy acquired Mitchell Energy in 2002, and has established itself as the leading producer from the Barnett Shale. The success that independents have had in producing from the Barnett Shale is beginning to attract the interest of the large majors, like Exxon.

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Counties Affected

Core Counties Non-Core Counties
Wise Bosque

Palo Pinto

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Benefits of Natural Gas

Natural gas is a relatively clean burning energy source. Producing additional domestic natural gas may reduce dependence on foreign energy sources. For more information about natural gas, please visit the United States Department of Energy, Natural Gas home page.

Economic Benefits

Barnett Shale gas production provides economic benefits to individuals, local governmental entities and the state in the form of: bonus payments and royalty income directly to cities, school districts and others; new tax base, various permits and fees payable to local governments, other types of levies such as hotel/motel occupancy taxes; new jobs, new service companies and enhanced economic development. Cleaner burning Texas natural resources. For more information about the economic benefits of the Barnett Shale, please read the Barnett Shale Economic Study by the Perryman Group, May 2007.

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What the Railroad Commission has jurisdication over and who to contact

The Railroad Commission regulates the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in Texas. The Commission’s primary responsibilities include: preventing waste of oil and gas resources; protection of surface and subsurface water; and, ensuring all mineral interest owners have an opportunity to develop their fair share of the minerals underlying their property.

The RRC has provided an information page containing links to city, county state and federal governments within the Barnett Shale area.

For further information, please contact our district offices.

What the Railroad Commission does NOT have jurisdication over and who to contact

The Railroad Commission does not have jurisdiction over roads, traffic, noise, odors, leases, pipeline easements, or royalty payments.

Roads and Traffic: The Railroad Commission does not have jurisdiction over, and exercises no regulatory authority with respect to, private or public roads or road use. Permits issued by the Commission for oil and gas exploration, production, and waste disposal do not limit any independent authority of a municipality, county or other state agencies with respect to road use.

The Texas Department of Transportation oversees the construction and maintenance of state highways within their jurisdiction. To contact the appropriate district office, please visit the Texas Department of Transporation, Local Information web site. For county or city contact information, please visit the RRC information page.

Noise: The Commission has no statutory authority over noise or nuisance related issues.

Odors: The Railroad Commission does not have regulatory authority over odors. However, for a well within the city limits, the city may enact ordinances regarding odors or other nuisances. In addition, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has jurisdiction over air contaminants. Please see

Oil and Gas Exploration and Surface Ownership: For general information pertaining to exploration and surface ownership, please visit the Oil and Gas Exploration and Surface Ownership web page.

Royalty payments: For general information pertaining to leases and royalities, please visit the General Information Pertaining to Leases and Royalties web page.

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Water Issues

Water Use in the Barnett Shale - Updated 6/4/07
Water Use in Association with Regulated Oil and Gas Activities

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Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Statistics
Texas Gas Well Gas Production in the Newark, East (Barnett Shale) Field - 1993-2006 (PDF)
Production Data Query - provides production data by lease, field, county and operator.

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Top Questions Asked about the Barnett Shale

Please click on the question to reveal the answer.

1. What is the minimum drilling distance for well locations and buildings and homes? How close to my house can a well be drilled?
The Railroad Commission does not regulate how close a gas well can be drilled to a residential property. However, for a well within the city limits, the city may enact ordinances regarding the proximity to dwellings or other structures. In addition, there is an old law in the Municipal Code, Section 253.005(c), which provides: "A well may not be drilled in the thickly settled part of the municipality or within 200 feet of a private residence."

Commission Rule, 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §3.76 provides that in counties with a population over 400,000 or a population over 140,000 adjacent to a county with a population over 400,000, a developer of the property may obtain Commission approval of a subdivision plan that limits drilling activity to designated drill sites of at least two acres for every 80 acres in the subdivision. You may access this rule directly at:$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=16&pt=1&ch=3&rl=76

