A big southeast Arlington neighborhood group said Friday it has endorsed a lease with XTO Energy that will pay the area’s highest signing bonus yet reported, $26,517 an acre, along with a generous royalty of 26.5 percent. Mark Middleton, an organizer of South East Arlington Communities of Texas (SEACTX), said the group on April 1 actively started seeking bids to lease the mineral rights of roughly 6,000 acres covered by about 20 neighborhoods in the group. It reached agreement with Fort Worth-based XTO Thursday afternoon, Middleton said. SEACTX also drew interest from Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and Antero Resources Barnett Corp, he said. Chesapeake is the busiest driller in the Barnett Shale, while Devon is the biggest producer but has mostly stayed out of the urban area. Antero sold its Barnett Shale properties to XTO in early 2005, but recently re-entered the play, Middleton said.
Middleton said he understands that among the drillers, only Chesapeake had secured a drill site, located just south of Seguin High School. But property owners committed to sign with XTO virtually surround that site, and he expects the two big competitors to work out a deal to give XTO use of the site.
XTO and Chesapeake representatives could not be reached for comment late Friday.
SEACTX extends mostly south and east of Arlington Municipal Airport. Click here to view the group's map of its boundaries.
-- Jim Fuquay