Oil/Gas/Oil & Gas Lease, Payne County, OK
This is concerning Section 8-T20N-R4E, NW/4, Payne County, OK.
Once forced pooling paperwork is received by mineral rights owner, can a lease still be signed? I ask this because my mother was contacted by Blue Star Land Services (landman for Devon Energy) to see if she was interested in leasing her mineral rights. Mom returned the letter with her signature next to the block indicating she wanted them to send her the lease.
It has been approximately 6 weeks since Mom requested the lease, however, the lease was never sent to Mom. Instead, now she has received paperwork from a lawyer that has to do with pooling. We have left 3 calls with Blue Star landman, but he has not returned any of the calls.
In addition, she has received a letter from a different company, Randall G. Raulston, Inc., asking if she is interested in leasing her mineral rights to them for $275/acre, 3 yr. term, 3/16 royalty. My assumption is that Raulston is contacting all those who are on the forced pooling list and is trying to get leases with them.
My questions are:
1. Now that forced pooling is taking place, can Mom still sign a lease? Is leasing a better option rather than being force pooled?
2. If leasing is still an option, should she go with the original offer from Blue Star Land Services (Devon Energy) which offered $200/acre, 3 yr. term, 3/16 royalty, assuming they still want to lease with her?
3. I'm unable to find out anything about the Raulston company and have no idea if they are a reputable company, so don't know if we should consider leasing with them. I've heard that some companies that try to get leases with those that are force pooled might not be reputable.
4. Another issue is that we have no chain of title for these mineral rights. We've been told that Dad was the mineral owner (and possibly Mom's name on paperwork at some time). Dad passed away in 1996 and Mom is 97 years old and her memory has failed so we don't know how to prove ownership. Would the leasing agent have the chain of title or will we be expected to provide that?
Mom and her children who are helping with this matter live in the state of Washington, and we are not knowledgable about these matters, so any help is appreciated. I'm sure there are many other questions I should be asking, but I have no idea what they would be. Thanks so much.
A lease can still be signed even after the forced pooling process begins. You can call Devon's attorney and tell them that you have received the paperwork for the forced pooling and would like to lease.
Tell them also that you have been contacted and offered $275 per acre and that you would rather do a deal with them at $275 than the other company. They may not take you up on that but they just might.
Leasing gives you the opportunity to be in control of the process but then again the terms that come out of the forced pool may be better than those offered - it's impossible to tell at this point.
It is impossible to tell what the going rates are in the area. It's like real estate and the prices and terms can vary by county. Just like working with Raulston...if you can't find any info on them then it will be better to go with the known quantity - Devon, than it is to get a little more money from an unknown company.
You don't need to provide any title...the company will do that from the courthouse records. If you still are uncomfortable with the process you can call the Oklahoma Bar Association and ask for a referral to an oil and gas attorney in Oklahoma City to work with you.