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Here at the Law Office of Michael P. O'Connor, we represent the landowners in negotiating and entering into oil and gas leases. We can help you with the entire process or just part of it. We will work to get you the best terms while protecting your use of the land from the impacts of drilling. Care should be taken to ensure farmers or ranchers don't have their operations interrupted by drilling activities, vehicle traffic, water use, and disposal problems.
If you are approached by a landman who wants you to sign an oil and gas lease, do not sign it or agree to anything until you have an attorney review it for you. I have not seen an oil and gas lease from a landman that does not need to be modified.
Ask the landman the following questions:
The energy company's original offer might include payments as a signing bonus, land rental fees, and/or royalty payments. Several factors go into the value of your lease. Higher bonus and rental payments are usually offered if the energy company believes the area has a strong geology and proximity to optimal drilling locations.
There are other valuable lease provisions aside from the royalty term that should to be included or addressed and there are standard terms that should be modified or eliminated altogether. Many landowners who do not seek assistance negotiating their lease usually overlook those issues because they simply do not know about them. So, it is worthwhile to retain counsel to help you negotiate a better lease.
Energy companies usually write their leases to give them overly broad surface or subsurface rights that would likely interfere with your quiet enjoyment of the land or other commercial use of your land. Such provision should be limited, and drafted in a manner to your other uses of the land.
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