There is a scathing new report out from Reuters about the finances of Chesapeake Energy Corporation. Chesapeake is being sued by landowners and contractors. The article outlines Chesapeake's financial challenges.
What really caught me eye, however, was the fact that contractors who aren't being paid by Chesapeake are now placing liens on the properties of landowners who leased their oil and gas rights. Of course some mineral owners make a lot of money from leasing their oil and gas rights. But many don't. As we've blogged about before, mineral owners may be victims of air pollution and water contamination, predatory leases, destruction of their property and property values, and risks to their mortgages, title insurance and homeowner's insurance-- as are their neighbors. But now there is apparently another risk to leasing one's minerals.
According to Reuters, companies are placing liens for unpaid bills against some property owners who signed leases with Chesapeake. The report quote an attorney as saying that "such liens could interfere with an owner's ability to sell the property." Reuters spoke to one property owner who was never even informed about the lien until he found out about it from the Reuters reporter.