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A Land company Optima Land contacted me recently offering to lease my mineral rights in Gaines County Texas.The offer letter accompanied the Lease contract.

My question is the letter contained the dollar amount for the acreage and the description of the land but in the Lease only Ten Dollars is mentioned and the description of theland is not mentioned.  I have never leased the land before but my spidey sensors tell me that this would not stand up in a couet of law.  The offer letter is not a part of the legal document and does not get notarized.

If this makes sense to anyone and you have any experience dealing in these kinds of lease agreement I would appreciate any advice you could give me.

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Joe:

You will more than likely get a number of good responses to your question.  My answer to this is that the $10 means absolutely nothing to you or I as mineral owners.  It has something to do with legally making a transaction binding, otherwise it has no significance.  The $10 clause is included in most leases and legal deeds, etc.  This phrase is usually reserved for legal stuff that gets filed or posted in the Court House and is rarely used in initial contact information.  IMO whatever the case, as a mineral owner, I believe you want to hear or see the basic three elements of any lease ($bonus/acre, royalty %, and length of lease offer) before even thinking about discussing anything.  Always, remember that these guys are experts, so keep your hands in your pockets and don't sign anything until you have satisfied yourself that everything is well understood and that usually takes some expert help.

Leases do not list the bonus, with exception of State of Texas lease.  So the reference to $10 and other valuable consideration is normal.  Failure to include legal description of property is serious.   Sometimes you see this when the lease is actually a sales contract.  Does it refer to everything you own in the county?  It appears that you are not experienced in oil and gas leases and the meaning of terms.  You need to read up on lease forms and traps for the unwary and learn about bonus and royalty ratee.  Consider getting legal advice before signing the contract, because then it is too late.  

Have you ever heard of Optima Land Company out of Midland, Texas?

Joe,

From what I read about Optima they are possibly a leasing agent for different oil and gas companies.    Find out what major company were they leasing for?   They also have Title Abstract offices and oilfield consulating services.

http://www.optimalandgroup.com/our-team/

Clint Liles

I have now been contacted by a Ryan Brown representing Tomahawk Petroleum, LLC.  They are offering me more money per acre.  I have signed a lease aggreement with Optima, but it will expire in 30 days after April 11, 2017.  I still have not gotten all the heirship affadavits notarized and sent back to Optima.

Can I let the 30 days expire and the lease would be null and voided?  I am not sure what I should do.  If you are knowledgeable about these things I would  appreciate it.

Dear Mr. Bingham,

If you want to lease to Tomahawk Petroleum, you might be able to do so.  It depends on what your draft or order of payment actually says.  There is a court case - Spellman v Lyons - that gives a way to cancel the transaction prior to the draft being paid.

If you want, level with Tomahawk and let them make a business decision.  However, the lease form may rule the day.  Make sure that you are properly represented in this particular situation. This could get sticky, very quickly.

Best,

Buddy Cotten

Mineral Manager

Mr. Bingham, did you agree to cure title before Optima accepts? I mean are you committed to it? Title is Optima's problem unless they drill a well. After they drill a well, then the operator can make you cure your title before paying you. The landman should have already determined with a high (but not absolute) degree of accuracy if there is "buy title"

You say affidavits? Involving more than one person? Are they also legally bound to lease to Optima? Just trying to figure out precisely what you agreed to.

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