I leased some mineral rights in Lots 3-4, Block 16, Section 266, Toyah Valley Grape & Alfalfa Co. Subdivision, Block 13, H&GN RR Survey in Reeves County the first of this year. At one point I had three different landmen who wanted to lease the property and I had them bidding against each other. The initial offer was for $7K/nma. The highest offer I received was $12K/nma, and I thought it was a done deal, but when I was almost ready to sign the lease, they reneged on several lease modifications that they had previously agreed to. So I contacted the individual who had offered $11K and they agreed to the mods that I wanted. I signed that lease for $11K/nma with 25% royalty (three year lease, to be renegotiated if they have not drilled in that time). Royalty is normally 25% currently.
With respect to your question regarding retroactive pay, I have this to tell you: I have been told by an oil and gas attorney that, if an operator drills on a property where you own a percentage of the mineral rights and has not signed a lease with you, you are entitled to the full 100% of the receipts for the percentage that you own. That would include retroactively. However, you would not receive a lease bonus, and the operator can deduct (proportionately) the cost of drilling the well(s) and operating costs. So, if the wells are good, you could receive a lot more than the 25% royalty that they are offering. If the well is inferior or a dry hole, you would likely not receive any money from the situation (that is one reason that a lease bonus can be a good thing). On the other hand, if that occurs, you are not on the hook for any of the drilling costs, etc. Another downside to this scenario is accurately determining just what their drilling costs were. My suggestion in that situation would be to contact a good oil and gas attorney.
If they have drilled on the property where you own an interest, they will certainly be required to retroactively pay you proceeds.
Finally, I am a little surprised that the operator has not provided you with at least a preliminary lease and a bonus offer. I have had a couple of situations where I had to provide legal confirmation of ownership before the lease was signed, but no one ever refused to negotiate before all of the legal i’s and t’s were dotted and crossed. I had one instance where I leased some rights and received the bonus, but then the operator found that something was unclear in the records and I had to provide certified probate documents before I could receive the royalties. Sounds kind of funny to me.
Hope this helps.