Official: Gas lease not yet finalized with area company

    295
    print

    TCU has yet to sign a lease with a local oil and gas company that is telling residents in a nearby neighborhood that it’s a done deal, a top administrator says.Brian Gutierrez, vice chancellor for finance and administration, confirmed Monday in an e-mail that no agreement has been reached with Four Sevens Resources Co., who distributed fliers in the Colonial Park neighborhood announcing that Four Sevens “has been awarded the TCU gas lease!”

    Gutierrez said Thursday that TCU is still assessing the feasibility of drilling on campus and discussions with Four Sevens are ongoing.

    “I think they’re running ahead of where we are in the process,” Gutierrez said.

    Four Sevens partner Brad Cunningham, who declined to comment, referred all questions to Gutierrez.

    At a Feb. 6 meeting with the Bluebonnet Place Neighborhood Association, Four Sevens agent Rogers Gideon said an agreement with TCU was reached but no contract had been signed.

    Cunningham said Colt Exploration Co., a leasing broker hired to obtain signatures on behalf of Four Sevens, distributed the fliers, which offer residents of Colonial Park a $500 signing bonus and 25 percent royalty interest.

    Colt’s owner, Jim Holcomb, did not return phone calls.

    John Tucker, a 1968 TCU alumnus and resident of Colonial Park, is concerned the flier has led many of his neighbors to sign with Four Sevens simply because they think TCU has already done so.

    “I don’t think that’s the right way to do business,” Tucker said. “Right now, I wouldn’t sign with Four Sevens at all because they’re lying to me.”

    Cunningham did not have a reaction to Tucker’s sentiment, and again referred the question to Gutierrez.

    Tucker said he would “like to hear something from TCU,” but he doesn’t think it’s the university’s responsibility to inform the public of its dealings.

    Though it may not be TCU’s responsibility, Gutierrez ensured dialogue with students and the surrounding community once “we gather more information about the feasibility of drilling on campus.”

    Gutierrez stressed safety and security for students among other logistical issues that need to be resolved before a final decision is made.