Many mineral leases also include clauses that define how close a well can be drilled to existing structures. 2. Explain why a surface location for horizontal wells is not required to be located on the lease that is being drilled?
Many wells are being drilled horizontally or deviated from offsite locations to reach potential producing horizons that may be beneath city parks, water bodies or housing developments, where a surface location may not be desirable or available. It is not unusual for an operator to obtain surface rights from which to drill a well from an adjacent, more desirable location. 3. What are the plastic lining requirements for drilling pits and frac water pits?
Railroad Commission rules require an operator to take precautions to prevent pollution of surface and subsurface water, but do not include specific requirements for plastic liners in drilling pits and frac water pits. Many operators use liners in areas where the soil is permeable. Local governments may require the use of lined pits. 4. What is the requirement for reporting production for a well after it has been completed and how do I find out what has been reported?
Railroad Commission rules require an operator to file a well completion form with the Commission 30 days after completion of the well or 90 days after completion of the drilling operation, whichever is earliest. (16 TAC §3.16) Production must be filed monthly starting the month after the well begins producing. You can find production information on the RRC website by using the Production Data Query application or the Production Permit Query application. 5. How long does the RRC allow an operator to flare gas from a new well completion until the gas is then connected to the pipeline?
Railroad Commission regulations generally allow gas to be released for a period not to exceed ten (10) producing days after initial completion, recompletion, in another field, or workover operations in the same field. However, the Commission may grant exceptions to this rule under certain circumstances. See 16 TAC §3.32 6. What is the typical size, shape and restoration of a drilling location in the Barnett Shale?
There are no standard location shapes or sizes; each rig has its own individual “footprint.” Texas law allows an operator the right to use as much of the surface as necessary to explore, drill and produce the minerals from a property. Leases or ordinances may limit the amount of surface that an operator may use and dictate restoration of the site. 7. What can be done about the stormwater runoff?
The Commission’s regulations ensure the quality of waters (and land) that could be potentially impacted by an oil and gas operator’s activity. The Commission’s current rules defines “pollution of surface or subsurface water” broadly: "The alteration of the physical, thermal, chemical, or biological quality of, or the contamination of, any surface or subsurface water in the state that renders the water harmful, detrimental, or injurious to humans, animal life, vegetation, or property, or to public health, safety, or welfare, or impairs the usefulness or the public enjoyment of the water for any lawful or reasonable purpose." Please see 16 TAC §3.8. 8. What is law regarding ingress and egress using existing roads?
An operator has the right of ingress and egress to the property for the purpose of exploring, drilling and producing the minerals. This right cannot be denied, but it does not require surface owners to allow operators to use existing roads. Should disagreements occur, it is a civil issue that must be pursued through the court system. 9. How will all this activity affect our property values?
The Commission does not have any regulatory authority over the impact on property value as a result of drilling activities on your property unless a violation of Commission rules related to the prevention of pollution of usable quality water occurs. However, you should not construe that to mean you do not have legal rights with respect to the quiet enjoyment of your home. You may wish to consult with an attorney in your area to fully understand your rights and remedies available to you. 10. When will they close the pit?
Railroad Commission regulations require that the operator empty and close a drilling pit within one year of cessation of drilling activities. The rules require the operator to empty a completion/workover pit within 30 days and to close the pit within 120 days completion/workover operations. 11. What are saltwater disposal wells?
To learn more about saltwater disposal wells, please read our FAQ's concerning these types of wells. 12. Who do I contact to file a complaint?
Please contact the appropriate RRC District Office. To locate the District office nearest to you, please go to our interactive map and click on your county. A popup window will appear listing the correct district office. 13. What is the process a drilling company must go through to receive a drilling permit from the RRC?
To obtain a drilling permit from the RRC, an operator must have on file an active P-5 in accordance with Statewide Rule 1 (16 TAC §3.1) (SWR 1-Organization Report; Retention of Records; Notice Requirements), which identifies the operator and its officers. (Note: all RRC Rules are available on the Commission's web page at the following link:$ext.ViewTAC?tac_view=4&ti=16&pt=1&ch=3&rl=Y The operator also must have the proper amount of financial assurance on file.

The operator must submit a site-specific Form W-1 (application to drill) with a plat to scale showing the requirements listed in Statewide Rule 5 (16 TAC §3.5) Application To Drill, Deepen, Reenter, or Plug Back.

They must submit a Form P-12 (certificate of pooling authority), a plat identifying offset operators, a service list for notice, and any waivers where applicable.

Permit Application Fees must be paid based on depth, exceptions and whether or not processing a permit application is expedited. There also are Financial Security Requirements (Statewide Rule 78 (16 TAC §3.78) Fees and Financial Security Requirements). 14. Do they have to show there is likely to be oil or gas in that area?
No, however, operators are required to have a legal lease, which gives them the right to extract the minerals, if any, under the surface land. In addition, they also may drill exploratory, test or service wells. These wells all require drilling permits. 15. Is an oil or gas operator required to perform an environmental study or something similar?
No, however, operators are required to follow all RRC regulations, which are designed to ensure protection of the public and the environment. As part of this requirement, they must obtain and file a "Water Board Letter" from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) that identifies the depth to which fresh water must be protected so the well can be designed to ensure protection of subsurface freshwater. 16. What factors are considered in reviewing a drilling permit application, and who specifically approves this application (district office supervisor? commissioners?)
Prior to permit approval, a check of all required data is conducted including, but not limited to, the following:
Survey name and distances from lease lines and between wells.

