Undeveloped acreage - what to do


#1

Half of the lease has not been developed. The primary lease has expired. What steps are necessary to push the operator/lessee to officially let go of the undeveloped acreage that is no part of the pooled unit? Is it normally automatic, or must the lessor initiate action?


#2

It won’t happen automaticly.

If your lease includes a provision saying any acreage not pooled will be released at the end of primary term (probably with an additional 90-180 days provided for drilling operations to be initiated on that unpooled acreage) then I suggest sending the lessee/operator’s land department a certified letter, that they will be required to sign for, requesting that they record a release of your un-pooled acreage.

If your lease doesn’t have a Pugh clause or other wording requiring that type of release there may not be a way to make it happen.