Be prepared, don’t sign away mineral rights

If you own Mineral Rights in this region do not sign oil and gas leases – you will be taken advantage of. You will benefit greatly by getting together with other mineral rights owners and bargaining as a group. There is a deep, very rich natural gas and oil formation called the Utica Collingwood (Google it) under the whole region.

Signing bonuses as high as $3,000 to $3,500 an acre have been paid – small change compared to the potential royalties. Bargain together to achieve royalties as high as 25 percent to 30 percent instead of one-eighth or obe-sixth. Potentially there are billions of dollars at stake in our region.

There are two major players Chesapeake Energy and Encana Energy (Canadian). The head of Chesapeake was just forced out of the company. An e-mail was found to Encana that asked which half of the geographical area did they want so they would not be bidding against each other. In one year the revenue signing bonus for State of Michigan Lands leased dropped from around $178,000,000 to around $10,000,000. These people can be utterly ruthless and they have more ways to take advantage of landowners then you can imagine. Get leverage working as a group by spreading the legal and other costs – typically less then $3 to $5 per acre.

The process will take time – perhaps 2 to 5 years.

Fred Miller, and Lewis Crawford recently held meetings in Hillman to form a group. They own land here and had previously successfully done this with a group negotiating for Antrim gas leases. To form a group in your area please contact Fred at and they will help provide information. Talk to your neighbors. They will not be charging or making money at your expense.

Jack Matthias,