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Oil/Gas/Intermittent gas well producer


A major oil company drilled 2 gas wells on our property in Pecos County, TX 7 years ago about 500 feet apart.  One well is 22000 ft and has never produced as they lost drilling tools. They hit water in the other at 20,000 ft and it is a low producing gas well providing average of $100/month. Sometimes it doesn't produce for 2 months at a time then they start it back up. They are purposely tying up this property so we cant re-lease it. What options do we have.

You don't have any options outside of the provisions in the lease form you executed.  They probably have an exact number of days the well can be shut in before it has to be turned back on or released.  The other issue is that the Texas Courts have drawn a broad interpretation of the definition of a "commercially productive" well.  If a reasonably prudent company would continue to produce a well and the well continues to produce sufficient hydrocarbon to pay royalty then the courts will allow the operator to continue.

On the other hand many companies do not like being taken to court and if you were to hire someone to fight this or they must release the lease you may find a willing listener.

You may also review your lease agreement to determine when the primary term ended.  Once you have determined this you may look for "pugh clause" language to demand a release of acreage not in a unit (if there is any).

Sorry I could not provide more beneficial information.



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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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Husband and father of 26 years

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