Bombshell: Halcon Resources Corp. is paying NCL Appalachian Partners $194 million (over $6,000 per acre) to take over land leases for drilling on 31,000 acres mostly in Trumbull County, OH (and about 3,000 acres in Mahoning County, OH). This is not money going to landowners but to the leaseholder, NCL. And it’s for old leases dating back to the 1960s.
By comparison, mass transfer of lease deals done by Chesapeake and others have been in the $1,000-$2,000 per acre range. But there is a difference: the lower-priced deals include a one or two percent royalty on anything produced going to the original leaseholder. Again, this is not landowner royalties, but leaseholder. It’s hard to follow the bouncing ball on this story.
The leases purchased by Halcon are not without potential problems (for Halcon) and opportunities (for landowners):