We have 166 acres in Belmont county, we had 18 acres drilled about 8 or 9 years ago. Our 2nd lease should expire this December, a call to the company inquiring if they were going to renew the lease, was met with the comment "We own you"

What!!!!!

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It sounds like they mean you are "held by production". Many leases have terms that say if a well is drilled, or even commenced, that holds the lease as long as [whatever the terms say, maybe "as long as oil and/or gas are produced" or "as long as operations continue"]. Since there is a well drilled, that probably fits the terms of the lease to hold it.  See if you can find your lease and read the wording. I am NOT a lawyer but have read a lot about lease language.

First advice is to have a lawyer to review the lease.   If your acreage is continuous with the 18 drilled acres, then the answer will depend on the lease agreement, but I would say it is likely your acreage is now held by production.  But I am no lawyer.  Look for a Pugh clause in your lease and research that.

Certainly the 18 acres are held by production, the rest has not been drilled, and I am pretty sure they cant be held by production. Otherwise they would have never released us 5 years ago. Thanks for the reply, I am wondering if this has happened to anybody else in the area, we were part of a large group that signed up back in 2010.

Hi James,

Was that the Smith Goshen group?  If so, I am in that as well.  I do think there was a pugh clause in that lease, but it has been awhile.  Sounds like you might need to talk to a lawyer.  

We weren't in that group, I don't remember what it was originally called. I keep for getting to pull that contract out of my files when I am home, I travel a lot for work. But I believe we had a Pugh clause, we are just off what used to be called Pugh road. Maybe I will remember this weekend. I hate lawyers, but it might be time for one.

Did you have a Pugh clause put in the lease? If not, youwhole 166 acres is tied into the unit.

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