How do you check if an new lease agreement is vaild

For years we received payment from Sunoco for our share of oil rights Creek SW4 of section 26-16N 07E- Well name Susie Lawson Last payment received was 8/2019 Sunoco said they were no longer paying our royalties and that we should contact the operator whom i was told was Doyle Matthews or Florine Matthews. I sent a letter May 2020 and never heard back. In 2020 spoke with occ.ok.gov who did not have a current operator for this well and said it may have been shut down. Then yesterday 3-29-2021 I received a call from a Mr. J. L Watkins who said he would like to offer a 6 month lease to bring a workover rig to check the well. He informed we that the previous operator was deceased.
Today I received a lease to look over via overnight mail that offered 20% royalty slightly more than our previous percentage. The only info Mr. Watkins gave me was that he had been an oil & gas operator for over 30 years and operates over 120 wells. How could I best check this out Thanks for any advice offered Roberta Rees

There is a JL Watkins listed in the OCC directory as operator 18957. The OCC data has 190 wells assigned to this operator, 140 of these are listed as active. Florine Matthews was formerly operator 5208, but all the wells still assigned to this number are listed as orphan. As you reported, the Susie Lawson is still listed as no operator. Seems that what you’ve been told checks out so far.

Could you educate us a little… How would this operator know to contact us? Do they just search records or areas and look for orphaned wells.
Thanks

405-312-2088 please give me a call about your situation.

I don’t know for sure, but can make some guesses. Usually an operator would be interested in an area or a particular well first. Then, they would work on finding the owners they needed to contact. They could search the courthouse records, or hire a land company to search the records for them, or they may have access to the previous operator’s records. I wouldn’t want to speculate beyond those general answers.

I looked up the well and the last production is listed as 7/2019. It looked like it was doing fine and then just stopped. Could have been due to the death of the operator. Go back to your original lease and see if you have a time frame on your shut in clause. Since the well was from 1969, probably not. Since the well stopped producing and you probably did not get a shut in payment due to the death of the operator, then the lease expired by its own terms. You would be okay to lease again. However, make sure that you understand the terms and clauses of the new lease as they are not usually in the mineral owner’s favor and may require some negotiation to get more balanced. You might need to consult and O&G attorney to take a quick look at it.

My question is can I sign a new lease with a new operator without notification from the previous operator And if I do sign, then does the new operator need a permit or clearance from the Oklahoma tax commission to start operating the well. I want to be doing everything correctly. Thanks

Does this forum have a list of O & G attorney’s in the local area to consult?

We are in CA much to far away to know anyone

Thanks

Roberta

Hi Bobbi, it is hard to give a definite answer to your lease status without seeing or knowing your previous lease or being an attorney. I could say what I think the typical situation is, but that may be unhelpful if your actual lease has particular language that would make it different.

The new operator will have to file various forms with the OCC to become the designated operator and to refurbish the well, but fortunately that is unlikely to be something you have to do.

There is a Mineral Services area in the Directories section at the top of this forum which might help you find more professional advisors.

Thank all of you for your wonderful advice and research on my behalf. I did contact a lawyer listed on this sight and he has drafted a new lease that is agreeable to all. Hopefully on our way to a mutually profitable venture.