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Oil/Gas/Releasing upooled portion of lease


In Texas May 2007 I leased 380 acres to an oil company for 5 years. The lease is now producing. Although only 100 acres are pooled under the well. The well is in the Barnet Shale and not only is pooled under 100 acres of my property but 300 acres of additional property owned by others. The question is; Can they hold all of my 380 acres which I leased or will the oil company release the 280 acres not pooled. Please advise as to what the law is and the possibility they will release it accordingly. I, have hadd problems getting oil companys to release leases in the past even when the law was overwhelmingly in my favor.

If your lease agreement does not require the oil company to release the acreage after expiration then you will not be successful in obtaining a release.  Carefully read your lease for "Pugh Clause" language.

I would suggest that future leases that you enter into be negotiated for you by an oil and gas attorney who will include these clauses as well as other protections prior to your entering into the agreement.

If you did not include either a pool-all clause or the pugh-clause language then it will only be left to their discretion to release the acreage and you will not be successful in most cases.


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Cliff Williams


I will try to answer any question you have. Even if I reject a question, I still will give a shot at what I would do in your position. The only questions I will not take a shot at would be a highly technical engineering or geological question. I am beginning to see quite a few questions from land men and other oil companies and that doesn't matter to me either. I will attempt to help.


I am an oil and gas attorney that has been in the business for more than 20 years. I have held a series 22 and 63 securities license, been in oil and gas operations, land man, division order analyst all prior to obtaining my law degree. Today, I typically write title opinions verifying ownership of oil and gas minerals, assist landowners in negotiations on oil, gas and mineral leases, easements and conveyances. I also assist oil and gas companies with the sale of working interest ownership as well as common business law issues.

State Bar of Texas, Member of the Tarrant County Bar and the Dallas County Bar Associations.

Multiple oil and gas topical columns on

I have a B.S. degree which I rely upon more than my Business Mgmt degree or Law degree...

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