Silence equals to chicken feed

Why are people who receive offers to lease their mineral rights or sign leases, so tight lipped about what they’ve been paid? Or, where the property is located? I don’t get it! This gives the oil companies a big advantage to further bamboozle us mineral right owners! Especially, when they are confident that we the mineral owners are silent by not letting each other know pertinent information that could result in getting more money, per acre.

Silence only fattens the oil companies bottom lines while throwing us mineral owners chicken feed!!

Think about it!

There may be more impt things on the lease contract then the amt someone has been paid to sign the lease contract.

Dear Kaye,

In Texas, you don't ask a man how many head of cattle he runs. That is poor form and akin to asking him how much money he makes.

By nature, the transaction on an oil and gas lease is a closed and private transaction, not an open transaction. Many landowners feel that a stock exchange type thing for oil and gas prices should be developed. It was, on another website and almost immediately died for lack of support.

I can remember years ago in Washita County, OK, there was a call in show on the local radio station where farmers would call in the latest offer that they received.

Some of the county and trend boards on this website freely exchange this information. But some people do not, such as:

You can start things off right now by giving a legal description of your property, what offer you received, who offered it, who were they representing and your decision on whether to accept the offer, reject the offer, or counter the offer.

I like your style Kaye and agree with your thoughts on this too (agreed with your comment about signing lease and not getting paid).

But the reason people don't talk is because they feel that they are in a secret negotiations with the gasco. People tend to think they are better deal makers then others and they wrongly keep these details to themselves. I know that when I went through this I wasn't sure what I should and shouldn't disclose when both speaking and posting during the lease action. I had it in my head that I might jeopardize my own deal "that was superior to others" - which I later learned of people getting 3x what I got (well I didn't get anything, but that is a different story).

I have often posted this - It is not Mineral Owner vs Mineral Owner, it is MOs vs gascos. We must band together that is where mineral owners have strength. So at the local level, form landowner groups and speak openly about everything - there is power in numbers so the larger the group the better and of course the more contiguous acreage around your own land is best from an individual perspective - so recruit for the group. I have learned a lot over the past couple of years by reading and participating on this board and others. I do things very differently, but I am still a long way away from knowing anywhere near what a gasco, landman, gasco atty, etc knows. so have an attorney, form a landowner group, share information openly and get "cash in hand" before providing a signed lease to anyone.

In the absence of the group, actually in addition to the group, get on boards like this (and more then one too) to communicate about what you are seeing and ask others the same. Best to take your time, be thorough and as educated as possible - however, I recall the leasing fever I went through and the environment was rushed, exciting and we all trusted what we were told and never thought we were getting taken advantage of. Now I know differently about the leasing game.



I agree with you 100%. I don't get it either. I thought that was what the Mineral Rights Forum was all about. Some of these tight lipped people may realize they weren't so smart after they signed on the dotted line and were taken by Big Oil and Big Gas. It's called legal theft and the courts are letting them get away with it in some cases. The Mineral Owner needs all the help he can get. Sticking together we can help each other. And there are times when you have to hire an Oil and Gas attorney. OK, that's my RANT for the day.

Knowledge is power and it can only come from sharing information.

Legal theft??

Apparently, you think that someone held a gun on the Lessor to get them to sign.

OH, that may be correct when the state steps in and has force pooling statutes.

Buddy, your comment surprised me, you know the shenanigans the gascos play when it comes to mineral leasing, so why the "attitude" regarding Clints comment about "legal theft"

I totally agree with Clint and that is a fitting term for what the gascos pull and often get away with. The gascos have perfected a method of leasing which although perhaps legal (i.e. legal theft) is unethical and frankly unacceptable (even when illegal many don't sue because of costs; the gascos know this).

What a shame that anyone can accept the tactics of the gascos and blame a private land or mineral owner. This should NOT be! and as Clint states and others echo we must stick together and be as strong as possible and this involves using attorneys and/or people like yourself - but what a shame that is required. Because if we just signed a lease deal as first offered, the percentage of MOs being taken advantage of would be even higher; fortunately some have been lucky or somehow realized the need to have expert assistance. But this group is not the majority - the majority signs a deal with the gasco that is dangerously weighted toward the gasco and sometimes this isn't realized unless the gasco wants to go "against their word" and this is where they find that wiggle word or clause to justify (even in court) that their actions are OK.

When mineral owners lease, especially the first time, they are excited, overwhelmed, generally rushed and most importantly trusting of the landman/gasco. And this to our detriment, should it be? NO! Yet, the lease contract or process is fraught with pitfalls deliberately (and perhaps legally) included so the gasco can use the lease to their advantage. This is not right. I suspect that it is getting worse - tell me, have these shenanigans - or specifically lawsuits and/or complaints against gascos risen over the last 10 years (during the explosion in leasing due to improvements in fracking and horizontal drilling etc.)?

The "gun" is the naive, yet typical, mineral owner that is taken advantage of by the gasco and leasing process. I personally think a lot of things need to change.


I am pro drilling

There can be a heck of alot of abuse in the way the business works but "Legal Theft" is a term which would never come to mind. This is a buyer or seller beware situation. So I'm with Buddy on this.

If someone sent you a letter asking to buy your home which included an offer of $100,000 what would you do? Say yes, sign the buy / sell, then later curse how you were cheated when you learn your neighbor sold for more? Or might you do some homework first before making a decision, or seek professional advice before signing a contract? The process of leasing minerals is rather like this.

I too am pro drilling and I don't work for an oil company. The process can be overwhelming for many folks. Yet nobody has to sign anything, nor must they do it today. Just as you don't have to buy a car, or sell your home, just because a salesman suggests you do it now.


