Antero Resources - Modification of an Oil & Gas lease

Hello all, my name is Charlie. I live in Weston, Lewis County WV, and like many of you in Doddridge County, I received a very surprising letter in the mail from Antero Resources.

A “modification of an Oil & Gas lease”. No one in the family even knew my grandfather, and his brothers owned mineral rights. Not even my grandfathers executor (my aunt) knew about it. Or so claims she didn’t know.

My grandpa passed in 2007. Along comes July 2013 and I recieve this letter from Antero. As did my sister, and two other grandchildren in the family. I worked in the oilfield, so I understood this could possibly be very good for everyone.

My mother, sister, and I take the documents into the Antero office in Clarksburg, ask a few pointed questions, and sign the lease. As I commonly see on this forum, the lease agreement was for a “Pooling Clause”. I believe it was called?

Time went on, and we all basically forgot about it. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago, and a family member visits my mother to inform her the taxes are due on the mineral rights we own in Dod Co. He was worried we’d possibly lose it on the Courthouse steps, and said to contact him with an offer if we’d like to sell. He also owns MRs in the same area.

So that got me curious again. Why hadn’t I heard anything back from Antero? After all they sent the lease papers to the wrong mailing address. We signed in July 2013, it’s nearly April 2019 now. Is the lease still active? Did they ever do any “pooling” from our tract? Why haven’t I recieved any tax bills? And who’s been paying the taxes this whole time?

SO. MANY. QUESTIONS. It hurts my head.

Here’s some background information… Our mineral interest is located in the New Milton area, near Webley Fork. It was drilled on back in the early 60s, and I think those wells are now shut down. According to the Antero lease, it’s 50 acres (more or less).

According to the Dod Co. Tax Office, it’s 48 acres… Now the last few days I’ve been researching every document I could find on our mineral rights, and I think I’m just more confused about certain things. My grandfathers final Tax Ticket was in 2014.

On the Tax Ticket the "Property line part says, 1/4 O&G 48A Webley FK. I guess that means 1/4th interest in the royalties?

It also says “In care of Eugene G” which is his brother, & who also passed away in 2007.

The Map# is 9999. The Parcel # is 0000 6284 0000

In 2015 the Tax Ticket now lists myself, my sister, and the 2 other grand children. The Property Line is still the same (1/4 O&G 48A Webley Fork) In care of Eugene G. The map and parcel # is the same.

In 2016, the Tax Ticket changes some. (In care of changes to my Aunt Karen’s name.) And what I’m even more curious about is why the Assessment amounts have changed year to year. Their not major changes, but I don’t understand why there’s a change at all, especially if Antero never drilled.

Here are the assessment amount numbers. 2015- 360. 2016- 430. 2017- 650. 2018- 650.

Is that a drastic change? Also I was trying to figure what our mineral interest might be.

1/4 of 48 acres. Divided by the 4 grandkids? 6.5% maybe? And there may a few more people who have minor interests in the same tract. But I’ve only found us 4 for certain. Other family members have interests in other spots throughout New Milton.

Is it even remotely possible Antero pooled our little mineral spot, and somehow sent the paperwork to the wrong mailing address? Is it possible, that IF they were, my Aunt could be cashing our royalty checks for us? :joy:

Doubtful I’d say. The county’s assessors office receives those sorts of updates often enough to tax us “correctly” right?

Anyway, I’m sorry for the extremely long life story. I’m just lost with it all. My sister wants to sell it off to my cousin, or some mineral purchasing company. I know the benefits of holding onto it could potentially be worth much more. Any info anyone could help me out with would be much APPRECIATED!

Thank you!

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Charlie, Generally it’s a really poor idea to sell mineral rights unless someone makes you an offer you can’t refuse & your family really needs the money. I sure wouldn’t “invest” in a Landman to do a mineral abstract of title, r.e. the operator only & always pays lease bonuses off of their work, not yours. It’s a waste of money unless you see a dispute coming. Second, get copies of your vesting instrument (how your grandfather acquired Minerals & how he left them upon death, i.e. LW&T, Probate etc…) Compare this vesting with what the Assessor says your legal description is. Third, get a copy of the last lease of record. Please. Please. Please Do NOT sign a ratification of an old lease that’s shut-in!!! This is a cheap way operators can perpetuate leasehold without paying current market. Believe me… I’m a Landman & I would’ve asked you to Ratify :smiley: With all that said - Good Luck with your Wells… I hope they come online as gushers & you’re sitting pretty my friend. Yours, Jason Keller

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Thank you for the reply Jason! If I remember correctly, my mother made sure she got copies of my grandfathers original lease agreement. We also went to our local courthouse and got copies of his will, fiduciary, and appraisment. I believe we had to provide that information to the Doddridge county courthouse in order to set the new record straight. I remember getting a few different things notarized from both courthouses.

