Leased Mineral Rights with new owners

We are in the process of purchasing 14 acres to build a house on. The sellers of the land do not own the mineral rights, so therefore they were not going to convey to us. Our lender has found out that there is a current lease from 2005 on the mineral rights that keeps getting sold/reassigned. Our title company has reached out to sellers title, and the owner of the mineral rights has agreed to deed them to us. Our lender is still requesting that our part of the land(14 acres) is removed from the lease. We have finally tracked down what company holds the current lease. Is it a common request to have a revision done on a lease if there is new ownership? How willing will they be to amend the current lease? The current lease is for 56 acres. We just need our part released.

Very unlikely they will release it if they don’t have to, unless it’s in an area they don’t think has much value or plan to do anything with.

Don’t know which state you are in and you didn’t say what has allowed that 2005 lease to last for 14 years. I’m assuming there must be at least one producing well somewhere on the 56 acres and that the 14 acres you are interested in buying is held by production from that well or wells. But the fact the owner of the mineral interest on that 14 acres is willing to deed the interest to you indicates they must be making little or no royalty from it. Several things sound unusual. A few more facts would help.

I expect your lender would be satisfied if, rather than getting that 14 acres removed from the lease, the company that now holds the lease would agree to amend the lease by adding a “no surface use” clause. It wouldn’t affect any current operations the lease holder has or their future ability to drill hnew wells, horizontally or vertically, that included that 14 acres in a unit. They just wouldn’t be able to drill, lay pipelines or have production facilities directly on that area and you and your lender would be protected against any future mineral activity ever affecting what was built or done on the surface of the property. I would approach the current lease holder on that basis and see what they say.

Thanks for your response. We are in Arkansas


The current mineral rights owner has decided to not deed us the mineral rights after all. Our underwriter is ok with there being an oil/gas lease, but needs to make sure that oil and gas company can not drill directly in the middle of our home once it is built. The current lease states “lessor recognizes that lessee has the right to use as much of the surface of the lease premises as a reasonably prudent operator would use to accomplish the purposes of the lease”

Had this been an existing dwelling, there is the caveat included that they will not go within a certain distance of dwelling and we would have been fine.

Will an oil/gas company provide the provisions we need to protect our future home?

You still haven’t explained why a lease from 2005 is still in active 14 years later. Is the 56 acres included in a unit where there is current production?

Don’t know anything about the rules in Arkansas, but in Texas, provided they have a valid lease, the lessee wouldn’t be obligated to amend it. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t agree to some sort of change, it just means you couldn’t force them to do it. In earlier comments above I suggested you contact the lessee, explain what you are trying to do and request a wavier of surface use on the 14 acres. Another alternative would be to get a future drill site designated in part of the 14 acres far enough from where you plan to build it satisfies your lender. In Texas there are provisions that would help in getting a drill site designated but but don’t know if anything like that exists in Arkansas.

Yes there is minimal current production in the area of the 56 acreas. I know they don’t have to amend the lease, just curious if they would possibly. Is this a reasonable request?