Congratulations on finding us!  If you’re like most of the people who find this website, you didn’t know you owned oil and gas rights until just a few days ago.  You probably didn’t even know what oil and gas rights were.

Then someone either called you out of the blue or sent you a letter explaining that your great-great grandpa owned minerals in West Virginia.  West Virginia?  Where’s that? you probably asked yourself.

That someone (called a landman, as I’m sure they explained to you) went on to explain that your great-great grandpa (or some other ancestor) lived in West Virginia at one point and owned West Virginia mineral rights when he passed away.  Those mineral rights passed down to his heirs, and you are one of his heirs.  You are now the proud, if a little confused, owner of mineral rights in West wherever-that-is Virginia.

To complicate things, the landman is asking you to sign a lease, and maybe an Affidavit of Heirship, and probably a couple other documents related to the lease.

What does this lease say? you’re wondering to yourself.  Am I getting myself into a liability issue?  Are they paying me what it’s worth?  Is fracking OK or am I messing up some poor West Virginian’s life?  Am I the new Jed Clampett?!?

So many questions….so few answers!  Until you found this web site…..

We’re here to help you understand what’s going on.  We’ll answer all those questions and quite a few you didn’t even know you had.

We’ll help you understand what a lease is and how it’s going to affect you.

We’ll help you fell confident that you are doing the right thing, whether that’s ignoring the landman completely or working with the landman to sign a lease and get the rest of your family to sign up, too.

We’ll help you have peace of mind, knowing that you haven’t taken too low a price or gotten yourself into a bad liability situation.

We’ll help you look into the future and predict whether you’re going to be able to retire on your new income or…just be able to buy a burger at McDonalds every once in a while.

We’ll help you decide whether the environmental issues are something for you to consider or not.

We’ll help you know whether to put your mineral rights into a family trust for protection.

We’ll give you some practical advice on how to negotiate with the landman if that’s all you need.

For that matter, we can do all the negotiating for you.  All you’ll ever have to do is sign the final document and mail it back to us.

Whatever it is you need help with, we will do.  We have the experience, the knowledge, the expertise, and the training to take care of all your oil and gas issues.

By the way, we don’t work for the oil and gas companies.  We keep ourselves out of that kind of work so that we don’t have conflicts of interest.


37 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Hi, Kyle-We originally had a lease with Chesapeake in 2011, which then was bought by Chevron. Our Chesapeake lease was $3500/acre, and we had addendums added which were relative to Hold Harmless, No Storage Rights, Royalty changed to 18%, Gross Proceeds and Warranty of Title. Our lease is up now and Chevron is offering $3000/acre, 12.5% royalty, and firm on the offer . . we asked about/requested addendums similar to our original lease with Chesapeake, and they will not add them. Chevron said that Chesapeake had no plans of drilling. At first Chevron said they had plans for our minerals, and I think we have drug our feet long enough on signing, that now they say the plans have “stalled”. The mineral rights are in District of Webster, Marshall County. Chevron said that no one is knocking down our doors offering to lease, so I think it is take it or leave it. Have you run across this, and should we continue to try to hold off? Is there something better out there?

    • Right now it seems that waiting and saying no is a good negotiating tactic. The price of gas has been going up and will probably continue to go up. At very least, it seems that it will stay at or above $3.00/MCF for the rest of the year. With higher gas prices and fewer drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) the companies are going to be more motivated to take new leases and develop new property. With higher gas prices, there will also be more investment capital flowing into the industry. It also looks like the industry will be more stable for the time being, which encourages investment. With time, there should be more money flowing, and companies should be able to offer better prices and terms than they have recently.

      However, you have to keep a close eye on this stuff. The industry can turn quickly for the worse, and if you hold out too long you will find offers being rescinded and changed. It can be a delicate balancing act.

      That part about Chesapeake not having plans for drilling, that’s not true. While CHK often bought property with the idea of flipping it to another company, they also did quite a lot of development in the Marshall and Wetzel County area. If you have a large percentage of ownership in a large tract, you should be able to get as good or better terms than you got previously.

  2. I need a Lawyer to read my Lease to see if states if I get a sign-on bonus if it is extended pass the 5 years.It is producing.

    • If it’s producing there usually won’t be any extension of the primary term. Most leases will move into the secondary term when production starts. As long as there’s production and royalty payments are being made, it stays in the secondary term. Once production ceases and payments cease, the lease will expire.

  3. I recently inherited 100 acres in Upshur county/with O/G rights. 1 existing well, 3 untapped wells. Several questions I have.
    -Do I need to get a hold of each of the 2 companies for transfer of lease or identification of new ownership?
    -How do I get a copy of the lease(s) for viewing?
    -The area around the tapped well is in bad shape, and even blocks access to part of the land. What can I do about this?
    -There is a well on the adjacent farm, which its pad sits partially on my property. I know my father made an easement agreement with this company, that partly contains road maintenance to this pad. The road has not been maintained. How can I get the info regarding this easement, as it is the only way into this pad.

    • First, congratulations! Owning minerals can be lucrative and fun. There’s a steep learning curve, but it’s worth it.

