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Oil/Gas/Ratification of Oil & Gas Lease in Production by Spouse


My husband purchased approximately 200 acres of farm land in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania in 1994.  We were married in 1995 and are still married. The property is still in his name only.  He signed a gas lease in 2006 in his name only, as a married man dealing with his separate property.  He has been receiving royalty payments on approximately 40 acres. since Oct. 2011.  Now the gas company has permitted another well to include additional acres and sent him a ratification of oil and gas lease for me, his wife, to sign.  It states Ratifier ratifies,  affirms and adopts the terms of the above referenced lease, including any and all ratifications and amendments thereof and Ratifier grants, leases and lets to XXXXX , its successors and assigns, all of Ratifier's interest in the oil and gas estate in the above referenced lands on the same terms and conditions as contained in the lease. -------- XXXXX states under Pennsylvania law separate property acquired before marriage is owned in full by the acquiring party, however, the spouse many acquire an equitable interest in the property if marital funds were used in acquiring the property or for making mortgage payments with spousal funds. ----- Yes, marital funds were used.  Also, XXXXX company back dated the ratification contract to January 11, 2013. The new well permit which should include additional acres on the property was approved on April 4, 2013.  XXXXX company mailed the ratification request July 11, 2013. ----- Why should I sign this ratification? Would I be entitled to any signing bonus? Would I be entitled to negotiate my own equitable interest in the lease?  XXXX is an Oklahoma based company drilling in Northeast Pennsylvania.  Thank you.

They should have had you sign the original lease if they're worried about it, which they apparently are. They're just trying to avoid disputes in the future I think. I'd go ahead and sign it. It just says you also agree to the lease your husband signed basically.

If you wanted to "fight" this, then I suppose the worse case (for them) is that they'd only have a lease to half the property, and thus would have to negotiate a new lease for "your" half. Since they've already paid a bonus for the entire tract to your husband though I doubt you'd be due anything additional by negotiating your own lease. You could check with an oil and gas attorney on this to be sure, but if it were me I'd just go ahead and sign the thing and be done with it since you apparently have been sharing in the benefits of the royalty payments for some time now.

Hope this helps you out.
Frederick M. "Mick" Scott CMM RPL
The Mineral Hub  


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Frederick M. Scott


Oil and gas leasing, lease negotiations, how to best deal with the oil and gas companies or their representatives, buying/selling mineral rights, forced-pooling, correlative rights, deeds and conveyances, and "post-production" costs. I am most experienced with Oklahoma properties and laws, but am able to answer questions concerning other oil and gas producing states in many cases.


I am a Certified Professional Mineral Manager (CMM) certified by the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) in Tulsa, OK. I am also a Registered Professional Landman (RPL) with the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL). I have managed my family's oil and gas properties in Oklahoma for over 10 years and have dealt with many landmen, title analysts, attorneys and other oil and gas professionals in the process. I have written several articles which have appeared in various oil and gas industry magazines and newsletters. I have negotiated and drafted leases, prepared deeds, affidavits, and other legal instruments relating to my own minerals, as well as performed title, legal research, and curative work for same. I have acquired a good deal of knowledge on the subjects of oil and gas law, mineral appraisal, and landwork over the past ten years, and also worked as a professional landman and lease buyer for a time. I've seen the business from "both sides" and therefore feel confident I can help out most of the folks who ask questions in this forum.

National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO); American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL)

National Association of Royalty Owners "Action Report" (ROAR); NADOA Magazine, The Mineral Hub, Landman Magazine, and several royalty owner association group's newsletters.

Certified Mineral Manager (CMM), Registered Professional Landman (RPL)

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