We signed an oil and gas lease in July 2011, but have not received bonus check. What will get them to pay?

-- June 27, 2011 we received a letter with 3 choices on leasing 80 acres from an agent for a drilling company. After a couple of e-mails, I called one of the owners (father and 2 brothers) of the drilling company in mid-July and we agreed to some terms on the 80 acres and also on 166.5 acres nearby. I scanned and e-mailed the legal description to agent who seemed to already have access to the legal description under our name.

-- July 22, 2011 we received two Oil and Gas Leases with letters; one with signing bonus of $2,000 for land they are pooling and the other for $13,800.00 for the 166.5 acres for minerals we own exclusively. The letters were identical except $13,800 letter said. "(Please NOTE we have not confirmed title, but will do so as soon as we receive the executed lease.)" Both letters said "...if you would like a check mailed directly to you please indicate so when return the lease and we will promptly forward bonus payment." There were Bank Drafts enclosed and both say to be paid "Not later than 20 banking days after sight, upon <company> approval of the attachments and/or the title conveyed thereby."

End of July, we returned signed leases and indicated we would like checks.

Aug 12, they mailed $2,000 check.

Aug 29, I sent e-mail to agent asking if $13,800 check was mailed at the same time or when to expect.

--Got a reply: "We do not have ownership yet on the $13,800 bonus check yet, but will do so as soon as possible and will be in touch with our findings or send the check after completing the necessary research."

--mid Sept I called owner of drilling company and I told him I enjoyed talking with him and said he sounds like an honest person, but I'm not so sure about the agent....both letters said we would get a check promptly. He seemed uneasy with the situation and said he would have the agent contact us.

--Got an e-mail from agent: "We are running title on several thousand acres & unfortunately have not gotten to your lease to date. We are proceeding in order we received the leases & will do so as soon as possible. Please stay in touch and THANKSSSS AGAIN."

--What should my next step be?????????

Ms. Web, I would check to see if your lease was recorded. They may be using this time as an option to sell your lease to someone or several someones at a profit. It seems I say this continually, and I will say it again "Do not let your executed lease out of your hand before you have the money and not a draft or bill of exchange / order for payment, as they are all unenforceable super IOU'S. Get a check, which if they do not honor it, you can lay it on the district attorneys desk. I too have been bitten by this; it is the principle reason why I began to educate myself on oil matters in the first place. Ms. Web, I have filed suit against the company that did not honor the deal or the draft on my lease. I hope you don't have to do the same. I think the odds are good if they have not yet recorded your lease that you can avoid a lawsuit, but that doesn't mean you won't have to hire a lawyer to send the letter and convince them of your sincerity, that you either have a check and a lease, or you do not. There is no maybe. I wish you the best of luck.


Sorry for your misfortune on your lease situation. Both posts, above, are good advice. You can "google" in the space at the top of the page "cold drafted" and read various posts and responses to individuals who has experienced similiar situations. Maybe from these responses, you will gain some additional knowledge on how to handle you situation. Good luck!!