And I hope we didn’t sign a ratification of the old lease agreement. I do not recall doing it, but I remember seeing a map that had the two old wells on it, and asking a question about them. Someone informed me they were shut in, but I cannot remember who that was.

As far as I can tell, there is no language in the lease I signed saying that. But I’ll admit, most of the wording used in the lease agreement is almost like a foreign language to me, Haha.

Do you know if a lease such as mine, a pooling clause, would be expired by now? We signed the lease nearly 6 years ago now. I can’t find anything in what I signed that has a lease expiration date on it.

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Charlie, do you know about the Doddridge County online records Doddridge county records website Here is a link to the Doddridge Tax office website. It looks to me like your tax has been paid for this year. Reasons why the assessment can change: if the royalty amount paid changes (more or less), or if the royalty amount is not paid and they use the formula for acreage which has changed in the last few years. If you find your ticket in the tax website and it does not show anything due, you are ok there but if you want to call the Sheriff’s Tax Office and double check, their phone number is on the website. If you can find your lease modification in the documents website, see if you can find the original lease. I can probably help you some more if you need more suggestions, but start with that.

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Thank you Nancy! I found the Doddridge county tax office website earlier this morning. I also found the website that shows my family’s history in the New Milton area going back to the early 1900s! Very interesting to see some of those documents, and how they changed hands to people in my family who was born, lived, and died before I was ever a thought. Some of them I had heard my grandfather talk about, and he was born in 1918!

I’m just not sure if I know what you mean when you say the assessments can change if the paid royalty amount changes. Would that be money from Antero? Because as far as I know, I’ve never recieved anything from them since they mailed me the lease. But I visited their office about 30 minutes ago to get a copy of my lease, and to update my address with them. Incase they ever do send something.

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More websites to look at. West Va Office of Oil and Gas well search From the above you can search by various things including well name. If you select Doddridge as county and “Groah” as well number, you find 2 wells. If you click on each one, you see that they have produced basically nothing in the last few years but are still “producing”. The WV State tax department, property tax division gets reports from the operator of a well about how much royalty was paid per well (by API number) to each royalty owner (at least that is the way it should be). That department reports this to the county assessor who uses that somehow to determine the assessment. If the operator reports no royalty paid, the assessor gets that information (for a well that has produced in the past) and a different formula kicks in, something about the gross acreage (maybe 50 acres) then the mineral rights owner’s share (your tax ticket 1/4 OGM). This produces an assessment for that interest, and multiply by the tax rate of that county you get the tax. These assessments are about 2 years behind, so the 2018 taxes are based roughly on 2016 royalty. I think there is something about volume production reporting to the Office of Oil and Gas schedule entering in here also. This might give some idea about how the assessment can vary year to year. There is a minimum assessment, about $2.

WV Office of Oil and Gas map site The above is the interactive map website. You put in the API number as they describe (Doddridge starts 017 then follows the 5 digit number; contrast that with the API number on the first site which starts with the “47” which is the designation for West Virginia). You can find the area where the well is. There are some horizontal wells very near the ones with your name. (The red and orange lines - red means drilled and orange means permit issued but not drilled. There is also green, permit applied for but not issued yet)

The next site Downloads site from WV Geological and Economic Survey is a place to see (and download) well maps and other information. Arranged by API number.These may be the well maps you saw.

Another site is part of the WV Office of Oil and Gas site Operator search where you can look up the operator whose name you find on the first site, if you want to inquire.

Because there is minimal production reported, probably nobody is being paid.

Here are some more map sites: Doddridge assessor map If you go to this (might take awhile to open and you have to allow Adobe Flash) select New Milton then move around to find Webely Fork. Compare maps. It looks like map 11 area. With that one, once you find the general area, go to the right side and find Layers. Select the Oil and Gas wells. You see wells appear. This should help you locate the tract better, especially if you print out the maps with your name.

