Oil and Gas Lease Example

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An oil and gas lease form is a legal document that legalizes the exploration, production, and distribution of oil and gas sources. This legal document protects the landowner’s rights, outlines the oil and gas company’s liability, confirms the lease legality for state authorities, and more. Edit this oil and gas lease contract online on Lawrina, download it in PDF, and prepare for negotiations.
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Paper titled "Oil and Gas Lease" lying between oil wells

For more than a hundred years in the United States, oil and gas companies have been drilling for these resources below the surface of the earth. You may have been contacted by a land agent about leasing your property to look for oil.

Before signing leaseforms with an oil and gas company, be sure that you understand what rights you will be granting the company and what you will receive in exchange. Consider contacting an attorney in your area for help with oil and gas leases or download a simple printable template prepared by attorneys for your use.

What Is an Oil and Gas Lease Form?

An oil and gas lease land contract is a legal form in which landowners (“lessors”) provide energy companies (“lessees”) with the right to explore, extract, produce, and distribute oil and gas resources from the private property. This legal document protects the landowner’s rights, confirms the lease legality for state governments, and outlines the terms and conditions of oil and gas extraction for the established royalty price.

Insight

In the United States, individuals or legal entities may hold surface rights and mineral rights, which is known as a fee simple estate. This involves total private ownership in which an owner holds the land’s surface, its subsurface (including minerals and other resources), and the air above a particular piece of land. Thus, owners can sell or lease their mineral rights (the rights to extract minerals) and retain their surface rights.

Parties of the Oil and Gas Lease Form

There may be multiple mineral rights owners, and all owners must agree to the terms of the release of oil and gas lease form. The parties to an oil and gas lease are:

  • The Lessee — the company purchasing the right to explore, drill, remove, produce, and distribute the oil and gas from the leased property.
  • The Lessor(s) — the owner or owners of the oil and gas rights. There may be several individuals or entities who own an interest in the oil and gas rights of a property, and all are necessary parties to the agreement. 
Insight

Property owners (including the federal government) can own the surface rights to a piece of property without owning the mineral rights. In some states, the mineral rights to a piece of property may belong to someone other than the surface owner. This is known as split-estate ownership

Key Terms

  • Lease — a legal agreement between the owner of the oil and gas rights and the company that will explore and drill for oil and gas.
  • Bonus consideration — money paid by the lessee to the lessor for the extraction of minerals, which is usually paid per acre of land leased.
  • Mineral owner — the owner of the rights to a land’s minerals, which may be different from or in addition to the landowner.
  • Offset well — a well set near another land tract where there is already a producing well.
  • Paid-up lease — a lease that has been paid in advance through the duration of the primary term.
  • Royalty — the value paid to the lessor that is based on a percentage of gross proceeds from the oil and gas production.
  • Habendum clause — a clause in an oil and gas lease, also called a “term clause,” that defines the term of the lessee’s interest.
  • Abstract company — a business that prepares abstracts of titles.
  • Net revenue interest — a part of the production money that is paid after the operating and development expenses are subtracted.

Types of Gas Lease Forms

There are different mineral rights lease agreement examples. Following are some of the most common types of oil and gas lease forms.

The Paid-Up Lease

With a paid-up lease agreement, the owner receives all of the lease bonus money combined with all the annual rental payments up front. The owner will not receive any bonus payments from the company after the lease is executed. 

The Rental Lease

With a rental lease, the payments are made by the lessee to the owner at specific terms, usually annually. Due to the nature of this type of lease, the contract can lapse if the payments are not paid on time.

Surface or Subsurface Lease

This type of oil and gas lease purchase agreement describes the features of land that the lessor makes available for the lessee. If necessary, the landowner can limit these and the surface square for oil exploration and extraction. The landowner can control other essential tools for hydrocarbon operations, including:

  • Discovering suitable lands for drilling (e.g., fields and forests) and studying their geology;
  • Researching underground areas for equipment sound wave relevance;
  • Drilling facilities storage, etc.

As a landowner, you can restrict the activities on your property before signing an agreement if you find them inappropriate. However, all the parties’ obligations remain negotiable for oil and gas lease forms.

