Does a permit to drill = "operations for the drilling of a well" in Montana?

Our family has lands in Roosevelt County, MT, that are currently leased through August 25, 2010, which covers 4 different Sections of land (appx. 1015 net mineral acres). We have a Spacing Pugh Clause in the lease. The leasee has a producing well on one of the Section, so the producing Section will be tied (hopefully) perpetually. The leasee also obtained 2 permits to drill for two of the Sections in June 2010, and those permits expire in December 2010. The leasee has not done anything else on those 2 permitted sections. Does obtaining a permit to drill constitute "operations for the drilling of a well" (a clause in this lease, and I suspect is in most leases), thereby extending the terms of the lease beyond the August 25 timeframe into December 2010?

Thanks for your help.