Gulfmark Energy Group Inc. of San Antonio, TX, said it has obtained financing from Notre-Dame Capital Inc. of Montreal to support development of its Eagle Ford Shale assets. The company said it intends to drill through the Escondido, Olmos, San Miguel, Austin Chalk and Eagle Ford formations. "We have yet to assess all of the undeveloped potential opportunities to expand our operations utilizing horizontal wells with multi-stage fracturing technologies," said CEO Michael Ward. "Multiple targets have been identified; however, several other opportunities are currently under evaluation and analysis. This financing will allow us to explore all resources available in our current asset base." Gulfmark operations are currently focused on western South Texas. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.
The Arkansas Court of Appeals sided with natural gas drilling companies in affirming two lower court rulings in separate cases involving mineral rights disputes in the Fayetteville Shale. In Case No. 2010-114, Garner v. XTO Energy Inc., the court ruled that when XTO Energy Inc. commenced drilling operations on land owned by Guy and Ruby Garner in Cleburne County, AR, on March 10, 2010 -- two weeks before a five-year mineral lease for the land was due to expire -- it had the effect of extending the lease beyond its primary term. The Garners had argued that the terms of the lease were ambiguous; the court found the terms not ambiguous. In Case No. 10-185, Hipp v. Vernon Smith & Assocs., landowners argued that brokerage firm Vernon Smith & Associates, acting on behalf of Chesapeake Exploration LP, had misrepresented the terms of two oil and gas leases signed July 13, 2005. The court ruled that the landowners had asked that the lease options be voided only after the original terms of the lease had expired, and affirmed the trial court's holding that the statute of limitations for such a request had passed.