Well assigned to someone else

My family and I have a lease on well API 4709502302 Ellsworth District, Tyler County and first leased with Petroedge then EQT took the lease and drilled. The last two or three years we have been receiving shut in payments. I contacted EQT on the wells status and they said this well and the shallow rights on the lease has been assigned to an individual/company. Does anyone know if our lease is still valid and can be held forever just by paying the shut in payment??

Read your original lease. If the shut in clause says it can be held, then yes it can. That is why it is important to have a time limit put on a shut in clause on new leases. I usually limit mine to one year or maybe two years. I have old leases from my grandparents that are being held for years and years due to the open ended clause.

Thanks M_Barnes I will do that. I was hoping that by some law they could not hold up a lease forever.

Unfortunately, the lease is a contract upheld by law. Only if a well is uneconomic can it sometimes be broken. But if they keep paying the shut-in payment on time, not usually much luck. If there is horizontal active drilling all around in the same zone and the operator is not keeping up with the times, then sometimes, the owners can push for a reasonable and prudent operator to drill.

You can go to the Tyler county online records (Tyler county online records - go to the site and select Tyler County and search “Index search” and search your name. This brings up a lease modification for a 1908 lease, in Book 66 page 621. Go back to site and do a search on “Archive” and select “Deed Book” in the book set, book : 66 page : 621. You find that 1908 lease [Tyler files its leases and deeds in the same book sequence unlike some counties that have separate Lease book sequences]. To find the info about the well, go to the WV Office of Oil and Gas site and select “Database and map information” then select “Search Oil and Gas database”, then select “Search for Oil and Gas Wells” and put in the API number you gave. You see that there is no production. Then do the “Search for Oil and Gas Permits” and put in the API number. You see that the latest activity is 2016. The next place to look is the Downloads site which has some information about the permits and wells. It is arranged by county then by API number. Here is the link for 4709502302 You see that there is a plat for this proposed well, with a number of leases listed. I am not sure which one is yours, but with the information that you signed a modification, I can assume that there is an old well, probably a flat rate one (see lease for the $300/year rate). However, on the first page of that lease was stamped a Release which I have not examined.

You can find this well location on the WV Office of Oil and Gas Interactive Map. Put in 95-02302 in the search box and zoom in carefully. You find that there are 2 other permits issued in this area, going northwest from the well pad (95-02303 and 95-02299) which are also not yet completed, probably not yet drilled.

If you have more questions, I might be able to help you search the available online databases. It is not simple but is quite possible for us to find out a lot of information. Some counties do not have the online records (deeds etc) so it is good that your interest is in Tyler county. Nancy Mosley

Thanks Nancy: I will do as you suggested even if seems a little deep for me but I can learn. Thanks again. Cline Tracy

Thanks M_Barnes. I may write you owner and ask their intentions and if nothing ask to be released. Thanks again. Cline Tracy

I’ll be glad to help you step by step if you want. If you have a copy of your lease modification, you can skip that first step and go to the Archive Browser. I looked at the Release referred to in the notation on the original lease (in book 66 page 621) and it is a partial release of 61.25 acres. You can find that in the Archive Browser under Release Book as the Book set.