      You can find copies of the leases and the easement at the courthouse. It may take some work to do, but they’ll be there. If they’re not, then they technically don’t exist. We can help you with the research, or do it for you.

      You should contact each of the companies that hold leases on the property. They’ll want some information from you in order to change their records and start making payments to you.

      When you say “untapped” wells, I assume that means they are no longer producing. If so, they should be plugged or reworked. You can report that information to the DEP. An inspector will probably come out to look at them in pretty short order. The inspector will be able to give you some advice about the surface issues, too.

  4. we are selling our property of 21 acres in monongalia county, our mineral rights are split50/50 with another person. The potential buyer want to buy our mineral rights to protect himself from any potential drilling. We are willing to give them half of our ownership so we maintain some control of the rights because we too do not want any drilling under our property. So my question is, if a drilling company approached us and wanted to put a pad on the property, would all of the mineral owners have to agree, or could the surface owner allow it to happen if they only own 25% of the mineral rights?

    • That’s a more complicated question than you might think. The surface owner technically can’t refuse to let the surface be used for oil and gas development. The oil and gas owners have to be able to use the surface to develop the oil and gas, otherwise the oil and gas rights are useless. So the oil and gas owners have the right to use the surface for oil and gas purposes. They are limited to only doing what is “fairly necessary”. The company will usually work out an agreement with the surface owner as well, however.

      The oil and gas owners do have to agree; the company can’t develop the oil and gas without a lease from every owner. However, if someone is unreasonable the other owners (usually the company will buy one acre from a cooperating owner, making the company an owner) can use a partition suit to force development.

  5. i have a oil and gas lease agreement with Antero Resources in Wetzel County that i have not yet signed. I had previously tried to get the post production costs section removed and requested that the oil and gas be valued at the point of sale to an unaffiliated third party. My question is do Oil and Gas Companies still negotiate Gross rather than Net Agreements or am i stuck with a post production costs clause with Antero. What about the problem that Antero sells its oil and gas to Antero Midstream.

    • Antero has two post-production clauses they usually offer people. One is the Market Enhancement clause, and the other is the Gross Proceeds at the Wellhead clause. I favor the Gross Proceeds at the Wellhead clause. If you ever see the Market Enhancement clause, you’ll understand why. I haven’t usually had too much trouble getting Antero to agree to the Gross Proceeds at the Wellhead clause. Sometimes the landman won’t be familiar with it and you’ll have to ask them for it specifically, but Antero has it and uses it. Just keep asking.

    • There are a number of companies buying up mineral rights and they all pay different amounts. I would say that if you were selling for less than $4000/acre you were getting ripped off, but it’s going to depend a lot on how big your interest is and how hot the market is. If you have an actual offer in hand, then you can judge the market at that time.

  6. Kyle,

    When my ex wife sold her farm in Monongalia county back in 2007, I suggested we separate the remaining mineral rights. The coal rights had already been sold.
    The property was acquired by her prior to our marriage. Since I had put her name on my house title she felt it fair to put my name on the mineral rights on the farm. The farm was about 23 acres. The attorney who did the closing and drew up the new deed for the new surface owners showed the properety being transferred from my wife and myself, “a married couple”.. My name was not on any previous deed.
    A landsman recently contacted both of us and made an offer on the mineral rights to either lease or buy. Since we have been divorced a few years , he sent us separate lease agreements to sign.
    My ex is now contending that my name on the deed to the surface owners does not
    give me any claim to the mineral rights.
    My name is clearly on file in the county clerk office in the “deeds” section.
    She is now asserting that she never intended to share the mineral rights and intends to tell the landsman that those rights should be in her name only..
    What do you think, do I have any rights here. ???

    • That’s a really good question. I spoke with an attorney who does a lot of family law and probate work, and they said that you probably do own an interest in the minerals. That’s an off-the-cuff opinion, without any real research, so it could be wrong. If you want to hire someone to dig into it, we can do it or I can point you towards the other attorney. Call the office at 304-473-1403.

  7. My grandfather has a lease for oil rights in Marshall County, WV. He gets a check for a whopping $19 per year. He passed away December 2014 and the actual lease was never put into the trust that he had. It was a California trust and he was a California resident. We have changed over 2 of the leases to his heirs (my mom and uncle) with CNX Gas Company with no problem, we only had to submit an Heirship Affidavit and death certificate. We even recorded the Heirship Affidavit for any future issues. This one lease with Columbia Pipeline Group is giving us problems and is saying that we have to file a probate in WV to get it changed. Am I crazy to believe that that is completely unncessary for something like this, especially when another company changed it over no problem?

    • Columbia Pipeline Group is mostly involved with building and operating pipelines, so maybe they’re asking for the probate to be filed because they’re dealing with a surface interest instead of a mineral interest. It’s hard for me to say for sure without knowing a lot more about the situation.

  8. Can a gas company drill without ratification of lease for polling on track of gas and oil of a old 1920 lease I own 1/6 of 75 acres

    • I think that I just answered this same question in the last comment. If not, call the office at 304-473-1403 and we can talk about your situation.

