Custer County OK Leases - Need Help

My two sisters and I each have 18 (and a fraction) net mineral acres in Custer County Oklahoma- specifically in section 04, township 12N, range 19W. We have recently each gotten somewhat different offers to lease. All offers were for 3/16th royalty but with terms of 3 or 5 years and with bonuses of $400.00,m $500.00 or $600.00 per net mineral acre. We would, of course, like to lease with the most favorable terms for us but not being in the area we are not sure how to evaluate these offers. Any help or suggestions would certainly be appreciated.

There has been a lot of leasing in this general area recently, and specifically by Chesapeake. First, never accept a 5 lease. 3 years is standard these days. You might try negotiating for, say $750/acre or highter and see how bad they want it. (Fourteen other leases have been signed on this section just this year, so I can assure you that they want to lease it.) Also, if you are optimistic and thinking long term, you might ask what bonus they would offer for a 1/4 royalty instead of a 3/16 royalty. It is common to sign for a 1/5 royalty or a 1/4 royalty in many areas like this. The bonus, of course, will be cut substantially. And, by all means, do not sign a lease without a good "addendum" to the lease which can be prepared by an attorney. Especially important in the lease is a good depth clause and a pricing clause; Chesapeake is notorious for taking advantage of royalty owners that do not have a pricing clause.

I hope this helps.