One group, which doesn't have a name but has put up a web site called bettergasleasesforgptx.org, started organizing property owners in the Pecan Acres neighborhood in Northeast Grand Prairie. That quickly led to an effort to organize that quadrant of the city, and then on to a loosely knit campaign to organize "the whole town," says Doranna Corley, one of the organizers. "I am a 63-year-old activist," says Corley, whose paying job is a business that produces gift baskets presented to new Grand Prairie homeowners. You can reach her at (972) 264-7086 or GetABetterGasLease@sbcglobal.net. She says volunteers in her group, "which is organized enough to not be organized," have signed on 1,000 property owners who want to be represented. The group is working with at least two offers, from Chesapeake Energy and Llano. The slighty better financial terms are from Llano, at $5,650-per-acre signing bonus, 25 percent royalty with no "chargebacks," and a 160-acre pool, Corley said. "We're telling people that negotiations are ongoing," Corley said. One Llano drill site is at Beltline and Tarrant roads, she said. The group is working a large part of Grand Prairie, but is not trying to recruit homeowners south of Interstate 20. The group also recently invited Dan Roberts, president of the Ryan Place association in Fort Worth, in for a tutorial on how to handle the situation. Ryan Place and several other neighborhoods on Fort Worth's South Side recently negotiated ground-breaking lease agreements that included, among other things, area-leading (at the time, but since surpassed) bonus offers, environmental considerations, and charitable contributions. Click here to read a Dallas Morning News story about Corley's group.
Leasing in Westchester, which comprises numerous neighborhoods in a part of South Grand Prairie bounded by Interstate 20 on the north, Dechman on the east, and Robinson Road on the west, has moved ahead in fits and starts. Cherokee Horn Production, which has been trying to sign up portions of the city, has offered the Castleridge Home Owners Association a $1,500 per-acre signing bonus on leases and 18.75 percent royalties. It's also offering to buy mineral rights outright for $4,000 per acre. Cherokee Horn recently sent an offer to Castleridge property owners, saying the company agreed with the homeowners' association to provide a $22,000 "financial gift" to the neighborhood if 75 percent of the 220 homes signed. The neighborhood association's president doesn't dispute that, but, in a follow-up message on the association's web site, says the association's board has decided to "not officially endorse" any lease offer. "Cherokee Horn Productions recently sent homeowners a letter along with a copy of an incentive agreement signed by me on behalf of the board," the association's president says in the message. "That was signed prior to our board's unanimous decision to NOT officially endorse any offer regarding a homeowner's decision concerning their mineral rights." Cherokee Horn has set a deadline, recently extended, to Sunday Nov. 9 for homeowners to sign their agreements under their current lease terms. Elsewhere, in Westchester Valley, homeowners have been fighting drilling, CBS 11 reports.
Northwest Grand Prairie. Blogging the Barnett Shale has reported that residents of Nottingham Estates have formed a gas committee to deal with any offers. Residents of the Camelot Acres subdivision on Knight Circle report they've been received a series of offers from different suitors since the end of 2005. Homeowners report the first offer was for a $150-per-lot signing bonus and 12.5 percent royalty. The latest offer, from Davis Land Services on behalf of Chesapeake, offered a $2,000-per-acre bonus, 20 percent royalty, and five-year term. Homeowners report that Davis landmen have aggressively sent mailers and set up lease meetings. Homeowners report they're particularly concerned for many property owners in the area who are elderly and confused about their lease offers and what happens if they don't sign.
South Grand Prairie. Leasing in South Grand Prairie has been going on for months. One homeowner reports Davis is also trying to sign up Country Club Estates, offering a $2,000 per-acre signing bonus, $400 minimum, five-year lease term, and 20 percent royalty.
Click here to read all of Blogging the Barnett Shale's other posts about Grand Prairie. And many thanks to the readers who helped us out with information on this one. Please keep it coming!
(Photo: Uptown Theater, Grand Prairie)