Lease name, well number and operator name

Distances to nearest well, acreage and lease distances (relating to the field rules)

Check for exceptions to rules 16 TAC §3.37 (Statewide Spacing Rule), §3.38 (Well Densities), §3.39 (Proration and Drilling Units: Contiguity of Acreage and Exception Thereto), §3.40 (Assignment of Acreage to Pooled Development and Proration Units).

When exceptions to these above rules are requested, the RRC verifies that the correct documentation is attached.

The RRC checks to make sure all information on the plat matches the information above.

The Drilling Permits Unit administratively approves or denies most regular permits and some exception to rules permits. However, protested permits regarding 16 TAC §3.37, most §3.38 permits, all §3.39 and §3.40 exception permits are set for hearing and will require Commission approval or disapproval. 17. How often are wells inspected?
Wells are not inspected on a set schedule. The frequency of a routine well/lease inspection is based on many factors including the type of well/operation, the location of the well in regard to public areas or sensitive environments, and the compliance record of the operator. Other actions that may trigger an inspection include a third-party complaint, notice to the Commission of a reportable incident (spill, fire, blowout), or notice of a specific job such as a casing job, plugging job, or mechanical integrity-test. Overall, in 2006, the Texas Railroad Commission conducted 118,109 inspections. 18. What types of things do inspectors look for?
This depends on the type of well/operation. In general, the inspector will confirm compliance with all applicable statewide rules with emphasis on rules related to public safety and protection of the environment. For example, an inspection of a lease might include an inspector noting whether proper signs are posted at the lease; is gas being flared illegally; or are there any spills or leaks from equipment or pits. 19. Can the RRC assist with mineral lease agreements?
The Newark East (Barnett Shale) Field is one of the most active drilling targets in the past decade. Activity has expanded to the north in Montague County, to the east in Denton County, to the south in Tarrant County and now is present in 16 counties in North Texas.

With respect to entry into lease agreements and actions of individuals, please be advised that the Railroad Commission’s jurisdiction is limited to issues concerning the permitting and production from oil and gas wells in the State of Texas. The Commission has no jurisdiction over property interests or contractual rights, including issues regarding the validity of existing oil, gas and mineral leases and the conduct of individuals attempting to obtain leases. If you have a question concerning the validity of an existing lease or the actions taken by individuals in an attempt to secure the rights to develop the minerals within a particular area, you may wish to consult an attorney with expertise in oil and gas law.

The Commission does maintain records regarding the reported production and disposition of all oil and gas produced from wells in the State. This information may be helpful in determining your interests and any development in the area surrounding your property. Additionally, the Commission also maintains records regarding the permitting of wells. These records include plats and other documents designating the acreage in a pooled unit. These records are required to obtain a drilling permit and for production after a well is completed.

If you have the RRC Identification Number for a well (either a five digit number for oil wells or a six digit number for gas wells) you can obtain all reported production information from January 1993 to present and can obtain access to the permitting records at the Commission's website For production information, please click here to get access to the Commission's on-line database for these records. For drilling permit information, please click here to get access to the Commission's on-line database for these records. Open AllClose All

Please contact us with comments and suggestions concerning the Barnett Shale Information web area.

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Cyber man

Everyone should also be entitled to the same type of car, house, vacation, salary, vacation home, retirement, lifespan, etc.

This is called like have unrealistic ambitions.

BH, you are living proof that the intelligence of the world stays constant and only the population increases.


HUH? Who is selling their leases? Please post a link to the website that says the RRC has control of this issue. Here is one for you:

B. Humphries

BC: you have it backassward, I am calling for the regulation of people selling the leases, not the one's signing them. Its like
D.H. says, why should one neighborhood get $1,000 an acre when
another gets up to $15,000? All for the same gas field.
The railroad commission says they regulate that all mineral owners
get their Fair Share of mineral development. How does this factor
in on the discrimination on Bonus money ? I'll answer that for you,
it doesn't. There is a major violation going on for alot of the

B. Humphries

authors of this blog: Please add a link to Mitchell Schnurmans

colume on "Something smells in dispute at TMS, and its not gas.


JW, quit trying to influence a mentally unbalanced man like Mr. Humphries. The man needs medical attention on his brain.


