Held by Production

I have an old 1966 oil and gas lease that has been passed around to different producers over the years. I believe it's primarily gas. We have tried to contact the various operators listed and had no luck. The property has not produced in about 10 years. All of a sudden I get a division order on a new well and the operator states the lease "appears to be "held by production". I have researched this a little bit and know if can be tricky. There is a clause in the original lease that states if there is no production and the well is shut in, rental payments can be made to continue the lease. No such payments have been made to my knowledge. The well did produce for many years. I would have liked to participate in the well or at least been offered the chance to make a new lease. Again, we tried to find someone to respond to us over the last several years with no luck, but did not mail anything to the original lessee. Do I have to live with the new division owner?

That's Oklahoma, by the way.


  1. Check with the OCD to see if you or anyone in your chain of title has been force pooled recently.
  2. Return the DO to the the sender RRR after stating on theDO that there is no record in your possession of a valid lease for the well or land.
  3. Act on 1. and 2. above appropriately as responses dictate. Have copies of the recorded documents showing your ownership available.

You probably have many options at this point including protection of your future rights.

Gary L Hutchinson

Minerals Mangement