Energy Industry (Oil & Gas)/2 holdouts on a lease


We have 50% minerals on 80 acres in the Eagleford Shale area split: 50% Our family (6 of us) and 50% the family heirs who sold it to us 55 years ago (26 of them)  The six leased our acres for 3 years and were paid a bonus.  The 26 have 2 holding out for more money and the oil company says no.  They drilled around 300' from our property line and the well came in strong.  The oil company just drew the line around the edge of our property and COMPLETELY excluded us because of these 2 holdouts.  Another well is proposed to the north of us and could take in all of our acres, but these 2 still won't sign.  Why can't the oil company just force the 2 to sign or put the money in escrow for them?  The oil company is discussing not drilling the north well at all because of these 2.  Seems so wrong that 2 people can stop 30 people from receiving royalties.  What can the 6 do?

Hello Sarah. The oil company doesn't have the right to force someone to sign a lease. In some instances, and in a few situations, a company might attempt a force pooling action at the Railroad Commission but this is rarely done and probably wouldn't be applicable here.  Have you considered a partition?  If your tract is going to be in a pooled unit and will not have a wellbore on it, the oil company shouldn't care too much about a couple of hold outs.  Deopending on the size of the mineral interests owned by the holdout, this could be a problem if the tract is going to have a wellbore on it.

I am not sure why these 2 are not leasing, but if they are keeping you from realizing the value of your property you might want to consider consulting with an attorney to see if partition could be a remedy.  Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions.  

Energy Industry (Oil & Gas)

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David B. McCall


Questions regarding oil and gas exploration and production, the operation and management of oil and gas producing properties, and questions related to mineral ownership, title problems, and oil and gas leases.


I am Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law in the state of Texas. I have more than 37 years of experience in the industry as both an in house attorney for major oil companies and as a partner in oil and gas firms. I am also a mineral owner and receive royalties from oil and gas production. I have extensive title examination experience, and have represented clients in many administrative and court proceedings.

State Bar of Texas, Texas Bar Foundation, and Austin Bar Foundation.

Various state bar seminars on Oil and Gas matters.

I have a business degree in marketing from McMurry University, 1971, and a JD degree from Texas Tech University in 1974, where I graduated 17th in my class. Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law in 1986.

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