Obviously, I ruffled your feathers, sorry that was not my intention, but I couldn't disagree with you more! Who's side are you on, anyway?

By the way, I did post all my information when I first joined this group, so that I could get some help which, I desperately needed. I have greatly appreciated all the people who have stepped up to the plate to respond and am especially grateful to the people who have been in the oil and gas business for many years who own a lot of mineral and surface rights of their own, and who don't seem to be threatened by passing along their knowledge.

I'm not sure if your in the oil business, legal profession, or what, but I can tell you this, from my own experience I can attest to when there is silence due to ignorance, insecurities or plain ole embarrassment of making poor decisions, those same poor decisions will repeat themselves when we're not willing to help each other and share our knowledge. Therefore, cheating not only the person continuing to make the poor decisions, but ourselves as well, and in this instance, giving the oil companies the upper hand!

With anything, incompetence breeds corruption!!

Thanks Dillon, you're absolutely right and those need to be discussed openly too!


I really don't have any feathers to ruffle, so go read my post again. Tell me what part of my post that you disagreed with.

As far as sharing of information, subscribe to the US Oil and Gas lease report. I do. A new one came to my inbox this morning.

I don't know why you should be surprised.

From my way of thinking, moaning about how they got "taken advantage of" after the money was paid and spent (if they were actually paid!), smacks of sour grapes because the Lessor did not have the intelligence to vet the offer and make sure that he was adequately protected, all the time seduced by the lure of easy money. I sure that this ruffles some feathers, but the thing is what the thing is == whatever it is.

There is NO open market in the negotiation of oil leases -- except like a place in OK, where you are given three choices by the Corporation Commission if you are unleased and someone wants to drill a well. Normal states let's the landowners control their own destiny, whether they are any good at it or not.

By the way, you are the only person who I have ever heard speak of an Exploration company as a "gasco."

i think what I will do is take this to a blog where I do not frost people when they think I am attacking them, when all I am doing is disagreeing with them.

A liberal is a conservative who made a bad deal on leasing their land and needs someone to blame other than themselves. (I made that up, so I will take the heat. It was intended as a joke, before anybody starts taking me, or themselves, too seriously)

There are a lot of cases where "legal theft" has taken place.

Legal theft is still thievery! The only difference is that the thieves have learned the ropes to make everything appear to be legal and most cases are difficult to prove due complexity of the thief!

Clint, Thanks for your reply. I think your right, this may have to do with some people thinking they're so smart, but believe me I learned real quick there's a lot more to this than meets the eye and I agree, you need a good attorney who's in the business to look over your lease before you sign the dotted line.

I agree. I'm a MO who negotiated my own lease back in '06. Though I made some changes to the offer I recieved I would have been wise to have gotten representation on my behalf, but the fact that I didn't has nothing to do with the landman/O & G co. As far as "legal theft" goes, that's more of a dicription of taxation. I have helped others with their lease offers & my experience has been that the rep. will not lay all of the cards on the table. Thats just the way it is. You have to do alot of homework to know what the market is. Looking back on this forum I see there are consistant recommendations to get legal/professional help in negotiating with the landman. I've never ran into anyone who wouldn't give me the detailes of their offer but maybe there are ones that don't want to. Though it may be benificial to others, it's still not there fault. I'm sure there are MOs that are taken advantage of but I'll also mention that my limited O & G experience has revealed greed can & sometimes does run both ways.

Susan, Just in case I didn't click on Add Reply, thank you! I can't agree with you more.


I think we are all in this for the same thing and I would think, everyone on this forum is reading the different posts to learn what they can and we need everyone we can get that knows the business to show us the way and that includes you.

Sorry, if I took you wrong, but it does appear that the oil companies do have the advantage in a lot of the legal areas. That alone is frustrating when you suddenly get the feeling that they tightening the noose around your neck either to sign what they've offered or get pooled at 1/8 with no bonus.


I think we are all in this for the same thing and I would think, everyone on this forum is reading the different posts to learn what they can and we need everyone we can get that knows the business to show us the way and that includes you"

Does it? It may in your eyes, but I did not take you to raise. I can also pick and choose the questions that I care to offer a response. This is a hobby for me -- not an avocation.

I have over 846 posts and 19 blogs articles. I do not need to show you the way. You would like me to, but I don't have to do anything that I do not want to. It has been the attempt on every post (except the few attempts at humor) to educate rather than ...well, whatever.

This is not my board. I am a user, just like you.

Why don't you go read the 846 posts and the 19 blog articles. If you have any questions after you have educated yourself, just let us know. It appears on your 2 whole months on the board, you have not gotten yourself up to speed. Guess what? Most don't and never will. Why should they? They inherited a few acres from Aunt Maude and might lease it once their lifetime, so either they get a hired gun and negotiator -- or they do not and take their chances. Oh, when you read all my posts, see if you can tell me whose side I am on.

Do oil companies have an advantage. Of course. And even a public education, like mine, will teach you that. You do not have to graduate cum laude from Harvard Business School.

You have yet to tell me just what was in my previous post "that you could not disagree with more."

Are car salesmen better at selling cars than you at buying? Of course they are. You might buy a car every 3 years or so, but if they do not sell 3 per week, they will starve. How dare those bastards take advantage of poor little me, because they know more than me.

As to legal thievery, let us go to Justice Holmes who said approximately "Do not confuse justice with the law. Our form of government and laws, though imperfect, are still the best yet developed."

As to force pooling, thank your legislators.

We can always agree to disagree.

You mean like welfare recipients? Oh, no -- I mean welfare "clients."