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Hello Marsha,

I just signed a lease on 60 acres of minerals in Sec. 26-20N-24W in Ellis County, Oklahoma.  There are already three wells on this property that have been producing for quite some time.  The lease was with T. S. Dudley Land Company, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  It was for a bonus of $350 per acre plus 3/16 royalties.  

It has been two months since I signed the lease and have not yet received a bonus check.  When I called the land man, Joe Holman, to find out why I have not received a payment, I was told that due to a depth clause in my original lease, they were not required to pay me a bonus.  He said this had only come to light after they they "did their research" after I had signed the lease.  

I have never heard of leasing minerals without a bonus or not researching properties until after they have a signed lease.  Does this sound right to you?

Thank you very much,


No, it absolutely does not sound right, because it is not right.  T. S. Dudley does NOT get your deep rights lease for free.  That's ludicrous.  The lease is void for lack of consideration (bonus payment).  Has the lease been recorded?  If so, I strongly recommend that you hire an oil and gas attorney to write a demand letter to T. S. Dudley Land Co. requiring that they file a Release of Oil and Gas Lease into the public records within no more than 15 days of receipt of the letter. If they refuse, or don't comply, discuss with the attorney his/her willingness to take your case on contingency, which I personally think sounds like a case of fraud (treble damages), or at least, slander of title.

If the depths in the new lease cover any of the same depths covered by your old lease, they have clouded your title by recording the lease.

If the depths in the new lease cover any depths NOT covered under the old lease, then the lease is void for lack of consideration, but still needs to be released or have something filed of record nullifying this new lease.  Talk to an oil and gas attorney about both of these points.


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Marsha Breazeale, M.Ed., CDOA, CPLTA


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.


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.

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)

"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 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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