Chesapeake Energy announced this morning it has signed a lease with Sundance Square to drill for natural gas under the 35-block downtown entertainment district.
The district stretches from 2nd to 5th streets and from Lamar to Elm streets. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Chesapeake also did not disclose in its press release specific locations for the drill site other than to say they will be "three strategically located padsites that are located immediately east, south and west of the central business district. These sites will allow natural gas production from under not only Sundance Square, but all of downtown and other nearby areas."
So far, we know one of its drill sites is just south of the Texas and Pacific warehouse on the south side of downtown.
This is an interesting acquisition for Chesapeake because it's right next to the headquarters of XTO Energy, which owns more than a handful of downtown buildings right next to the Sundanace Square area, and has been competing with Chesapeake for leasing mineral rights in downtown.
And of course, when Chesapeake announced it was buying the Pier 1 Imports building just northwest of Sundance Square, the company said it would be using the mineral rights under that patch of land as well.
"The opportunities for commercial real estate development are tremendous in Fort Worth, and we are pleased to be able to continue the tradition of reviving an important corridor into downtown, while remaining sensitive to the future growth of this area,” said Aubrey McClendon, Chief Executive Office of Chesapeake.
So far, Chesapeake's drilling site in downtown is just 40 acres, the company said in its release, but the meeting with downtown property owners about a month ago included about 120 acres pooled together.
More on this to come.