Haha, carp you are right about history. I've seen better stuff on PBS, more in depth. Maybe the check stub law has verified your no cost certainty, and if so, kudos. I just have had different experiences. Good luck!
i am somewhat confused as to how this lease remained in effect for such a long period of time if not held by production or storage etc.
Good question. Shut-in? Some oil? Maybe time for an inspector.
i would have a good o&g attorney look at any way out of the lease. here folks have been able to exit Shell leases to be renegotiated due to "deepest depth drilled" language when Shell went to Utica from Marcellus. the company certainly did not want this known and probably more folks lost by not taking advantage of this addendum. they had to request termination via letter. based on reports i would expect EQT to attempt to steamroll landowners.
Very interesting about Shell Old Timer. The concept of hbp gets tricky after the "b". I agree that anything of that ilk, if a new document is sent to you, consult an attorney. Treat it like a new lease----you have something they want, and I typically have to pay for the things I want. As for steamrolling....I want to see how the flat rate case turns out.
As I understand it was separated at some point between the shallow 4000 ft and up and the deep, how and why that can happen is still in question, I get free gas from the shallow well that's been producing since the lease was signed and was getting a small royalty from previous owner, the new owner of the shallow lease has done little including not giving me my royalty or maintaining the well. He came up from the Carolina's and bought all the wells that were once owned by Zama oil and Gas who no longer exist. I think he may have bit off more than he can chew? Time will tell as to his agenda or existence.
Carp---get an attorney to look at it. Or quietly file an affidavit of non-payment/production in County Clerk or Recorder's office (missed your State). Other things you can do (also State variation) but sounds like you have free gas, which is great, but lease is dead (unless there is some other well or that Shell situation means someone else owns your deep and is being paid). House gas does not normally hold a lease, and you may have an opening that will close soon.
i believe it is the issue regarding the deep horizon that matters. if you can find and read the recording that may shed some light. here we use Landex which allows court search from home in minutes. if the shale horizon is separated from your ownership then there isn't much you can expect.