A group of neighborhoods covering about 650 acres just east of Lake Worth is negotiating a mineral rights lease with Chesapeake Energy that includes a $30,000-an-acre signing bonus, the highest known bonus paid in the Barnett Shale. It would top the previous record of $27,200 won from Chesapeake in May by a Burleson group. The Lake Worth area landowners, whose property is in both the city of Lake Worth and also the city of Fort Worth, and Chesapeake have agreed on the financial terms and are working on environmental considerations, negotiators said.
About 1,200 property owners in Boat Club Estates, Highland Lake Estates, Jinkens Heights, Crestview, Crestridge, Triangle Estates and Lakeview Estates neighborhoods are involved in the lease. The land is roughly bounded by Lake Worth on the west, Azle Avenue on the south, Boat Club Road on the east and Basswood Road on the north. Jerry Welch, a negotiator for Boat Club Estates, said the group didn’t set out to set a record, but a last-minute bid by XTO Energy pushed the process to a head. The lease also carries a 25.25 percent royalty.
Chesapeake over the weekend also won the endorsement of the Ridglea Hills Neighborhood Association for a mineral rights lease that pays a bonus of $25,000 per acre and a 25 percent royalty. The neighborhood includes about 1,600 property owners and 640 acres, said Bob Bashein, president of the neighborhood association’s executive committee. “It’s been nine months of drudgery. The first letter from Chesapeake last October was for $5,000 and five years. We negotiated that to $25,000” and a three-year term, Bashein said Tuesday. No signing dates have been set. XTO also was in the running for the lease. Ridglea Hills is bordered on the north by Camp Bowie Boulevard, on the south by West Vickery, on the east by Westridge Avenue and on the west by Texas 183.
-- Jim Fuquay