Many oil and gas leases throughout the Marcellus Shale region of Pennsylvania are on the verge of expiring due to the gas companies’ inability to “hold” the property under the lease terms. Natural Gas companies holding expiring leases are often approaching landowners and seeking an “extension” of the expiring Oil and Gas Lease. These “extensions” typically range from six (6) months to two (2) years. Landowners, who receive offers to extend their existing Marcellus Shale Oil and Gas Lease, or top leases from other companies, should contact experienced counsel immediately. Time is very important in these situations so that the landowner can gather as much information as possible to allow them to make the best decision for their particular circumstances. Experience is also crucial in these circumstances as an experienced lawyer can provide valuable insight to a landowner weighing their options.
Even though you may be offered a lease extension, the gas company will often engage in activity that “holds” the expiring lease. Many times the lease is “held” within days of the expiration date and the disappointed landowner has lost a great opportunity. However on other occasions the lease expires and the landowner now becomes a “free agent” to lease the property to any company who is interested. The key is to your decisions rests with information.
The landowner considering an Oil and Gas Lease extension must gather credible information and seek experienced counsel. As usual, there is no set answer for everyone and each case must be looked at individually while using past experience to assist you throughout the evaluation process. I have seen far too many times landowners who decide to “ride it out” only to have the existing Oil and Gas Lease “held” at the last minute by the Oil and Gas Company. This is absolutely not a situation where the landowners should listen to their “expert” neighbor or somebody else offering them advice, unless that person is experienced in working with expiring Leases. Your lawyer should have the ability to communicate directly with the natural gas company or a knowledgeable representative to acquire credible information to aid in determining what is in your best interest. This is not the area for the “first timer” as mistakes can costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even millions of dollars depending on the size and location of the property.
If you are presented with an extension for your expiring Marcellus Shale Oil and Gas Lease call our office today for assistance. Immediate action will ensure that the landowner will gain as much information as possible to allow them to make the best decision for the property. I have worked with many landowners in collecting information and talking with the gas company directly and with representatives to gain insight to effectively evaluate the landowner’s options. Remember, time is critical in these circumstances as extension options are often only available for a short period of time. If you are presented with an Extension offer for your existing Oil and Gas Lease, call us for assistance and representation to guide you through this important time.
Douglas A. Clark, Esq. – Protecting Pennsylvania Landowners
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