Going to deviate a tad from my usual political rantings today, although there are definitely political overtones to this post in that it attempts to give one of my worm’s eye views of a situation that, at least in general, is common in regard to the way the big energy companies do business in this country today due to the right wing and their never ending screams for eliminating any vestige of regulation by our government.
Today I want to say a few hundred words about my own personal experiences with Chesapeake Energy Corporation and the manner in which they apparently screw the people they lease from. First a disclaimer:
Had I known or understood when I leased part of my mineral rights on some Oklahoma property to this company, what I know and understand about this company today, I would never have done business with them. I’m not offering any excuses other than it was only my ignorance that prompted me to accept their offer, especially since my interests are almost microscopic the financial rewards are hardly in the blinding range.
So while you can rightly say that I might be complicit or an enabler of some sort in some of Chesapeake’s operations there was no intent on my part to have any such role in the day to day actions of this company, especially in their use of practices that can only be described as the oil/gas industry’s version of mountaintop removal mining. I find the practice of fracking just as reprehensible as any of you do and even though there has been no evidence so far that they are using the practice on the properties in which I have an interest, if it were in any way possible, I’d break that lease in a moment.
But I’m not here to talk about fracking today. This is the real subject of the post: If it makes anyone feel better, Chesapeake has never produced a single one of the monthly royalty checks they promised in order to secure those rights. And if it makes anyone else feel even better, when offers started coming in for a lease on another piece of property we had an interest in in the same area, having already started to read about the practice of fracking and it’s impact on the environment and the manner in which Chesapeake was treating it’s neighbors, we went with a different company, Rockford Energy Partners, who at least sent regular, if small ($150 per mo range) monthly checks until a few weeks ago when Chesapeake bought either the company or the contract and those royalties immediately stopped also.
I have no way of knowing how many other owners became Chesapeake… investors? contributors?… willingly or not. It’s one of the things that I would definitely like to know and a list of other small owners like myself is one of the things I’m going to ask them for if they ever deign to acknowledge my existence. It would be interesting to know how many have had the same experience with the company.
It would also be interesting to know if the companies that swindle small holders out of their rights shares go around buying up rights for a dime on the dollar from folks who don’t know they’re actually worth something, and then leasing the resulting large blocs to companies like Chesapeake have also had THEIR royalties shut down.
As it stands right now, all that has happened is that control of my rights to a share in the oil, gas and or minerals on those two properties has been secured by Chesapeake Energy and that all royalty checks and/or any other communications from them have stopped dead in their tracks. Lacking any information whatever from them since they have refused to answer phone calls, emails or any other attempts at communication, I find it hard to believe that they’d simply shut down operations on both properties without compelling reasons and… as an owner… I’m entitled to know what those reasons are and how they affect my rights.
To those of you who STILL think we have too much regulation of the oil and gas industries, I hope you enjoy the $6-7 gas prices they’re shooting for because that’s how they punish you for questioning $4-5 gas prices and our Congress… you know, those junkies and pimps and whores we pay to keep these kinds of things from happening… is nothing if not complicit in it.