  9. looking for answers radification of lease for pooling 1/6 interest signature required yes or no? has well on held by production 1920 lease

    • Yes, signature required, unless you’re in the 2nd Circuit (Wetzel, Tyler, Marshall counties), then there’s a very recent decision that says a modification isn’t necessary for pooling. Supreme Court hasn’t looked at that decision yet, and it could be overturned. The reasoning is solid, but there is solid reasoning the other way too.

  10. Antero Resources is wanting to lease my portion of the Thomas Madison Shuttlesworth. 6-7 areas in Wetzel, Dodridge, Tyler, Ritchie Co of W.V. I need help. I dont trust them.

    • You should have some good negotiating leverage if your interests are large. We can definitely put together a better lease for you. The standard offer that they will present to you is always in the company’s favor, but they are willing to make changes. Once you have paperwork from Antero, give the office a call and we’ll see what we can do to protect you. 304-473-1403.

  11. My brother and I own land in Cabell County. We were contacted last you to grant access for an environmental study. We agreed.
    Tuesday, a man called stated he wants to meet with us. He has a check “for several thousand dollars, but it’s negotiable”
    He wants to meet with us on Monday 11th. Not much notice, huh?
    IDK. I was tempted to ask for an email to see if it had a Nigerian IP address

    • Probably the Mountaineer Xpress pipline. I don’t know of anything else happening out that direction. Cabot has been drilling an experimental well in Putnam County, the Cabot 50, to the Rogersville Shale. The Rogersville won’t get developed until gas prices get around $5/MCF or maybe higher for an extended length of time. I don’t see that happening for several years at least. So it must be the pipeline. Call if you want some help with that. 304-473-1403. Negotiating leases and pipeline easements is what we do around here.

  12. I have minerals in Ritchie county and Noble energy stated a well on the land of my minerals rights .But pull out in February of 2014 They drill two other well and stated on my then left. Will they be coming back to Ritchie county anytime soon

    • I was out in Ritchie County yesterday, and could see two drilling rigs from Route 50. Drilling isn’t going crazy in Ritchie, but there’s still work going on there. It’s impossible to say when Noble will get back to work on yours though. The best you can do is continue to call them and see what info you can get out of them.

  13. Do i have time to file a clay heirs excemption. And i was notified about. historic rights ,bit i need help

    • I’ll need a lot more detail. Is this a tax issue or something else? When were you notified? What were you notified about? This is the kind of thing that may have a statute of limitations, so you should probably call the office quick. 304-473-1403.

  14. Kyle I own 33 1/3 mineral rights that’s leased by Antero Resources . My lease is up in 15 months, and It’s in Tyler Co. WV. The question I have is the land man from Tyler co sent me a modification for pooling with 84 people in and around our unit. They are supposed to only have one well and it doesn’t seem like a very good deal. Could you please give me advice. I would really appreciate some advice.

    • I’ll need a little more detail. Is it an Antero lease that they want to modify, or an older lease that Antero bought from another company? Have they already drilled a well, or is this a situation where they were saying they would only drill one well when the started and are now saying that they want to drill more when they get started?

  15. Hi Kyle, It seems there is some activity in Richie County these days. Do you see this moving into Wirt County anytime soon? My siblings and I own a fairly significant amount of mineral acreage there.

    Thanks, Gary

    • It’s probably not moving in to Wirt County. Wirt doesn’t seem to be a big place for oil and gas development yet. Wirt does have the Mountaineer Xpress pipeline coming through, but that will only affect the surface owners right along the pipeline path.

  16. My sister and I were contacted in September 2015 in regards to our heir to family rights. This process has been in affect for almost a year now. The only documents we have signed are the affidavit. I have made several phone calls with months in between to our landman. I am getting the same response every time I call which is the title work is not finished yet. I know nothing really about the process but somehow feel that it should be finished by now. Is this a normal situation?

    • Doing the research at the courthouse record room doesn’t take long. Finding all the heirs can and does. It can take a long time to find info on one line of the family. They have to assume that there are heirs, until they can prove there aren’t. If they’re still in the process of researching the heirs they won’t be able to make a determination regarding how much each line of the family owns. That’s probably what’s taking a long time. Oh, and they don’t have nearly as many landmen working for them now so they could be waiting on somebody to do the courthouse record room research. It’s hard to tell, honestly.

  17. hi, we own mineral rights on a small 4 acre parcel right in the middle of many acres NNE plans to horizontally drill. we were trying to negotiate fees, percentage, post production costs etc, when all the sudden the landman said the co isn’t interested in negotiations anymore! He had said something previously about donut holing, going around ours with a map that showed 5″lakes”? some of family signed their lease. How can we make sure the don’t steal our gas? It’s in clay district and there is acerage all around ours. Since we asked for more, they dropped us! what about those who did sign the lease? we can’t afford a lawyer to handle it, and don’t even know how to find our 4acres! what can we do? thank you!

    • It’s time for you to get familiar with the WV DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas website. Keep an eye out on Northeast Natural Energy’s filings and look for your property. Also, keep in touch with the part of the family that did sign leases. They’ll be able to let you know if they receive royalty payments. If they put a well under or within 300 feet of your property they should owe you some money.

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