Hello everyone in Wetzel county, be aware. Me and my family just started receiving our bonus checks from Chesapeake / Mason Dixon Energy. The checks were for 3 different pieces of property, the first check matched the agreed contract, the last two were shorted by 50%. Mason Dixon claims that they suddenly discovered that we all owned less acreage than what we signed the lease agreement for. They did not tell call  us, mail us, or anything. Our original contract states a cerian $$ amount for x% of acres and now it has changed. That is the only reason we all signed. And low and behold the landman will not return our calls. It is there responsibility to research this info before the present people with an offer. We still want the agreed upon bonus. Anyone run into this yet??

 

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Thanks Ryan, I will look into this and let everyone know.
The situation you describe is not unusual in West Virginia.

In general, mineral companies do not do title work until after a lease is signed. Some folks, in addition to having a legal review of a lease, also have their own title work run up front to avoid these types of unpleasant surprises.

I would suggest sending a certified letter to Mason Dixon requesting copies of their title work so you know -- if they respond to your request -- what information they used to make their decision. In the meantime, you need to consult an attorney skilled in West Virginia mineral law, who may well suggest running title on the your properties.

The leases I've seen have clauses specifying that the lease covers only acres actually owned and mineral actually owned. This is determined by a title search. And sometimes folks find out via title search that they thought they owned all mineral and they may own just, for instance, the coal and not the gas.

Have you and your family been paying property taxes on the full acreage named in the lease and for the gas? If you don't have your receipts, you should be able to get that information at the courthouse.

Hope you can get some answers.

brinlady

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