I just received a lease offer from my inheritance property in the Titus County, Texas area, and have zero experience with negotiating Oil and Gas rights, etc. I have started to read up, mostly articles and links from this great site, so I've gone from completely clueless to somewhat of a clue. Here are some details on the property and lease offer, along with a few of my many questions:
I have a two separate tracts of 16 and 27 acres from the Larkin Weaver Survey (A-595), and Joseph Salmon Survey (A-506) respectively. Apparently, Exxon is preparing to unitize an area in Titus County, which would include both of my tracts. The lease offer states that the combined "decimal interest" would be 0.016, which comes to 0.66 net acres.
In the lease, the bonus is $200 per net mineral acre, which results in a total of $133 in bonus. Does this seem low, typical, high, depends on xyz? Sounds low to me but what do I know...
The royalty would be 3/16 -- interesting that the body of the lease references 1/8 all throughout but in the back of the document, under "Additional Provisions", it basically says wherever this document states 1/8, change to 3/16 - hmmm.
I'd love to get any thoughts or recommendations on the basic info I've stated above, in addition to answers to questions below.
1. What all is negotiable in these types of leases?
2. The "10 common mistakes" advice article on this site states not to "warrant a mineral title". Sure enough, the lease states "Lessor hereby warrants and agrees to defend the title...". Can someone explain in simple terms what it means to warrant a mineral title, and should I just simply push back on this item?
3. The advice article also states to watch for unrestricted use of fresh water, and again the lease states that the lessee shall have free use of water other than Lessor's wells or tanks. Does the reference to wells and tanks mean fresh water is protected?
4. Should I demand two separate leases for my two non-contiguous areas, again following advice in the 10 common mistakes article?
5. Lastly (for now), should I seek an attorney, and if so, should it be from the Titus area? I live in another state.
Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and respond to this long post.