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Letters to the Editor

Setting the record straight

Jim Gipson January 25th, 2012

The Oklahoma Gazette’s Jan. 12 “Chicken-Fried News” column, “The ol’ shell game?” — based on a Reuters story — needs the benefit of a few key facts.

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
Oklahoma City

Jim Gipson is director of media relations for Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to or sent online at, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

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