People across the country recognize that Texas is a land rich oil and natural gas. Landowners in Texas can make a lot of money by entering oil and gas leases with a company that wants to extract these resources from the landowner’s ground.
The oil and gas lease is a complicated document that will cover each side’s rights and responsibilities, potentially for years or even decades. The lease will control the landowner’s compensation, and it will also specify exactly what the company can and cannot do on the land.
Oil and gas companies are accustomed to negotiating leases favorable to their interests. Landowners may not be as familiar with the leasing process and can easily end up with a raw deal which, in the worst case, could mean that what should have been a profitable enterprise becomes a financial hardship.
Leases are negotiable
For instance, a landowner may be pressured to think that an oil company is offering a lease on a take it or leave it basis. The oil company may also push the landowner into believing he cannot afford to delay as that will mean lost income.
The reality is that there is no standard lease, and all leases are subject to negotiation. A landowner should have a good appreciation of her leverage in the negotiation and not cave into a false sense of urgency.
For instance, if the landowner owns a lot of potentially productive land and has several companies interested in it, with patience, she may be able to command a higher price and a more favorable lease.
Negotiating a lease requires knowledge of Texas’s oil and gas laws
Oil and gas law is an area of the law that takes some additional study and experience to understand. Without the benefit of this experience, it is easy for a landowner to look over or not fully consider the terms of a lease.
For example, any lease, called a mineral deed in Texas, carries with it certain implied rights that a company can exercise even if they are not mentioned in the lease.
This is why any lease agreement should receive careful consideration, usually with the help of an experienced legal professional.