Advice on monitoring/enforcing depth clause


Because of the good advice I found on this website, I included a depth clause in my leases. But, now I’m wondering how it’s enforced. Will the oil companies note its existence and contact me if they propose to drill deeper or do I have to monitor future drilling permits? I hope my question makes sense. If not, let me know and I’ll try to clarify.


Your question makes sense. It is likely someone will note the depth clause and contact you if a deeper prospect develops in the future. That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t monitor future activity in your unit periodically.


At the end of the primary term or continuous drilling period, ask the oil company to file a release of the deeper depths. This provides clear information to future lessees that your minerals are open to lease.


Thanks. I will do that.


Depending upon which company you are dealing with, they may check the leases. If they are going to drill deeper, the discovery phase for a title check for a new OCC hearing for the new well will usually pick up the lease terms relating to a new zone and you will be contacted to lease. In general, but not always, a company may drill the deepest reservoir first in order to hold all the leases and then move up the hole to drill shallower ones. Every once in a while, they may miss an old force pooling or lease and have to come back and lease again. Getting the release of lease for deeper zones is a nice way to make sure it is documented.


Thanks Martha. I appreciate your taking the time to provide information/advice. The current well was drilled to the Woodford. I have no idea if going deeper is a possibility within my lifetime (I’m 67) - but even if it’s not, we’re planning to pass our minerals to our kids/grandkids so trying to protect what we have or at least let them know what we have tried to do.


Always good to protect. I put depth clauses on all of mine as well.