Mystery postdated lease

I feel like something shady's going on. I purchased a 55 acre tract of mineral rights in the Butler Dist. of Wayne Co., West Virginia back in July of 2013 from a guy named David Matheny w/ High Yield Orange. Wayne Anderson w/ US Natural Gas Corp. & E3 Petroleum arranged everything. Wayne runs the company that held the lease. So, I did some looking on the clerk's website & found that the old lease expired Dec. 17, 2012. So, I contacted Wayne Anderson who holds the lease. He told me that he paid the old owner a 2 year delayed rental & that he'd send me a 2 yr. delayed rental Dec. 2014. Okay. So I waited & nothing!

Yesterday I checked the county website & see that he & the previous owner recorded a lease dated May 2013, 6 weeks before I bought it, for a 7 yr. lease! However, it wasn't notarized until recently, Sept. 2014. After I started asking questions.

I'm wondering, what should I do? I have all Wayne Anderson's emails telling me that I'd be getting a delay rental in Dec. 2014, which to me is like admitting there was no 7 yr. lease at the time.

You need to consult an attorney to determine your rights under West Virginia law. Generally, when title transfers (eg you purchased the minerals), only burdens, such as an oil & gas lease, which were recorded prior to your deed will affect your minerals. It is the recording date, not the effective date defined in the lease, which determines whether there was an outstanding oil and gas lease which binds your minerals. From your post, it seems that the lease was executed and recorded after you purchased the minerals and your purchase deed was recorded. You should take all the documents to an attorney for review and have him write a letter on your behalf to the oil company and the seller. It may be that the lease is not effective and you can negotiate better lease terms. Good luck!

Thanks TennisDaze. If it’s not a legit lease due to the fact it was recorded over a year after Ownership transferred to me, then that’s a relief to me and I’m greatful to you for this information. With all his emails supporting that there was no 7 yr lease in place at the time he communicated with me, and to shortly thereafter come up with a lease postdated to 6 weeks before I bought it but it was notarized and recorded 5 months ago, that all looks very confusing to me. I can’t believe someone can do that! I think I will call a lawyer.

So, now that he has this lease signed and recorded, will this detour lease offers from coming in to me? Also, is this a criminal offense that I should contact the authorities about?

Kyle Nuttall is an oil and gas attorney on this forum, also from West Virginia. I would contact him to look further into this matter.

I think that's good advise. Thanks. I'm actually waiting for a call back from him. I'm also thinking of calling Robert R. Waters w/ the Waters Law Group. An internet search showed they already have experience with Wayne Anderson through a lawsuit seeking $350,000 from US Natural Gas Corp. in damages for unpaid royalties. Maybe that's why they're now changing their name to Sylios Corp.?