They won’t be Texas wildcatters, but residents of the Lowe’s Farm subdivision could see some cash from gas drilling in east Mansfield.
A Houston-based gas exploration company plans to drill wells in a field off East Broad Street and wants to drill one well laterally under the 470-lot neighborhood.
Residents would be entitled to compensation because they own the mineral rights to their lots ”” which is a little unusual because subdivision developers typically retain those rights.
Lowe’s Farm was developed about five years ago, residents said, before the natural-gas rush kicked off in North Texas and focused more attention on mineral rights.
Nearly 200 residents have signed drilling leases, most of them at a meeting early last week with representatives of Carrizo Oil and Gas. The meeting at Danny Jones Middle School on Tuesday evening drew about 300 residents.
”It’s coming whether we’re on board or not,” said Lowe’s Farm homeowner Chris Wright. ”So we might as well sign up and get the money for it.”
Everyone who signs a lease will receive $200. Then, if Carrizo is awarded a city permit, drills the well and strikes gas ”” a process that could take a year or more ”” Lowe’s Farm residents will share a 20 percent royalty on the gross sales.
That would be roughly $150 to $200 a month per homeowner over the productive life of the gas well, typically eight to 10 years, said Warren McFatter, a manager of Carrizo’s leasing agent, Woodstone Resources LLC of Houston.
In addition, the neighborhood homeowners association plans to lease its 3-acre recreation area to receive royalty payments that could fund improvements.
Lowe’s Farm resident Kim McCaslin Schlieker said she is surprised that an oil company would take on the task of contracting individually for hundreds of quarter-acre lots, when it’s easier to deal with large properties. She is vice president of M.R. Development, which has leased large tracts for gas drilling.
”This is the first time I’ve heard of an oil company going door-to-door trying to get a lease for properties of our size,” she said.
McFatter said Carrizo won’t seek a permit until at least 80 percent of the residents sign leases, adding that drilling will avoid the properties of those who don’t sign.
”We’ve made a decision that treats everybody fairly, and the people who want more, we’re not going to deal with them,” McFatter said.
Carrizo officials have not contacted the city of Mansfield about plans to drill near Lowe’s Farm, city planner Art Wright said.
The city began accepting drilling requests in April 2005 after it approved regulations that address issues of noise, lighting and separation of drill sites from homes, churches and other buildings.
Since then, 32 wells have been approved and several of them have been completed, Wright said.
According to residents who attended the community meeting, the proposal received overwhelming support, but several people voiced concerns over issues including increased traffic and noise.
McFatter, who attended the meeting, said the drilling site would be more than a half-mile south of the neighborhood. After a few months of drilling, he said, the lighted derrick would be removed, leaving a small, quiet pumping station that would be visited by an employee only a couple times a week.
The modern technique of lateral drilling helps keep drilling rigs farther from developed property.