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Oil/Gas/NPRI in Texas

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QUESTION: My husband inherited NPRI in Montague Co. TX. We received royalties off of the property for decades. Then in 2003 we got the last check from Plains Marketing.  Just a few years later EOG began to drill several horizontal wells. I spoke with someone with EOG and was told that we could not participate any longer on the lease because production had ended on the original lease. I got a copy of the deed and it states that if at any time in a ten year period since 1941 oil and gas is not produced then the NPRI contract is over. EOG started drilling just three years after we got our last check from Plains.
I put the Montague file in the dead file and never thought about it. Then today I was talking to an Okla landman about NPRI. He said that in Ok even without production on the old wells we would be a part of any new production  if ten years had not past since our last royalty check. I do have the last check stub from Plains that we received when they plugged the well in 2003. Plus there would be records in the tax office.  
I am now confused and want to be sure we got the right information from EOG.
Thank you for your help with this perplexing issue.
Debbie

ANSWER: Debbie,

If you are telling me that EOG is taking production from your land and not paying you, either with or without a lease, then EOG is in trouble.  If they drilled without a lease, that is a trespass.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I don't think I described it correctly. We don't own the land or the minerals. Only a NPRI that expired when production stopped. The thing I don't understand is that yes, they did plug the old wells but production is on going with the new horizontal wells.  

I do want to be completely sure before I drop it because it is close to a thousand acres of minerals even though it is only a NPRI interest.

Thanks so much for your help. Let me know if I should do anything.
Debbie

Answer
My apologies.  I should not have assumed that you owned the mineral rights and elected the NPRI rather than signing a lease.

You say, "I got a copy of the deed and it states that if at any time in a ten year period since 1941 oil and gas is not produced then the NPRI contract is over. EOG started drilling just three years after we got our last check from Plains."

However, I am concerned that you may have paraphrased the contract or left out some other relevant language from a different location in the contract and I might be missing something.  If you would like to fax your deed/contract to me, I would be happy to review it at no charge.  I would just feel more comfortable seeing the document that created the NPRI before telling you what I think about it.  

My direct fax number is 877-355-3114 (toll free).  

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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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