WV Map for properties Same kind of thing. Select county, then Parcel Number as search type, then zoom in to find Webley Fork.

With all this information, you can learn a lot more about your historical area and about where your interest is. About the pooling clause, that stays in effect as long as the lease is in effect. You need to see the original lease to see its wording. I don’t think the lease is viewable online but maybe you can find it. You might need to make a trip to West Union, to the Doddridge County courthouse, to get a copy of the lease.

Hope that helps. I have picked up these techniques and websites over the years, and found from other people’s shares. If you keep them, you might be able to help someone else on this site sometime. Nancy

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You are an amazing wealth of information! Keep sharing!

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Will do. People like to learn, and for many of us, this is family history as well as business.

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Wow Nancy! I can’t believe you looked into all of that information for me! You are definitely a wonderful source of information!

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Thanks! I hope you learn a lot about your family and mineral situation. It is fun!

I am not at all sure if I’m doing this correctly. My family was approached by Antero as well in 2013. We all signed the lease and have heard nothing from them since. I’m told the wells have been drilled and are under the name of McGill and Duckbill, yet we have heard NOTHING about any royalties. Help me understand where to go and what to do please.

Glenna, look in the website (see above OOG Well Work Permitting Report) for West Virginia Office of Oil and Gas Wells search site. Select Doddridge for county and Duckbill for well number. Also McGill. You will see that these have been producing since 2017.
Go to the Doddridge county online records site. Select “Description” for the search type and Duckbill unit" for search term (also “McGill unit”. You will find a declaration of pooling for the unit(s). Look at this and see if you find your lease. It could be that they are still working on some title issues for somebody in that unit. The next step is to contact Antero. I don’t have contact info for them, but I know I have read in other posts about this. Their headquarters is Denver Colorado but they have an office in Bridgeport WV. You need the Division Order department for questions about the status of division orders and eventually payment. Antero has a policy of paying interest on delayed royalty payments so eventually you should get a check assuming they get everything sorted through.

Nancy- you are a wealth on information. Thank you! Might you have a feel for a fair offer for royalty rate , lease term, etc. for a Doddridge County lease? Thanks!

I don’t have knowledge about Doddridge leasing rates. However, I would suggest getting an attorney to help. The good ones deal with these companies a lot and know what is possible.

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Mary, I also have interest in both wells, I received a D,O on the Duckbill well 04-07-2018, but receiving no Check I called Antero and was told that they had to go back deeper in Duckworth’s ancestry and that it would take some time to find out who gets what,however last month I received my first check 06-28-2019. the well number is 47-017-06667 and 06668.Now for the McGill well 47-017-06665, I do have a small interest on this well but do not know if it has been drilled.

“Arnold_L_Stuart, post:17, topic:43593”]I also have interest in both wells, I received a D,O on the Duckbill well 04-07-2018, but receiving no Check I called Antero and was told that they had to go back deeper in Duckworth’s ancestry and that it would take some time to find out who gets what,however last month I received my first check 06-28-2019. the well number is 47-017-06667 and 06668.Now for the McGill well 47-017-06665, I do have a small interest on this well but do not know if it has been drilled.

I haven’t been on here in a while, so I hope this info isn’t a day late and a dollar short. What you can get for a lease in Doddridge is going to depend heavily on how many net mineral acres you own and whether you also control the surface or whether you have other properties that the company will want later. Best case scenario is probably $3000/acre for the bonus, but if you push hard you can sometimes do even better. You should be able to get a royalty of 18% with a gross proceeds clause in every situation and if you have a lot of negotiating leverage you can probably get up to 20%. There are a lot of other things you can ask for, of course, like a No Warranty of Title clause, a Hold Harmless clause, a Pugh clause, no Automatic Extension of the primary term, and a long list of other things. Of course, if you have surface make sure to get water protections and surface use restraints.

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Hi Charlie my name is kirston Cunningham I have a couple questions I’d like to ask you if possiblei was doing research on my well in dodgeride and came across your question I am dealing with the same thing I am one of the 4 grand children on the lease I know this maybe hard to believe and it seemed crazy to me that I would have stumbled across this