To all: I recently noted in a message to another that I was feeling uncomfortable because my posts were being deleted or altered and because there were several members who swooped in like vultures upon unsophisticated mineral owners seeking to acquire their minerals. There's also the issue of the entire thread that disappeared without any explanation at all. I wonder how long it will be before this post or this thread is deleted? When speaking of boorish or reprehensible conduct, you should point the fingers at yourselves.
I couldn't access my initial account, so I made another account. Both times I made an account, I used my real name, my real initials, my real location, and my real birthday. Unlike others who use anonymous handles to post on this forum, I have made no effort at all to hide my identity. Nothing nefarious about that, despite your blatant boogey-man accusations. On the other hand, it does appear that Mat has several accounts--one using his real name in order to swoop in and to ask unsophisticated mineral owners to call him--and several other psuedonyms that swoop in to serve as his cheerleaders and references to assert how wonderful and helpful Mat is. (Just review the threads and the pattern will emerge.) Mr. Cotten portrays himself as the authority on the subject of mineral ownership and leasing and is very condescending to others who provide helpful information.
With respect to unsophisticated mineral owners, they do in fact look to their lessees to actually develop and drill for oil on the leased acres. There is no other purpose for entering a lease, and this is acknowledged by the ND Supreme Court when it favorably quoted the following:
"Such contracts are almost universally held to be made for the general purpose of developing the premises by the lessee, and the uniform tendency on the part of the courts has been to place such a construction on their terms as will carry out the terms, intent, and purpose of the agreement. The contract being executed for the purpose of procuring development upon the premises by the lessee the clause should be interpreted to mean that the lessee is required to do the drilling and that the act of a third party independent of any co-operation on the part of the lessee is not a compliance with the terms of the lease. A contrary construction on the terms of the lease would sanction holding the lease for speculative purposes which is in direct conflict with the primary purpose for which such a lease is executed. It is said in the recent edition (1932) of Thornton on Oil and Gas: 'An oil or gas lease cannot be held for merely speculative purposes. No lease of land for a rent for a return to the landlord out of the land which passes can be construed to be intended to enable the tenant merely to hold the lease for purposes of speculation, without doing and performing therewith what the lease contemplated. Such a construction would, indeed, make all such contracts, a snare for the entrapment and injury of the unwary landlord.'" Earp v. Mid-Continent Petroleum Corporation, 27 P.2d 855,864.
Schank v. North American Royalties, Inc., 201 N.W.2d 419 (N.D. 1972).
There are many, many cases that say the same thing. A prudent mineral owner will guard against leasing his minerals to speculators. It is fraud, pure and simple, for a speculator to inform a mineral owner that its purpose in soliciting an oil and gas lease is to drill and develop the minerals when that is not the purpose. And yet, because the NDIC is establishing oversized spacing units over the Bakken Pool, this gives speculators vast opportunity to commit fraud. But for the oversized spacing units, the lessee would actually have to drill and produce oil from the leased premises or lose the lease. And I can see where the vultures would not want to educate the general public concerning this matter, but the vultures don't rule the entire world--only this discussion board.