My 2 brothers and I have been contacted by EQT Production Co to each sign an "Amendment and Ratification of Oil and Gas Lease". The property is somewhere in Ritchie County, it was listed as 55 acres on the original 1901 lease. I looked online and can see that all of our extended family have signed affidavits to establish lines of inheritance and the amendment and ratification documents. We were told my EGT that we are the last few signatures they need.
EGT employees were pressuring us to sign these documents for a few weeks. They came to our homes, left paperwork with one of my brothers but we now haven't heard anything from them since.
I have contacted a few lawyers - this is the info I gathered.
1. Gave me an estimate that it would cost about $5,000 to get the title work done.
2. Said to each ask for $1,000 to sign the paperwork. (They initially offered $100 and said they might be able to get us more.) She said since all the family already signed a probably bad deal and our share is so small it wouldn't be worth her cost to look into it.
3. Don't sign anything so that you are not held liable in the future.
Thoughts? Thank you!!!
Do you know if somebody is paying taxes on this? You can go here and select Tax and see if you find any of the names you have seen on the affidavits. Is there any production royalty that you or any of the relatives you know have been getting?
The title work might not be anywhere near that expensive. In some cases the affidavits of heirship might be a good first step. Once you know about who, if anybody, is paying the taxes you can start to sort things out.
When you were looking at the affidavits, did you see the place to see the older records, the "archives'" button? The index is a bit tricky to use but it can be very valuable information. Do you have a copy of the original lease? If not you can find it in the archives part.
Let me know if you want a recommendation for a good local attorney to help with the lease modification. It is best to sign, but with the help of a lawyer, and the more of your family who can go in together the better.