After receiving a flood of calls from concerned residents who had been approached by landmen about signing leases to their mineral rights, Douglas County government held a forum on the matter April 27 where representatives from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, Colorado Oil and Gas Association and landowner advocates spoke. About 400 people attended.
Landmen representing Chesapeake Energy have approached landowners to sign leases in at least the Centennial Ranch and Bell Cross Ranch subdivisions, both north of Parker. Residents in Bell Cross Ranch have come together to gain more bargaining power.
Martha Carlin, who’s heading up a committee on Bell Cross Ranch’s homeowners association on possible oil drilling, said some of her neighbors are fearful, some are excited by the prospect of the money drilling would bring, while others are conflicted, like her.
“I’m kind of in the middle, where I don’t want it in my neighborhood but I understand the need for it,” Carlin said.
She said no one in the subdivision has signed a lease yet and that at most the landowners have just received a letter or phone call from the landmen.
John Dill, director of corporate development in the Rockies for Chesapeake, said at this point the company is just interested in signing leases and has no immediate plans to drill in the area.