Special Report: The casualties of Chesapeake's "land grab" across America

Comments (34)
areddy831 wrote:

Wow, Reuters is on a mission to take down Chesapeake. First the Aubrey McLendon spending “scandal”, which honestly wasn’t that big of a deal, and now this.

Oct 02, 2012 7:33am EDT  --  Report as abuse
GA_Chris wrote:

The USA… with the best government money can buy. makes me sick

Oct 02, 2012 7:55am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sidevalve56 wrote:

Thankyou I needed a good laugh first thing this morning…I love the quote about using exceptions as a last ditch effort to get land rights because the owners could not be located. So many missing landowners. I think the spin and double-talk is extremely high in the oil and gas industry. Proponents of it will tell you one thing while the opponents will say the exact opposite. To hedge I take a stance in the middle. The domestic energy would be a good thing for america as long as we dont do what china has done and pollute our land and water. No matter what the oil and gas indusrty say, extracting these resourses causes pollution. Without a doubt. You can argue over the extent of the pollution, but you can’t argue the fact that it will happen. Simply put, there will be contamination from it. If you know of anyone who is having oil or gas drilled or extracted on their land, ask them questions. They might have some interesting personal experience. If you know of any oil or gas extractions near you, go ask for a tour. Even if you aren’t an environmental expert take a look for yourself. Then read all you can on the topic, taking it with a grain of salt on the position of the author. This is something we need to pay attention to.

Oct 02, 2012 8:20am EDT  --  Report as abuse
matthewslyman wrote:

@areddy831: “…wasn’t that big of a deal…”
Massive conflicts of interest…
Serious breaches of “duty of care”…
Deliberate deception, and totally unethical behaviour…
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/02/us-chesapeake-landgrab-sale-idUSBRE8910ER20121002
“…wasn’t that big of a deal?” — Really?

What does the word “professional” mean to you, if not, “a duty to uphold standards of ethics which others do not naturally have the means/ information to enforce”?

Oct 02, 2012 8:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
texan5555 wrote:

The biggest issue I have (living in Texas) is that they appear to be routinely granting these exceptions to rule 37 which in essence nullifies the rule but also it allows these companies to steal the mineral rights to people’s lands. All they have to do is get the exception then they can take what they want without paying the owner of the rights for them.

Oct 02, 2012 9:05am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Vuenbelvue wrote:

Aready831 Maybe you should ask that question to all the people that own CHK at $30 or over a share (last year) and who just saw $10-13 billion worth of the assets bought last year sold this year for less and operating expenses for 2013 unfunded. That is what I read in the Reuter’s articles.

Oct 02, 2012 9:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
KimFeil wrote:

The real casualties cannot be monitarized as the experience of shale health effects have personally hit me as one of the many “canaries” of Arlington. Since living near GM (and their two padsites) and UTArlington with their on campus 22 plus gas wells, I’ve had respiratoy, uncontrolled muscle twitching/jar clenching, stomach, and joint pain issues that forced me to have to be detoxed by a nutritionist for over a 6 month period for relief. Having lived in a refinery town prior to living in Arlington, my body revolted with urban drilling. We need scrubbers on the open hatch flowback tanks! We need better silica dust containment technologies too if we are going to be drilling near people. H E L P ME PLEASE! They plan on flowing back that Cowboy Stadium gas well as seen pictured here in this Reuter’s article at the end of this year, and all that stale flowback from those 3 wells they fracked last month will be volitizing in my family’s airshed and may sicken them too like what happened with Jean Stephens last March at that Chesapeake Lynn Smith drill site. I live and blog in the BarnettShaleHell!

Oct 02, 2012 9:38am EDT  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

If you’re gonna make deals with the Devil you’ll eventually get burned. Zero sympathy here.

Oct 02, 2012 9:43am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Overcast451 wrote:

So who’s wrong? Chesapeake or the “state agency” who granted the exception?

Oct 02, 2012 10:00am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Just goes to show, that deed you have is a sham. You never owned the land your house is on. The government assumes everything about you is theirs, and they “bless” you with a few rights here and there. Shoot a man trying to steal your tv and no big deal, self defense. But wait till some land owner arms himself against drillers. He’ll be eliminated from the scenario. Land ownership is the biggest scam in history.

Oct 02, 2012 10:09am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gregbrew56 wrote:

Yet, according to some, we need LESS regulations!?!?

Oct 02, 2012 11:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
wilhelm wrote:

capitalism at its rapacious best.

Oct 02, 2012 11:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse

A prime example of large corporation and government corruption working hand in hand. Bunch of crooks, but not unexpected.

