Has my Oil and Gas Lease Expired?

Do you know if your oil and gas lease is about to expire or has expired? Often, the answer is unclear. In fact, many landowners are surprised to learn that according to standard oil and gas leases, the contract is not terminated even when a lessee fails to pay them royalties.

If you are currently under contract, and the production has ceased, you may find yourself in the situation where you’d like to terminate your oil and gas lease. This is where an oil and gas attorney is beneficial.

Work with a trusted, experienced oil and gas attorney at Sweat Law Offices

Here at Sweat Law Offices, we will review your lease to determine whether it has terminated and what you are owed.

In some cases, landowners negotiate upfront that a lease is automatically terminated if royalties are not paid within so many days after the first production. Often though exploration companies are resistant to agree to such terms because it puts them at risk. But the last thing you want is to have to sue for unpaid royalties.

At Sweat Law Offices, we have been helping protect landowners with carefully drafted termination clauses and contract negotiation.

Examples of how our oil and gas attorneys can help you:

  • If you’re in the initial contract phase, we can suggest the addition of clauses that provide provisions with your best interests in mind. For example, prior to the end of a primary term, a clause may allow an oil and gas lease to be extended for another term of equal length to the primary term upon payment of a bonus (equivalent to the bonus the landowner was paid when they signed the lease).
  • We will review your contract and explain to you the status of your lease—whether it has expired or extended into its secondary term, for example.
  • What happens when your primary term ends? The lease does not automatically expire or terminate. Certain provisions may cause your lease to extend—it’s important to know if this has happened.
  • We will identify key language in your contract that triggers a secondary term and extends your lease.
  • We will review all provisions in your lease that affect the length of the lease. For example, when an oil and gas well is “shut-in” because of a lack of market or transportation, the lease may be extended during that time. Other examples involve natural disasters, strikes, etc.

Have a question about whether your lease has expired, is about to expire, or has terminated? Consult with the oil and gas attorneys at Sweat Law Offices today.