Top executives at Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy, two of the biggest players in the Barnett Shale, bemoaned the high cost of getting leases in the Barnett Shale at a New Orleans investment meeting, reports Reuters news service. Chesapeake Chairman Aubrey McClendon, speaking to reporters at the Howard Weil Energy Conference, called the escalating bonus payments "a discouraging trend," adding that "luckily, the costs of acquiring acreage are generally not a meaningful part of your overall cost equation."
"We are amazed at the royalty rates and bonuses that some people are paying to get into the area," Devon Chairman Larry Nichols told Reuters. Devon got into the play with its 2001 acquisition of Mitchell Energy, the Barnett Shale's pioneer, and expanded that in 2006 with its purchase of Chief Oil and Gas. It has stayed mostly in rural areas, unlike Chesapeake, which has jumped headlong into the most densely populated portions of the play.
-- Jim Fuquay
Devon, Chesapeake execs