Oct 02, 2012 11:16am EDT  --  Report as abuse
flashrooster wrote:

“…such deals are pushing ethical and legal limits.” This is a perfectly apt description of the Republican party and their corporate affiliates. And they want to go further is this direction? I don’t think so. They’ve taught us to believe that government and regulations are bad for a reason. Government is only bad if we let it be, and regulations are just a form of laws. Without them we have lawlessness.

Oct 02, 2012 11:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Maybe they will accuse Mr. Bhandari looking like ahmadinejad and put santions on him and steal his land, LOL.
I feel for you bro from India so take your money and run thats my advice no one wins in Texas except “The Bushes”.

Well written and researched “Reuters” Kudos!

Oct 02, 2012 11:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
fromthecenter wrote:

I never understand how right wing nuts, tea baggers and libertarians think that if we got rid of govt, big business would be better. Do they really believe that CEO’s and their directors say in their meetings, so what can we do to make the country better today? Seriously? I can’t imagine just how very bad things would get if they were allowed to go unchecked.

Oct 02, 2012 12:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Mott wrote:

With Perry and others in place, vote and prayer may be your best hope?

Oct 02, 2012 12:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
timebandit wrote:

Is there anyone left in the capitalist democracy of the United States who doesn’t understand that over the last 30 years capitalism has consumed democracy?

Oct 02, 2012 1:03pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gaius_Baltar wrote:

Why is this not a taking without compensation?

Oct 02, 2012 1:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
DTX wrote:

What the Bhandari’s aren’t telling you is a majority of their neighbors likely signed an agreement with Chesapeake. Fortunately in Texas a few landowners can’t scuttle agreements made by the majority. I’m also not buying they never will get paid. My understanding is standouts will eventually get paid a royalty (although at a lower amount) but no sign on bonus. If the Bhandari’s get nothing that’s icing on the cake is far as I’m concerned. The Bhandari’s aren’t casualties, they are discontents.

Oct 02, 2012 1:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
americanguy wrote:

I wish I lived in Texas.
I could dig down, hit an oil company’s oil line or gas line, tap into it, and get free natural gas or crude oil.
I could drian natural gas or crude and not pay a penny, just like the law says.
I wonder why people aren’t doing that?

Oct 02, 2012 1:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nodeal wrote:

areddy831 you read this and cry for chesapeake??? i sure hope somebody takes them down!

Oct 02, 2012 2:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ConstFundie wrote:

Chesapeake is a dirty company that buys privilege with dirty money to dirty politicians. Cheney and friends (mostly GOP, but certainly not all) started this with giving THEIR pet Companies, i.e., Halliburton, free reign and NO liabilities with regard to taking natural gas from under American’s land. Politicians in many states followed the lead to $.

The people of Texas and OK (and others) need to wake up and vote every politician out that supports unregulated fracking, and the hiding of the toxic chemicals being pumped by the tons into the ground and ground water. This business is slash and burn and move on, and the high frac areas could very well be Superfund sites in a few years. In every area, ground and ground water will be tainted for generations and require expensive filtering to be fit for use. Not to mention the potential for inducing earthquakes. Audrey and Cheney and friends do not give a flying hoot for what the quality of the land and water is when they leave. They’ll be living in CA or similar state that protects its environment, or some foreign coast, toasting to their business smarts and success.

Oct 02, 2012 3:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mynamehear2 wrote:

Wait till this evolves into foreign based multinationals (ie, China, India, Russia not to mention Middle Eastern based corporations) doing the exact same thing. All the while paying for politicians to be elected via Citizens United. As long as laws are as currently written (or loosened FTM), the terrorist you see may very well be 5 dirty SCOTUS justices.

Oct 02, 2012 3:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mjftw wrote:

We undoubtedly need inexpensive energy; but not at the cost of cuts in quality to drinking water and instability in land structure (primarily earthquakes). kudos to those working to ameliorate this issue.

Oct 02, 2012 4:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SanPa wrote:

A preview of what will come with approval of Keystone XL.

Oct 02, 2012 6:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mrspk wrote:

The natural gas glut has increased the usage of compressed natural gas powered cars, which is a greener mode of transportation than regular gasoline. The market may actually be responding to a greater public awareness of environmental issues, although imminent domain in any capacity is worrisome.

Oct 02, 2012 7:11pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
stevedebi wrote:

Those blaming the Republicans should note that in 1919 (when the law was passed), the state was controlled by Democrats.

Oct 02, 2012 7:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
paintcan wrote:

This story shows why free booting, robber baron style capitalism is going to die. Chesapeake doesn’t want any potential buyers to know it is assembling large tracts of land because they want to get the rights as cheaply as possible.

