Run, Do Not Walk, to a good O/G Attorney.
Do NOT cash that check until your lease is reviewed thoroughly by the attorney.
Look for renewal language (CHK's option) on what it says.
You may have very valuable options!!!!
The two that I am using (for two differing O/G reasons) are adamant for doing no more
1) It conflicts with their inside information, dealings and contacts with CHK
2) Since CHK spun off Access (who owns Cardinal), The Pipeline companies have become
a potential liability for their clients with respect to criminal investigations. They don't want clients to be contacted as possible witnesses against pipelines co's for this crap.
At $15/$20/$30 per foot or whatever the number is, it isn't worth the long-term aggravation to contract with the Pipeline Companies unless they have to (i.e., eminent domain or lease obligations due to be drained by wells going through their leasehold).
The Feds, (and possibly state agencies) apparently are looking into prior and ongoing practices of these pipeline companies with respect to how they've done business, how they do business, and how they plan to do further future business.
The battle is how to not screw up the O/G boom which Ohio is clearly experiencing.
Other than that, the BEST attorneys that really know and could litigate O/G Rows and other matters are locked up by O/G Companies. The firms simply don't want any conflicts between the big clients who butter their bread (O/G) and the rest of us Landowners.
The Best Attorney for O/G that I know of in the state of Ohio that apparently WILL represent the Landowner (better than 50 years experience) is the eminent
Richard Emens in Columbus. I have not used him but his reputation for knowledge is apparently second to none. He was heavily involved in writing the rules for "forced pooling" when he was tied up with the O/G people. I'm told he was lead counsel in writing some rather tight landowner-friendly lease in SE Ohio. I simply did not verify any of that as it didn't concern me in my neck of the woods.
a Darn Good O/G attorney is generally worth nearly $300/ hour and up.
A general practice guy is worth at least $100/hour - $200 hour.
I can tell you that, should that nice general practice atty's (the cheaper atty) lease be challenged IN COURT by the O/G folks or the pipeline folks, the O/G attorney will generally eat him alive. The nice general practice attorney (and most are fine people!) cannot, in my view, hold a candle to the more competent, experiences O/G attorneys who specialize in this sort of thing.
Bigger Law firms will have O/G attorneys (If they will talk to you and there are no conflicts between clients (Landowner vs O/G) pushing $400/$800 hour.
The best of the best simply won't talk to Landowners who aren't well connected, period.
Even if that landowner has the money, in spades.
This is not fair. But it is the way the world works.
Bottom line. A great lease for O/G or easement is a great start.
Getting it enforced in court when things get ugly is quite another.
Did any activity take place on your land before they paid you for second term? In other words had they drilled any wells or done anything else on your land when they renewed?
If they did, they likely wouldn't have to renew as it would change status to HBP.