By Jason Shueh Greeley Tribune -Tuesday, April 17, 2012
DENVER — Weld County landowners with the rights to the oil and gas under their property received a word of caution Tuesday from veteran mineral rights holders, who warned them to think twice before signing long-term oil and gas leases.
The warning came as part of a panel discussion at the inaugural Niobrara Shale Conference held in the Colorado Convention Center. The two-day conference also includes presentations from oil and gas industry executives about topics such as the likely productivity of the Niobrara formation, the geology of it and improved drilling techniques.
In the open panel discussion with attendees and mineral rights owners — many from Weld and Douglas counties — Cristy Koeneke, vice president of the National Association of Royalty Owners, said to be careful before signing anything when oil and gas companies come requesting a lease and offering a signing bonus.
“What the companies do, what land men do, is they waive the bonus money at the mineral owner and say ‘Here, look at this hand and don’t watch this one,’ ” Koeneke said.
Koeneke said, as a mineral rights owner herself, she was at first impressed when an oil and gas company approached her many years ago offering a signing bonus on her acreage — and like many mineral rights owners — she jumped at the chance to sign a lease.
Looking back, she said it was one of the biggest mistakes she’d ever made as an owner.
“Generally speaking, it’s not the early bird that gets the worm from a mineral owners standpoint. It’s the people who wait and are patient.”