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Question
I have inherited mineral rights from my mother and aunt. I have a very old agreement between them and a Mr. John R March in Ardmore, OK a a lessee. He is now apparently deceased. Many years ago my mom received a check for about $172.oo as I recall. I don't see where she ever received any other dollar amounts regarding oil being pumped. What happens when this lessee passes away? How do I find out if there is a further agreement out there regarding this property? This property is Section 5, township 10 north, 3 east in Shawnee, Ok. My aunts property is 80 acres also and is next to moms. both my mom and aunt are deceased now. marsha shaw

Answer
Gentry 1-5 Well Plugged
Gentry 1-5 Well Plugge  
When a natural person dies who is a Lessee in an oil and gas lease, the cost-bearing ownership of the oil and gas lease passes to his/her heirs or devisees (beneficiaries under a probated Will).  The lease does not expire when a Lessee dies.

The important question is whether the lease is still valid, or if it has expired under its own terms.  From what I found on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission website (copy attached) the only well that ever produced in 5-10N-3W, Pottawatomie County, Oklahoma is now plugged and abandoned.

This means that the oil and gas lease has expired.  It appears that you are free to lease to anyone else who wants to buy a lease from you.

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Marsha Breazeale, M.Ed., CDOA, CPLTA

Expertise

All questions regarding division orders; ownership decimal calculations; title ownership and payer record changes (testate/intestate inheritance; deed; assignment; court order); oil and gas lease analysis for record-keeping and purposes of payment by operator or payer; pooling, horizontal wells, horizontal well allocation units; unclaimed property reporting; royalty owner relations questions. All questions concerning administration of surface land contracts and payment questions, such as for Surface Right-of-Way, Sub-Surface Right-of-Way, Easement, Surface Use Agreement. All questions regarding industry-standard and company-specific policies that affect land owners.

Experience

Sr. Staff Division Order Analyst. Certified Division Order Analyst (CDOA, National Association of Division Order Analysts) and Certified Lease Analyst (CPLTA, National Association of Professional Lease and Title Analysts) with 35 years of experience as a combination division order analyst and lease analyst in exploration and production in the oil and gas industry.

Organizations
National Assoc. of Division Order Analysts (NADOA), National Association of Division Order Analysts (NALTA), American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), American Society of Trainers and Developers (ASTD)

Publications
"How an Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Company Operates" and "Principles of Oil & Gas Lease Analysis: Standard Clauses", Oil Patch Press; Articles in NADOA Magazine; LandFocus EDU Professional Training Manuals

Education/Credentials
B.A.in Management from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio; M.Ed. in Instructional Design from WGU Texas.

Past/Present Clients
Past 15 years: GeoSouthern Energy Corporation; Contango Oil Co./Crimson Exploration & Operating Inc.; Apache Corporation; BP America; Marathon Oil; Newfield Exploration

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