Amendment and ratification of oil and gas lease

I own mineral rights on 2 parcels of land in Ritchie Co, WV. One is 150 acres and the other is 487 acres, totaling 637 acres. Long story short-- My brother received paper work to sign in Jan 2018. Two days ago he called to see what I was going to do. I never received any, so I called and spoke with an H G energy rep. She said she would mail docs for me to sign. Lo and behold, 2 hours later a land man called and said he was driving to Ohio, taking hubby and I to lunch and would get my signatures. He said now we would get 12 1/2 percent on new deal. I was a bit apprehensive because he seemed to be in such a big hurry. So my questions are: Do these companies negotiate rates on these amendments? Is there ever a signing bonus? Do I need an attorney? I apologize if this issue as already been covered. Thanking you in advance for any insight you have.


Joy, I was asked twice to execute a ratification that a company really needed. I had no intention of executing the ratification so I stopped just short of asking for their first born... If you don't ask, firmly and prepare to wait them out, you don't get.

The second case, the president of the company himself said he would fly in with cash if I would just sign. Also intimated that he would buy me a steak dinner and drag me through strip clubs and it wouldn't cost me a thing. That one was an emphatic no, but it does say something about how far they are prepared to go when they really need a signature.

Thanks, I need moral support for sure

Did they say why they needed the ratification?

Those are big parcels. Even if you have a small interest, they need you to lease, although with the new CoTenancy Bill not as much as before.

You can get more royalty for sure. And, he is in a hurry because the quicker he gets leases signed, the quicker he gets paid.

There is a good Ritchie county oil and gas attorney that I know, Scott Windom at 101 E Main Street in Harrisville, right next to the courthouse, 1-866-451-9642.

There is a member of this forum who is an oil and gas attorney, a few counties over, Kyle Nuttall. You can search for him on this forum and message him that way.

There is a database for the Ritchie county deeds and leases (and other records) Ritchie county deeds etc

Select Ritchie for the county. You can search for other family members if you know they are leased and see what you find. Also search the company name and some reccent time periods and see if you find anything similar. If you see a Memorandum of Oil and Gas Lease you can know that it was negotiated from the original.

If you are owner of land that is already leased and they are asking you to modify a lease, you can ask for a signing fee. A lawyer might be able to get you more. Read this forum and learn as much as you can about this. Once signed, you can't unsign.


I too have been approached by a landman representing HG who happened to be in the neighborhood (2 hours away) and asked if he could stop over to get my signature. (I declined) HG is trying to sign anything and everything they can get in Murphy District and using the tactics that were common 5 - 8 years ago, promising the world and not delivering.

Long story short, I sent the documents to my attorney and have a significantly improved offer.

Good Luck

I am very familiar with this region and most likely the original lease was written in the 60s or 70s. HG has just entered the market and are permitting horizontal wells, therefore the ratification is probably a pooling agreement.

They want a pooling agreement.

Wow, you nailed it!

Thanks, Nancy, for replying. I have read every forum searching for a possible answer and I was hoping to hear from you. You are very knowledgeable and I appreciate the advice.

Thank you for the info. I was sure he was trying to bamboozle me. Might I ask how much better? My brother and I spoke yesterday and have decided we are not signing that offer. It doesn't even mention what we will get. Only what they want.


Without going into detail, the difference between the first offer and final was significant enough to more than cover any expense associated with hiring the attorney, in addition to having clauses added to their original offer.

Thanks, exactly what I wanted to hear!

Thank you Joy for that compliment. I have had to learn about the mineral rights that I inherited and have picked up a lot of information along the way including from people on this forum. I know that WV Mineral Owner has a lot of good information as well.

My sister and I have had attorneys help us with lease modifications, and in both cases (different attorneys, both good) it was an improvement over what was offered.

Another thought, Joy: since you and your brother are both involved, the same attorney can represent both of you, probably for the same fee as if for just one of you, and with twice as much bargaining power (your combined interests). You and brother could split the attorney fee.

Good point Nancy!!!

We discussed this last night. Great minds think alike.