Residents of neighborhoods in northeast Tarrant County are moving toward executing a final Barnett Shale natural gas leasing agreement with Chesapeake Energy after having overwhelmingly approved the proposed terms in a Saturday election. Nearly 95 percent of the 1,591 households voting cast ballots in favor of the leasing deal, said Doug Inscho of Keller, chairman of the research team for the Northeast Tarrant Gas Leasing Organization (NETGLO). It comprises about 40 neighborhoods in Keller, North Richland Hills and a small portion of Colleyville. The lease proposal calls for a bonus of $5,250 per acre for a three-year primary term, with a $2,500 bonus for an optional second two-year term. The royalty rate would be 25 percent.
Inscho said he believes the proposal received lopsided approval because “people looked at the terms that were offered and it certainly is better than the current market rate...what companies are offering just going door to door.” Some recent offers have been for bonuses of only about $1,000 to $2,000 an acre and a royalty rate of only 20 percent. Inscho said he believes that northeast Tarrant residents also backed the lease proposal because they “were interested in moving on...they’ve been dealing with this, waiting and waiting and waiting, for almost a couple of years.” The next step, Inscho said, will be to meet with Chesapeake officials and see what follow-up actions are needed to move toward getting leases with individual property owners executed.
-- Jack Z. Smith