Is a Lease Required?

A few months ago Antero sent me a letter saying that I had inherited mineral rights at Eibscamp Run, in Doddridge County, W.Va. They then sent a lease form to complete, offering some money for allowing them to drill. I became acquainted with Mineral Rights Forum to understand my rights as an inheritor.

Questions: Are the allowed to drill on my inherited area without my signed lease agreement? Do they frequently drill even though they do not have a lease agreement? Some of my relatives have signed but I wonder how long it will take them to get back to me. Are they obligated to contact me before they drill? I live in Boulder, Colorado, far from Doddridge County, West Va.

Legally they can drill with only partial leasehold interest. However it may not be economic to do so unless they have a substantial majority of the interests leased. The treatment of unleased minerals varies from State to State and I am not familiar with how it works in WV.