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We have had an offer to lease some acreage that has been leased since 2005.  The land company said they would take the current leasing company to court to get lease cleared. i tried to get more money but they couldn't because of "court cost to get lease released."   We have had mineral rights under lease but no production since 2010 so I called the company myself, and they agreed to release the lease.  Said all I needed was to write a letter to Owner Relations with our owner # and they would send me a letter releasing us from lease

 My question (1) do I need to record this letter when I receive it the county seat of the county the lease is in?  (2) does the letter/ document they send need to be notarized and signed by their legal department?  Sorry this is so long.   Thx in advance

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Send the owner relation letter certified return receipt.

My experience is that the operator records the release, but they don't jump on it.  I have requested several releases and gotten them, and in one case, I sent a registered letter to the operator which stated the term of the lease was expired, and no production was ongoing, so I would consider the lease null and void unless I heard back from them within 30 days.  Sounds of crickets in the silence, but i sent a copy of that letter  to the potential new lessee, and they accepted it.

Thx.  For your advice and sharing your experience.  I have actually talked to the company and they said they would terminate the lease.  They said they just needed a needed a letter requesting termination in writing. I sent a certified one today.  I was mainly wondering if it should be filed in the county seat.  I am keeping my fingers crossed.  We do have an offer for leasing but the company said they would take the company to court to get the lease terminated and  only wanted to give us a small percentage of the bonus up front and the rest if they got the court to clear the lease.  I just decided to handle it myself.  We will see.  Plus they said they could not give us more bonus money because they would have court costs in getting the lease cleared.  I think that might have been overstated.  I am new to all of this but am not afraid to make calls and ask questions.  Our well had been non producing since 2010.  I just became trustee of the well so I am trying to do the best thing for my family with very little knowledge and experience.

You need to ask for a recordable Release of Oil and Gas Lease, signed and notarized by the current Lessee. Once you get that, it should be recorded in the County.  The Lessee might do that for you, it will just take longer.

They’re taking advantage of you. They know there’s no need for a court case. See if you can find who else is leading in the area.

Yes, record the release in the county land records and you will be free to lease your minerals to whomever is interested. 

I am unaware of ANY lease that stretches past 5 years (3 year original w/2 yr ext).  Generally speaking unless they have actually drilled on the property the lease covering those mineral rights has EXPIRED.

Ask for a COPY of the lease (signed by what ever party signed it) and I'll bet you a dollar to donuts that it's expired for the reason I listed.

Now if at ANY TIME during the past 7 years they actually drilled a well, even if it's currently not producing your situation changes.  But if they have NEVER drilled any well, I'm sure that lease is expired.  That means you do NOT need to get the court to do anything.  An expired lease is just that.   EXPIRED.

You could ACTUALLY go to the county seat of whatever county the lease is in and THEY have a copy of that lease (in New Mexico they call it a mineral deed - it means a mineral lease), so you can get TWO certified copies - one for your files, one for the company that wants to write another lease.

Does this make sense?

Just be really nice to the county people and they will be nice to you.  Explain clearly what you need and pay whatever fee is involved and in less than a month you have the necessary paper work you wish.

Document, Document, Document!

     Send that letter to the county seat by registered mail, and yes, the documents they send do need to be norarized and signed by their legal department.  If they get the lease released the lease should be renogiated, do not sign any new lease agreement until it fits your requirements.  Negotiate the best possible royalty and possibly a "Lease Bonus" to you.  Stand hard, and see what happens!

What you should receive is a document executed by the Lessee or the current owner of the lease. The document is a "Release of Oil and Gas Lease". If they have recorded it great, but they normally don't unless they want out from under. So get it of record at the county clerks office.
If you call them, they will tell you the recording fees.
The document should be notarized.


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