We have an oil lease that expires the end of October. The lessor contacted us and wanted to extend the lease and stated that they plan to drill in the near future. The terms of the existisng lease are not favorable now since producing wells have been completed on surrounding properties. The current lessor has refused to negoiate a new more favorable lease and instead advised us that they intend to drill before the lease expires.
The lessor has sent us a surface damage claims release offering $5000.00 for damages caused by drilling, completion, production, and/or abandonment. They are insisting that we sign it even though we are unhappy with the terms.
My question is if we sign the surface damage claims release and accept the money does that by default extend the term of the expiring lease.
What should we do? Just refuse to sign the surface damage release and wait for the current lease to expire and risk the possibility of going to court?