Help with Mineral Deed wording
I have an older Mineral Deed for a net half acre of 80 gross acre plot (0.5/80) that has following boilerplate legalize language:
The Mineral Deed provides the legal description of the property -----“containing ½ mineral acres, more or less together with the right of ingress and eqress at all times for the purpose of mining, drilling, exploring, operating and developing said lands for oil, gas, and other minerals, and storing, handling, transporting and marketing the same therefrom with the right to remove from said land all of Grantee’s property and improvements.”
“This sale is made subject to any rights now existing to any lessee or assigns under any valid and subsisting oil and gas lease of record heretofore executed: it being understood and agreed that said Grantee shall have, and enjoy the herein granted undivided interest in and to all bonuses, rents, royalties and other benefits which may accrue thereunder from and after the date hereof, precisely as if the Grantee herein had been at the date of the making of said lease the owner of similar undivided interest in and to the lands described and Grantee one of the lessors therein.”
“Grantor agrees to execute such further assurances as may be requisite for the full and complete enjoyment of the rights herein granted and likewise agrees that Grantee herein shall have the right at any time to redeem for said Grantor by payment, any mortgage, taxes, or other liens on the above described land upon default in payment by Grantor, and be subrogated to the rights of the holder thereof.”
“TO HAVE AND TO HOLD The above described property and easement with all the singular rights, privileges, and appurtenances thereunder or in any wise belonging to said Grantee, herein, his heirs, successors, and assigns forever, and Grantor do hereby bind themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors and assigns to warrant and forever defend all and singular the said property unto the said Grantee herein his heirs, successors, and assigns against every person whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same or any part thereof.”
My question concerns a sentence which is typed in below the witness dates and their signatures.
“This grant shall be for a term of 10 years and so long thereafter as oil, gas or other hydrocarbon is produced from said premises or lands unitize therewit”
The term of ten years is clear however the “and so long thereafter as oil, gas, or other hydrocarbon is produced from said premises or lands unitize therewit” leaves me somewhat mystified. I am pretty sure that as long as a producing well is operating the mineral deed remains in my name, however does this clause cause the deed to immediately revert back to the Grantor if the well is plugged? If a second well was drilled and produced gas/oil after plugging the original well am I entitled to Royalties from the second well? How much time must elapse to have the mineral deed default back to the Grantor? Or can this line be interpreted to mean that any time after the ten year initial period, if oil, gas, or other hydrocarbon is being produced, my mineral deed is valid. Note this mineral deed is located in the State of Michigan which has a twenty year law which causes the mineral rights to reattach to the surface owner if there is no mineral activity within the 20 year period. Mineral rights can be maintained by the Mineral Owner using a “Notice to Retain” beyond the 20 years of inactivity.