Operating on someone’s land is a responsibility Chesapeake takes seriously. We work to build long-term relationships with our royalty and surface owners through transparent communication and accessibility.
Critical to this commitment is active listening and two-way communication. Multiple groups across Chesapeake (including Land, Corporate Communications, Field Service Operations, and Health, Safety, Environment and Regulatory) work together to address questions and concerns of our royalty and surface owners.
In addition to these teams of employees, we offer our Owner Relations department as a central information hub for owners. Owners may call or email this group about topics such as lease agreements, payments and production.
Owner Relations Engagement Process
Outreach to Owner Relations group
Owner Relations attempts to resolve without transfer
If needed, Owner Relations transfers to a specialized employee
Matter is resolved and documented for future reference
Lessons learned are reported to the team
It’s our goal to meet owner needs efficiently, often with one phone call or email. Our Owner Relations team receives comprehensive training to listen effectively and respond with the needed resources.
In 2021, the Owner Relations group responded to more than 44,500 owner interactions.
When our Owner Relations team is contacted, we track the interaction through a system that allows us to document the nature of the communications and assign specialized employees for response, if necessary. The program creates accountability across our organization, enabling Owner Relations team members and business unit supervisors to monitor the timeliness of our communications, report lessons learned and improve our processes.
Should an owner choose to access the Chesapeake website, there’s a dedicated page for owner information including FAQs and important documents in English and Spanish.
Pennsylvania Royalty Owner Update
In March 2021, Chesapeake and our affiliates reached comprehensive settlements with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and in class-action lawsuits brought on behalf of local oil and gas lessors for royalty-related claims. Moving forward from this legacy dispute provides an important opportunity to rebuild relationships with lessors, and we’re squarely focused on strengthening our partnerships in Pennsylvania.
Because the dispute and subsequent settlements are complicated, Chesapeake created a website where Pennsylvania lessors can access the most up-to-date information regarding next steps. In addition to monetary relief, Pennsylvania owners were permitted to make a one-time election to determine how their royalties will be paid in the future. Options included in-basin pricing with no post-production costs deducted from their royalties, or out-of-basin pricing with the costs of getting the gas to other markets deducted from the proceeds. The goal is to provide greater transparency and afford owners more control over their payments.
To further create a positive working relationship in Pennsylvania, we’re partnering with community members and local officials to host informational events to discuss our operations and encourage two-way communications. Also, our employees continue to be involved with philanthropic efforts, volunteering for nonprofit organizations like 4-H and helping with local community events.