My parents purchased Oklahoma land (10 acres) from a relative. The relative retained a life estate in the minerals. An old well was producing (marginal) on the property at the time of the sale. Eventually that well was plugged and abandoned. The life estate holder recently leased the minerals to a new company without my knowledge. The remainderman (me) did not ratify that new lease when I was approached by the lessee to do so. A new horizontal well is in the process of being drilled in the section, and the new Operator has named me as a party (as well as the lessee on the life estate's interest) in the notice of pooling hearing. Upon inquiriy, their agent tell me that it is for curative purposes.
The pooling hearing is coming up soon. I have researched online this area of Okla law, and find no legal authority squarely on point for this particular situation. Seems like when the person passes away, the lease is over, or may not ever have been valid in the first place. I am wondering if I will be subject to forced pooling at that time instead of now, or if another course of action may be available to me. I might want to participate, but the life estate holder might have preempted my ability to do that (or, maybe the company they leased to is picking up the participation cost for me?). The lease terms on the life estate's lease were very unfavorable to the lessor.
I appreciate any guidance that can be offered.