Top Lease

I have received a top lease offer. Is there anything negative about a top lease?


IF you have a lease for a horizontal well, I suspect there is verbiage in that lease that sets out what is required if you receive a Top Lease offer. (First right of refusal, etc.)

IF you do NOT have a lease for a horizontal well, I suspect a Top Lease will monopolize the entire parcel. I know of circumstances in which a Landman has presented a lease for a shallow well (Top Lease) at a ridiculously low royalty, which locks up the entire parcel and eliminates your ability to negotiate a fair market lease for a deep well. I am not saying a Landman or production company would ever do anything unscrupulous, but contrary to what they claim, they do NOT have your best interest in mind. <Gasp>

What State / County is the parcel located, that can be a contributing factor.

I am not an Attorney and have told countless Attorney jokes, but hiring an Attorney that specializes in the OGM field, is cheap insurance - assurance. $500.00 spent now can result in a $500,000.00 difference in royalty, over the lifetime of a well.


Do you think it is best to hire an attorney where the mineral rights are or in the state where I live?

Also, try the Search feature in the upper right corner, as there have been several threads about the pros and cons of top leasing.

Speaking on my own behalf, if I approached a local attorney and mentioned OGM, he would laugh thinking "Oh My Gawd, he cannot spell OMG." The attorneys I have hired, one firm is on retainer, are in West Virginia, they know the industry, the various people and have established relationships with landmen and production companies.

Therefore, I strongly recommend you hire an attorney in the region of your minerals.