Does an email acceptance of a lease quote legally bind the lessor?

I'm assuming someone on this board will be able to address this.

Hard to answer this without additional information. What do you mean by "lease quote"? Since it is an interest in real property, to be enforceable, the lease should be in writing and signed. Did you just agree to an offer for certain amounts of bonus and royalty only? Had you seen the actual lease? Can't really give you a good answer without more details.

No lease signed. We told offeror we would accept their offer. It took them weeks to present a lease. In the meantime, we continued to receive offers (of which we made the offeror aware). By the time we received the lease for signature, we received higher offers. We originally declined to respond to these, or told them we were close to a signed lease. Then, we received offers of well more than double. We felt, that since a lease was not signed, we needed to pursue these very high offers. Two of them are from valid quality developers.

I have not seen the e-mail which prompted you to agree. I don't know if the e-mail included anything other than a cash bonus amount and royalty percentage, nor do I know what the lease form you eventually looks like or the terms contained therein. I can't say if you truly understood what you were agreeing to? Nor do I know when you say weeks how many weeks it was? Time is of the essence in oil and gas matters because things can change quickly. One day someone could drill a dry hole and your property is worth 10% of what it was or they could drill a better than expected well nearby and the value of your acres can double. Time is of the essence. If it took them more than 30 days to get the lease to you, I would personally just never communicate with them again. The smart thing for you to have done would have been to rescind your acceptance based on the amount of time it took them to send you a lease to execute.

You have not named the lessor, and I'm not asking. If they were that slow getting the lease to you to execute I would be inclined to believe that you were dealing with a flipper working independently trying not to use any money of their own. They may have had to find a buyer who would pay more for your lease before they would send you the lease to execute.

I have no idea of what promises you may have received that induced you to accept. I don't know whether the inducement offered was firm. I just can't tell from here.

John, if you are asking if someone you emailed an acceptance to could claim that gave them control of your mineral interest, my non-lawyer answer is, they could try and might even take you to court if you disagreed (anyone can file a lawsuit) but if they have nothing that they can legally record, meaning an original document that you signed and was notarized that provided the terms of a deal, then their case would be very weak. If instead you are asking whether you should feel ethically bound by your email acceptance of their offer, that's up to you to decide, but I doubt many would feel any obligation to follow through under the circumstances you described.

In the future though instead of saying or emailing that you accept an offer you might think about saying something like...I'll give that strong consideration as soon as I'm able to review all the provisions in your lease agreement. Something else to consider is that until the bonus payment is in your hands there is nothing binding the leasing company to follow through on the terms of the lease. If they have your lease but won't pay, or give you a release, you could end up having to take them to court. That can be avoided by requiring a special provision saying you will receive the bonus, by cashier's check or wire transfer, before you will provide them the signed original of the lease. If they can't meet you in person to exchange their funds for your signed lease an option would be agreeing to email them a "copy" of the signed lease, not the recordable original, to initiate their preparation of your bonus check.