Dang it... I signed my lease, now I wish I had ________ (fill in the blank)
Interested in hearing what people wish they would have gotten or NOT given up.
It is difficult to believe that this discussion isn't full of replies/comments!!
I didn't sign the lease but i sure have found that they took advantage of an old man in his eighties (esp. a dying one)...even to the sending of the wrong addendum as he had discussed the addendum for months and didn't know they switched when they changed the representative (though he was dying and knew it and was weary of the negotiating). I found that the oil company rep (the replacement) had not used the addendum discussed by seeing the actual addendum discussed on my email when it was sent for me to print for dad, though I found it recently (Jan. 2012) and the contract lease was for 2008. So most of the clauses are not the ultimate that he thought he had signed..but he never knew...he passed in 2009. Now the company may not have realized it as the rep that he negotiated with had to leave quickly and the process was at the signing ...he was at the point of signing and waiting for the papers to come in mail and when the new rep got involved I expect he didn't know that another addendum had been discussed. Dad most likely wouldn't have noticed it that well,...he had learned to trust that company rep after speaking to him for months (though the new rep was just the papers..it was a rough time for dad then). The company was Chief Gas and Oil and the rep. was from Elexco. I since have contacted the first representative from Elexco and he also agreed that there was a lease switch but he didn't know how it could be remedied. We are talking perhaps thousands of dollars for this particular mistake and I really do not know whom to call at Chief to remedy it if they would be honorable enough to do so.
I am afraid that today all Attorneys in PA, OH and WV are O&G Attorneys (whether or not they know how to spell "oil"). They are all experts; just ask them, they will assure you of that fact.
It sucks, but that is the reality - you have to seperate the "wheat from the chaff" (not sure how to do that).
Can you please refer the O&G attorney to me. We have not signed and we have been interviewing attorneys to represent us as well. It sure has been a long process trying to figure out who is telling the truth and who has just jumped onto the band wagon. Your help would be appreciated.
I signed my lease a while back. I wish I could have found a lawyer I liked to help me with it. It took me more than two years of preparation and then about a month of intense effort prior to signing before I had something I was willing to sign. Overall, it was just SO much work. It would have been much easier had I been able to hire a knowledgeable professional - and I tried, believe me. I really did. I was able to locate a lawyer who seemed to know as much or more than I did about leasing, and I was prepared to hire him. But he was located in another state and he flatly refused to represent me for that reason. It was bad luck.
But in the end I'm happy with the lease itself. There is very little I would change, and nothing of consequence. Everything has worked out to far. I didn't lease my Utica shale, and maybe I should have. But it was an "eyes open" decision . . a risk I knowingly took. Any error there is more related to my flawed evaluation of geology than to something else, e.g., a deficit of legal acumen.
But my principal regret regarding my lease is just the effort that was required to get things right. I'm way too lazy to go through such a process again. It's much smarter to hire a good O&G lawyer . . . if you can locate and identify one.
You nailed it, JR. Here where I live we had a bunch of "Johnny come lately" O&G lawyers back when I was in process of signing. Basically, they were wanting to exploit the new drilling situation while we landowners paid, in effect, for their ongoing O&G law education. They were bright and smart. Most lawyers are. But they lacked critical experience. And any errors or omissions for which they were responsible, as students of this new (to them) field of law, came at our expense.
In doing my own lease I'm certain I must have made errors. I just don't know yet what they are. None has yet been revealed to me. But it's bound to happen. And when it does, at least I'll have the satisfaction of not having paid someone else to make errors on my behalf.
I can't think of much different I would do. We ended up joining the SURE group and while I might have minor quibles on the lease would sign again if the same lease were presented to me. We could have gotten more money on the signing bonus but I don't think we would have gotten as landowner friendly of a lease. I want to publicly thank the leaders of the SURE group for taking the lead and helping participating folks in Carroll County get a good lease with a good royalty. At $20 per landowner to join it is probably the best bargain I have ever gotten.
More land with rights, duh.