Right of First Refusal

This type of oil and gas lease option contract implies that the current document will not be renewed and that the energy development company refuses any land lease offers from other landowners. Other oil and gas lease option contracts renew automatically, preserving the same duration and scope of work.

What Should Be Included?

While the terms of oil and gas leases will vary, there are some standard provisions that should always be included. The following terms should be set forth and defined according to the parties’ agreement:

  • The parties — The names and identifying information of the lessor(s) and lessee(s) must be included.

  • The date — The effective date of the lease will usually be set forth at the beginning of the contract.

  • Property description — The address and legal description of the property subject to the lease agreement must be included.

  • The lease term — Define how long the lease will be in effect.

  • Royalties — State the percentage of the proceeds of the oil and gas production that the owner will receive. 

  • Leasing clause — This clause defines the rights of the oil and gas company to explore, drill, produce, develop, and distribute oil and gas from the leased property.

How To Write an Oil and Gas Lease Form Template

Whether you are the landowner or the oil and gas company, you may need to know how to create a fair and comprehensive oil and gas lease agreement. The following steps will help you when using the oil and gas lease form template.

1. Contact the Other Party

If you are the oil and gas company representative, you will need to research the land records to determine who owns the property you are interested in. Once you locate the landowner, you will need to contact the owner or owners to see if they are interested in leasing their land for oil and gas exploration.

If you are a landowner, you may want to contact oil and gas companies that are leasing property in your area to determine whether the company is interested in leasing your land for oil and gas exploration. You may be able to negotiate a profitable agreement.

2. Negotiate the Terms of the Agreement

The parties should discuss the terms and conditions of the agreement. The oil and gas lease form template will guide you through the essential terms. If either party is unsure of the meaning of any terms or whether certain terms are in their best interest to include, that party may want advice from a local attorney who is experienced with oil and gas leases.

3. Customize the Oil and Gas Lease Form

Once you have negotiated the terms of your agreement, you should customize the oil and gas lease form to reflect those terms. You may download a sample template as a PDF file. Ensure that the parties’ names and identifying information are correct and that all conditions are clearly set forth. 

4. Execute the Oil and Gas Lease Agreement With a Notary

All contracts need to be signed and dated by the parties. Additionally, when a contract affects real estate, most states require it to be notarized or witnessed or both. Be sure to follow your state’s laws when executing the oil and gas lease agreement. Even when not required, it can be in the parties’ best interest for them to sign and date the agreement in the presence of a notary and witnesses. 

When Should an Oil and Gas Lease Land Contract Be Used?

Energy companies use geological maps to search for the perfect land to start drilling for oil or gas and/or producing various hydrocarbon products. If you have a vast property, land businessmen may reach out to you and offer to cooperate. 

Insight

Providing acres of land for mineral exploration and development can become a perfect business opportunity for landowners if both sides negotiate correctly with a carefully composed landman oil and gas lease form template. This kind of legal document has been well-known for over a hundred years and gathers all the essential points for a reliable business partnership.

Common Use Cases

Oil and gas lease agreements are used when a landowner agrees to allow an oil and gas company operator to produce and sell oil and gas located below the surface of the land. 

The most common scenario occurs when a land agent who works for an oil and gas company makes contact with a landowner to negotiate an agreement. Sometimes, a landowner may approach the oil and gas company to see if the company is interested in exploring for minerals on the landowner’s property. In both situations, the parties will need to enter into an oil and gas lease agreement.

When Not To Use the Oil and Gas Lease Form

Do not use an oil and gas lease form unless you have negotiated carefully and fully understand the terms of the agreement. If you have questions or concerns, a local attorney may be able to help you with the oil and gas lease form. 

Remember that the land agent works for the oil and gas company, so you should not rely on them to protect your interests as a landowner. However, once you are confident that you have negotiated general terms that protect your interests, reduce the agreement to writing and execute a legally binding oil and gas lease contract for the sale of those rights.  

