Oil Lease Expiration

What steps must be taken if a lease agreement containing a continuous development clause expires when there is no continuous development?

Your question is too general. It will depend on the terms of your lease, the gross acreage, size of any production unit, etc. For example, if you own 1/2 minerals in 80 acres and the well is drilled on 80 acre spacing, then there may not be any outside acreage to release. If you own 1/2 minerals in 600 acres and the well was drilled on 80 acre spacing, then 520 acres might be released. But does your lease provide for release of undrilled acreage? Does your lease provide for release of nonproductive depths? Does it allow the operator the right to pool your minerals and if so, is there a limitation on the total acreage that can be pooled? You need to read and understand all the provisions of your lease and how they interact. Then you need to consider all the facts about the well - is it a vertical or horizontal well? Horizontal wells usually take require more acreage. Did he operator file a DPU (declaration of pooled unit) or PA (pooling agreement) that creates a unit and if so, what is the total acreage in the unit? If your lease does not allow pooling, did you consent to or ratify the unit? As you have asked about continuous drilling, I have assumed that the operator has drilled a producing well and then failed to commence another well within the specified number of days.

Additionally, every state has different circumstances.

You should request that a Release of Oil, Gas & Mineral Lease be filed by the lessee and all assignees. Your mileage may vary depending on what company you are dealing with. I am happy to take a look if you can provide more information.