Both the Reuters story and the Gazette column incorrectly suggest the lease brokers contracted by Chesapeake in Michigan were engaged in inappropriate practices. That was not the case. As reported in the Reuters story, the use of independent lease brokers is a standard and legal practice in the oil and gas industry.
The Michigan agreements in question were precursor documents. These documents state a clear title must be approved before a lease can be finalized.
Two Michigan judges ruled two weeks ago that the lease brokers were within the law to withdraw lease offerings when a title could not be approved because of defects. The court said the agreements contain clear and unambiguous language that leases would not be approved until the title to the minerals had been approved.
Chesapeake paid more than $400 million in lease bonuses in 2010 in Michigan to mineral owners with approved titles.
We appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.
Jim Gipson is director of media relations for Chesapeake Energy Corp.
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