Friday, January 20, 2012

Colorado property owners faced with possibility of being forced into drilling plans

Mark Jaffe

Elbert County landowner Mark Fault signed a lease that allows Chesapeake Energy Corp. to drill beneath his land in the Cross Diamond subdivision. He is on his property Thursday afternoon, August 11, 2011. (Karl Gehring / The Denver Post)

The landman for Chesapeake Energy Corp. presented Mark Faut with a choice: sign a lease for his oil rights or have his 7 acres forced into the drilling plan by the state.

"That was it, no questions, no discussion," said Faut, who owns a rental home in the Cross Diamond subdivision in Elbert County. "It was, 'Sign or we'll force pool.' "

Across Elbert and Douglas counties, where energy companies are competing for leases, landmen are using the "forced pooling" card as leverage, property owners say....continued....