Normally, zoning restrictions in towns and cities require that property owners and abutters are fully informed of what is intended by developers. You can’t get away with this in very urbanized areas.

Chesepeake is trying to do with fracking rights what George Washington Vanderbilt did with almost a quarter of a million acres of Eastern North Carolina farm acreage when he assembled his semi-feudal estate “Biltmore”. He didn’t send an army of agents into the area like Chesapeake but wanted to make sure no one knew that he was a Vanderbilt. The railroads in the late 19th century would buy state governments to allow them to assemble ROWs and people knew they were coming and were eager for it. The benefits could help more than the landowners. Vanderbilt looks like a sweetheart, in comparison. His agents made offers in a depressed area of the state and the owners accepted. He actually assembled the parcels that later became a state park. He hired Frederick Law Olmstead to design a master plan for the management of the estate and poured the present day equivalent of billions of dollars into it. He was a founder of modern forest management practices and established a school for it on the site.

No small owners or small business has the luxury of anonymity that Chesapeake wants to exploit if they want to build or develope a site.

And article in the Columbia Alumni magazine also asserted that at least half the pressurized water used in fracking will find its way back to the surface quickly. It was under pressure and exposed to the gas, concrete and other sub soil conditions. Someone may have a small royalty to gas bought out from under them but could also find they can’t drink their well water. It could cost them more to have drinking water than they got in royalties.

They also have to put up with sub surface explosions and even minor localized earthquakes. One town in PA had over a thousand of them. How can one have an economy that simultaneously sees every private home or business as an economic ground of being and at the same time allow practices that destroy or harm the property values?

Capitalism tends to need cheap resources that can be sold for more elsewhere. But land use laws will be working against it and are in the interests of lenders and homeowners that they do. Chesapeake should buy them all out if they want to do land assembly on a grand scale. That way – when they have finished with the gas exploitation the land could either be redeveloped along more energy efficient lines and resold at more reasonable prices and even at higher density or greater compaction to reflect global conditions.

Oct 02, 2012 7:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
scubawithdog wrote:

Yes, it is Reuters out to get Aubrey McLendon and Chesapeake because they don’t have anything else to do. If the McLendon “scandal” was not
“that big of a deal” why did he lose his job?
Chesapeake is a bully but truly they are no worse nor any better than the others.
The Texas Railroad Commission job is to REGULATE the industry but as Ramone Nye says it’s their job is “to make sure hydrocarbons don’t stay underground and go to waste,”. That is rich or maybe that is what Ramone Nye hopes she will be when one of the companies from the natural gas industry hires her and gives her a big paycheck for helping them extract “their” hydrocarbons with the least amount of bother from the mineral owners as possible.

Oct 02, 2012 9:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
AnIowan wrote:

Property rights are getting trampled everywhere and will continue to be as long as commissions and boards are allowed to think that the public has all rights and landowners need to shut up, pay their taxes and have their land confiscated when they die. You think people in Texas have it bad, try farming.

Oct 02, 2012 9:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
amibovvered wrote:

A classic example of the many against the few where the law does not protect the latter from the former.

Moreover, since time immemorial regulators have gone with the industry regulated more than not. When will it cease? Never? Most likely.

Oct 02, 2012 11:48pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Rikzter wrote:

First, the land owners who get pooled do not lose ANY rights. They still own their minerals. The royalties will be paid into escrow if the holdout refuses to sign. The owners can they get those royalties whenever they want. They will lose signing bonus payments because they did not sign a lease. Second, please do not buy into the scare tactics from extreme environmentalists. They are the same one’s who used to demand we move to natural gas since it was “cleaner” than coal or oil. Now they are against NG. True is they are against fossil fuels. Fracing is not only safe, it represents a technology that could free us from the stranglehold of middle-east oil sheiks.

Oct 03, 2012 11:19am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jimrockett wrote:

To my knowledge, all oil and gas producing states in the US have this type of law. It applies to mineral royalty owners, mineral royalty is the subsurface not the surface. The owners of the royalty have a choice to lease or not. If other royalty owners around them have signed leases then, as in this case, the leasing company can do what is called forced pooling, thereby forcing their royalty into the pool of other royalty owners. However, when this is done, the owners of the forced pool action become a partner in the well. They do not have to put up any money, for drilling and completion but they will not receive any, until the company gets all of its money back.Because the company is paying for their part of the drilling and completion and operating costs. In Oklahoma, when this is done the royalty owner has to put up the money for all of this, but in Texas and Louisiana they don’t.

Oct 04, 2012 10:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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