I tell ya. This gas thing has become the root of all EVIL. It's putting neighbors against neighbors. Gas drillers picking on innocent neighborhood citizen and lying about there prices. Makes everybody look for the big bucks better than the other fellow. I'm fighting for my neighbors not asgainst them. I have seen so much hate in these Blogs. You should all be ashame of each other. The Gas companies giving one neighborhood $1000.00 an acre then the one next door $10.000.00 an acre. My wonder everybody is up in arms. Tell the gas companies to go away and come back when the price is right.
How about $100.000.00 an acre and they will still make allot of money. There is more money being made than you can see.


BH, you are calling for the regulation of people that are buying leases. I am saying that if you regulate us, you must regulate other industries that buy goods & services from people. Why is it such a tragedy when you don't get max money? Why should the state regulate us when people are being cheated by unscrupulous buyers of lots of different things (like homes & cars). You act like it's all about the money but then throw out crap about how dangerous it is. If you are scared don't sign, but admit is all about the money.

B. Humphries

bc, what does used car lots and selling a house have to do with the
subject? you and your cohorts need to keep up with the news about
the Barnett shale.


I'd rather be an educated bore than an illiterate hillbilly like you. Other people on this board including Fighter Ace & JW have called you out for being all over the map, but you continue to spout your uninformed/illogical bs. What does gambling have to do with the subject? No one knows what the hell you are talking about, AS USUAL.

B. Humphries

BC "shut up" you are such a bore.

Casino gambling is illegal in Texas. The lease Bonus money's have

been offered and conducted as a major Crap Shoot. The Luck of the

draw or the Jackpot on a Slot Machine. Its bad business and unethical.


#1 you don't have to be a real estate agent to buy a house or to sell a car. People trying to buy your property don't have to say the price is too low or the terms are unacceptable, they can take their commission & go. If you are stupid enough to sell your car at Billy Bob's used cars or your house for pennies on the dollar that is allowed, right? #2 what discrepancies are you talking about? The difference

B. Humphries

BC, why try to change the subject? people who buy houses and used
car salesmen are not a threat to my life, the air I breathe.
Real Estate agents are licensed and regulated, so are car lots, and
we do have the Lemon Law governing them. There are all kinds of
commissions regulating these people. Your point is weak and off the
subject that we should all get our fair share of bonus money for our
mineral rights, which would be the case if the leasing contractors
were held accountable for their discrepancy's in offers.


What's fair? Is it fair that the house I sold 10 years ago for 100,000 is now worth 200,000? What is the difference? 1/8 royalty was the going rate for 50 years. 5 years ago 1/5 was a good rate. 25% is now the going rate, but not in every area. If you are going to regulate lease contractors (?) you should also regulate people who buy houses & used car salesmen.

B. Humphries

JW, there appears to be no control on the number of wells going to
be drilled in Tarrant County. Just like there has been no control
or regulations governing the leasing contractors.

Yes, I think all lease signers should get a Fair Share of bonus and
concessions made for their mineral rights. This has not been the case.

If you cannot trust the lease contractors, If you cannot trust our
city government to protect us, who can we trust JW? THE EPA?
The Railroad commission is in the pockets of the Energy Companys.


Well 4/7s lying to you has nothing to do with your first post on this article. Are you against Oil Companies and drilling because they pollute our fine city or are you against them/it because you feel you should have received a higher bonus? If you signed a lease, any lease, you must not think the pollution is a bad thing or bad enough. If you you think drilling is such a hazard, as you say here, you would not sign a lease. Faker.

B. Humphries

JW, When I signed a lease offer from 4/7's at the end of July 2007
for $3500 & 25% and a come on well inducement in the cover letter
and a misreprsentation on who would be drilling the well (4/7's)
I had no idea I was being lied to. I was also told by a woman in
the 4/7's office that all the leases to be had in my area were all
taken, that there were hardly any leases's left to be had on the
south side of Tarrant Co. I am located on the south side of 1/20.
My home is surrounded by wedgwood, but westcreek drive separated
me by 2 streets over to my being in South Hills. No one claims me
to be in their neighborhood association. Not South Hills on the north side of the freeway or south side of the freeway.

My choice was to either sign or be left out. That wells would be
drilled anyway. At the time, I had no offers from any other company
to compare the 4/7's offer with. No one likes to be lied to.

Then, the big blitz on mega bonus's started on the north side of the
freeway from me. Now all my neighbors on the south side of the freeway are in negotiations for bonus and leasing agreements. I am
sure their bonus amounts will be alot larger than mine.

I was cheated and lied to by 4/7's, for a cheap easy lease. So, to
figure me out, how would you feel?

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