We signed a lease with shell on 11/08/2012 for 19.79 acres. We are supposedly an add-on to a unit. They sought us out for the lease!! Now they are saying that Vista holds our property from a lease my grandfather signed in 1973 for his 277 acres and this was in a pool of 3 other properties adjacent to me.

2 things about this are confusing me:
1. This property has always been on a separate parcel id. My dad acquired it in the 50's. (my dad traded his uncle 18 bred heifers for the property, but my dad was a teenager so it is possible that it was transferred in my grandpas name). So how is it even tied to my grandfathers parcel? The property was Transferred to us in 2004.

2. My grandfathers 277 acres were subdivided in 1989 when my dad sold it and the people owning those parcels are all leased differently, one is held by production from a vista well from 2010. One just signed with hilcorp and the third SAID he is leasing with shell also. So how were they able to lease again?

We leased with Vista in 2008 and were never drilled on so we were released in 2011. Man from Vista says we are not tied to them at all from what he can tell. Shell tells us that the burden is on us to prove we are not held by Vista. Vista is willing to release us but doesn't understand where the problem lies.

Another factor....We also own my father's farm nearby he purchased in 1969, which is also held by production from a 2010 well.....but, again, it was also always on another parcel Id. But I guess all 3 properties were once owned by my dad.....is that a factor??

My question is...... Is shell playing a game here? If they truly wanted us leased wouldn't they be trying harder to solve this conundrum? They have the pad, the road paved and are ready to drill. Hmmmmmm?

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Call an attorney and be prepared to spend a little bit of money up front to have them unravel this for you.

Gas heir,

Please contact me via email at shaleleasing@gmail.com and we can talk from there on resolving your issue.



Then send a copy of the recorded release from Vista to Shell. That I would think should be a quick and very inexpensive process.

I wish this wouldn't go fully private. The questions posed in this thread are problems many people face and don't know what to do or where to start.
Of course everyone in this situation should go to an attorney but why not discuss parts of it here. Lets share.
Have you received any kind of check from the farm bought in 69', example, shut in, production, etc..from the well?
The well does not need to be on the parcel to hold a parcel regardless of who's name is listed.
I do hope you return with some info about this situation.
My dad was executor of my grandpas estate and I was executor of my dads estate so I have many files full of stuff. I found payment stubs from Columbia transmission, the last one dated 1-5-1975. The lease number is on the stub but I will have to physically go to the courthouse to get this....

I spent several hours on mercer county's rrecorders site. I think I found a pooled well that was on a neighboring property, it was my grandpa's cousins property but I also found that this cousin had an affidavit of non-production from Columbia dated 1991, right before they re-leased with Andarko.

The farm bought in '69 is currently producing from a well drilled by Vista in 2010 but should never have been on the same parcel as my grandpas farm because my it was in my parents name and my dad did not inherit the farm in question until 1977. So any lease signed in 1973 would have been signed by my grandpa for his property and my dad for his property, respectively. The property in question was always on a separate parcel from either of these two! And NEVER had anything drilled on it to my knowledge. I was 6 years old in 1973 but had run of the place so I think I would recall that!

Looks like I need to go take a day of work to find that 1973 lease. Mercer county website only goes back to 1975.

Thank you everyone!

Have you researched this at the courthouse? You should get copies of any and all deeds and leases involved and see what the terms are. I am not an attorney but that would be where I would start.

Heir. Get the release with the parcel number on it and have it recorded with the county. It looks like the person that did the research couldn't figure it all out and reported a possible problem. I had a pipeline row on my property that was from the 1950's with East Texas Transmission (before I owned this property). I contacted them in the early 80's and they sent me a release since the pipeline never went in. I took it to the county and had it recorded. Even if the parcel you have was never encumbered, the recorded release will show exactly that with no room for confusion. Never turn down a release. Best of luck to you on this!

 Shell bought the deep rights from Vista maybe they want your lease for free ? Get the release from Vista.

 I have property in Crawford Co ,PA and I was told it is held by production from a well on an adjoining piece of property. The well was not producing so the gas co. offered the man I bought the land off of a cash buy out of that well and was to be released from contract. I own the OGMs with the land but the gas co. said I am held.

Can anyone help ?

Obviously, it is very important that this be sorted out.

And, the sooner the better.

My suggestion would be to obtain the services of a local Attorney with O&G experience.

I think that this is a situation that would best be handled with legal assistance.

The more documentation that you can get together (prior to meeting with an Attorney), the less the attorney will need to do (and the less it should cost you).


You may wish to join the Crawford County Group on gomarcellusshale.com.

Someone on the Crawford County Group might be able to recommend an Attorney.


Good luck, and please let us know how things turn out.




If you need help, friend me. I have helped similarly situated clients in Mercer.

We were erroniously held in production by an error at the local county courthouse.took almost a year to solve. The way i understand that if EVER youre disputed ground received royalties or was in the original parcel/lease then you are "held in production" period.My neighbor has found this out. My advise ...leave no stone unturned. good luck!

That's not true. So many leases are different and anyone who wonders if they are or are not HPB should seek an attorneys advice.
Even some basic ones say the co. has to pay lets say "shut in" payments and the landowners (mineral owner) never received them.
Again its all about the specific lease language.


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