Some of the biggest producers and most active leasing companies in the Barnett Shale brought their leasing activities to a screeching halt this week, disappointing unsigned property owners and perhaps changing the market price of signing bonuses in the play for good. Among the disappointed landowners is Rorie Cowden, whose Hidden Valley miniature golf course on 5.5 acres bordering Jacksboro Highway is part of a Lake Worth negotiating group that signed the richest reported lease in the county: a $30,000-an-acre offer from Chesapeake.
"I was waiting for them to send me my lease packet," Cowden said Thursday, but he got nervous when he heard producers were cutting back. When he walked into the Vance Godbey’s restaurant, where signings were under way, he was told that the new bonus figure was $5,000. The difference: $137,500. "I did not sign," he said. "I never thought it would hit like this. The bubble has burst."
See the Star-Telegram's full report here.
-- Jim Fuquay