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Question
I recently inherited property/mineral rights in Okla.  The current lease was signed before my mother passed away.  My brother says the lease is for 5 years renewable every year, with a 2 year extension.  My questions are:  Do they have to negotiate a new lease with the current owners?  And does this lease sound like a customary lease?  I do not know the royalty share, and the land is currently not being drilled on.
Thanks so much!

Answer
Ordinarily:  If drilling is commenced during the two or three year primary term, then the lease is held until production ceases, at which point the lease expires; if drilling is not commenced during the primary term, then the lease expires at the end of the primary term.

You are describing something very different.  It is difficult for me to express an opinion without more information.  Has it been five years?  Has it been two years?  Did they renew?  Every year?  Did they renew in accordance with the specific terms of the lease?  Was the lease personal, lasting only while your mother was alive; or, did it bind heirs and assigns?  Did they breach the lease by failing to pay the royalty?  Did they breach the lease in any other way?  

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Mark Bonner

Expertise

Interests include oil and gas leases, mineral deeds, royalty payments, interest on late royalty payments, post-production costs.

Experience

I have been an attorney for over 20 years.

Organizations
Norman & Edem, PLLC 127 N.W. 10th St. Oklahoma City, OK 73103 405-272-0200 (Tel.)

Publications
Oklahoma Bar Journal; Oklahoma Association for Justice Advocate

Education/Credentials
Highest Honors, OU College of Law, 1992 Earl Sneed Award for Oil & Gas

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