An atmosphere of uncertainty has landowners wondering what the future holds for the leasing and development of their mineral interests. We have received calls from many landowners hoping that we could shed some light on what may happen next in the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, we are not privy to the boardrooms of the oil and gas producers making the decisions on how they intend to develop the oil and gas resources which they control.
In some cases, we have assisted landowners in obtaining releases from leases that have expired without the commencement of production activities. Unfortunately, many landowners discovered that their land was unitized by their lessee with minimal production commencement activity conducted for the sole purpose of holding the lease. We have heard stories of oil and gas producers cutting a road, surveying a site and begin to prepare a pad in order to proceed into the secondary term of the lease, which means that the lease will remain in full force and effect until production activities have ceased.
Uncertain times brings out the worst in human nature, and this general rule seems to apply universally in the oil and gas industry. Knowing that many landowners are anxious to realize revenue from the extraction of their oil and gas, there have emerged numerous firms who are now approaching landowners to purchase either all or a portion of their minerals. Also emerging from their underground burrows are the lease flippers, independent leasing agents, and speculators who are more than eager to again prey on unsuspecting landowners.
Landowners need to realize that there are many negative consequences that can affect their land forever by deeding away any part of their mineral rights or by entering into a bad lease. If you have been approached by any firm interested in purchasing or leasing your mineral rights, you should call or email us first before you sign anything. Our reasonable fee to review the offer made to you as well as to discuss the effect of selling or leasing your minerals will enable you to make an informed decision. We will most likely be able to negotiate a transaction that will enable you to realize a financial benefit without destroying your land and your legacy.