Wednesday, February 21, 2007

lemonade out of lemons

Have been busy doing grants and being sick - the combination of being around two sick people last week (who weren't yet sick when I was with them but apparently already incubating). I finally broke down and called the doctor for an antibiotic yesterday - am glad it's only a 5-day dosage. (Thanks, Teva Pharma!)

Last week I was served with papers telling me that a certian company was going to put in a methane gas well north of me within 1/2 mile. (And this week I have missed another similar delivery according to the message in my mailbox.) I had refused to sell my rights given that I did not want to give up any contro of my property - especially any that might result in irreversible damage to anything on the property - and because the money-making potential was low. Most neighbors looked at the initial sum but didn't see the part about the 3 years only applying if the company did NOT find anything.

When I headed to the farm Monday, I noticed a line of 5 gravel trucks to the west and figured something was up. Had seen driving in (on the south side) that my neighbor was putting gravel down at his pond entrance, which I found interesting, but didn't think more about it. So, I called my farmer since I knew he would know what was going on - well, house, what. . . Well, apparently the company received a big cash infusion last year and he saw them seal the deal when about 10 brand-new pick-ups with the company name on the side were parked at the steakhouse in a nearby town. The farmer had been trying to talk to the landowner to the west for me about buying a right of first refusal for when he was ready to sell - which would have been more than this company paid. But, I guess it's better than other alternatives there. The farmer was also the one who told me about how excited the southern neighbor was to have a road to his pond. I'm not sure he realizes how many more "guests" he will have now and there won't be anything left for him to fish.

So, this morning I was doing some stock research and my brokerage has a recommendation out just today on this company. So, I will make money this way given that there is a potential 50% upside. The money for the wells themselves will have a short peak and then drop-off so this will be a quick turnaround.

I also learned a great deal talking to geologists at the University of Kansas last week to find out if the drilling would cause a problem. The greatest potential for a problem is the saline water that is forced out to get to the methane and since I'm part of a rural water district and don't rely on a well, I'm good to go.

So, I can now drive by all the (at least eventually) unsightly wells and see $$$$. They only take a day to drill and apparently cost about $135,000. I'm thinking most of it is the gravel trucks from all over (every one was from a different company when I drove by the southern group yesterday)

And, to top this all off, Monday and Tuesday we had a great deal of snow melt so the gravel roads are now unpassable by some cars and I'm sure the county is not very happy about the conditions of its roads. They literally could not have picked a worse day to haul heavy trucks on gravel.

Later today I'm off to Wichita while watching the rain in Atlanta delay the connections to get my colleague here. At least we have warm weather for the next few days and I should be okay driving except for thunderstorms on Saturday.

I've taken a little bit of time this morning to have a "normal" morning since I won't really be home again until April to have a "normal day" here.

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