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.
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, your whole 166 acres is tied into the unit.