State Law

Each state has its own laws governing oil and gas activities. The following table contains each state’s relevant oil and gas statutes if you would like to learn more about the regulations in your own state.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Alabama

Ala. Code 1975 § 9, chapter 17, article 2, division-1 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Alaska

AK Stat § 38.05.180 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Arizona

AZ Stat § 27-254 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Arkansas

AR Stat § 15-6-73-2 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
California

Cal. Civ. Code, Division 2, Part 2, Title 5, Chapter 3, Article 1, Section 883.140 

Oil & Gas Statutes
Colorado

CO Rev. Statute § 38-42-101-106 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Connecticut

Regs., Conn. State Agencies § 22a-472-1

Oil & Gas Statutes
Delaware

Del. Stat § 7-6101-6143 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Florida

2022 Florida Statutes, title XVIII, chapter 253, § 253.512

Oil & Gas Statutes
Georgia

GA Code §12-4-2 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Hawaii

HI Revised Statutes, Title 12, § 182-7 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Idaho

ID Code § 47-704 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Illinois

225 ILCS § 725 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Indiana

Indiana Code § 32-23-8-1 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Iowa

Iowa Code § XI-458A et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Kansas

Kansas RS chapter 55, article 2 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Kentucky

KRS Chapter 353

Oil & Gas Statutes
Louisiana

LA RS Title 31, Chapter 7, et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Maine

2021 Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, Part 2, Chapter 201 -A, Subchapter 3, 12 § 549-B 

Oil & Gas Statutes
Maryland

Md. Environmental Code Ann. §14-511 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Massachusetts

2021 Mass. Code, Part II, Title I, Chapter 184a, Section 5 

Oil & Gas Statutes
Michigan

MI Code Chapter 554 Section 554.281

Oil & Gas Statutes
Minnesota

MN Stat. § 272.04 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Mississippi

MS Code Title 89, Chapter 5, Article 1, § 89-5-23

Oil & Gas Statutes
Missouri

RSMo. Title XVi Chapter § 259 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Montana

MT Code Ann. Title 77 Chapter 3 part 4 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Nebraska

NE RS Chapter 57 § 57-201 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Nevada

NRS Chapter 522 § 522.050 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
New Hampshire

NH RS Title X, § 146-A:2 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
New Jersey

New Jersey Revised Statutes, Title 46, Section 46:3:27

Oil & Gas Statutes
New Mexico

N.M. Sta. Chapter 70, article 1, Section 70-1-1

Oil & Gas Statutes
New York

2022 NY Laws, ENV – Environmental Conservation, Article 23, Title 11, § 23-1101, et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
North Carolina

NC Stat. Chapter 47E, § 47E-4.1 

Oil & Gas Statutes
North Dakota

ND Cen. Code Title 38 Chapter 38-11

Oil & Gas Statutes
Ohio

2022 Revised Code Title 15 Chapter 1509.01 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Oklahoma

OK Stat § 52-1 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Oregon

ORS § 520.005 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Pennsylvania

PA RS Title 58

Oil & Gas Statutes
Rhode Island

RI Stat. Title 37, chapter 37-7, section 37-7-9

Oil & Gas Statutes
South Carolina

SC Code § 48-43-10 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
South Dakota

SD Code § 7-31-38 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Tennessee

TN Code § 60-1-101 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Texas

Tex. Nat. Res. Code Title 3, Subtitle B, Chapter 85, Subchapter A, § 85.001

Oil & Gas Statutes
Utah

Utah Code Ann. §§ 40-6-1-19 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Vermont

29 V.S.A. § 541 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Virginia

VA Code Title 45.2 chapter 16 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Washington

WA Code § 78.52.001 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
West Virginia

WV Stat. § 22-6A-2 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Wisconsin

WI Rev. Stat. § 295.33 et seq.

Oil & Gas Statutes
Wyoming

WY Stat. § 30-5-101 et seq.

Warning

Please be aware that development of oil and gas on private land is primarily governed by state and local authorities. 

For instance, in Texas, the Railroad Commission is the state authority responsible for the regulation of oil and gas development, including qualification and registration of operators. In Oklahoma, the oil and gas regulator is the Corporation Commission, and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources fulfills the same role in Louisiana. Such state regulatory agencies are usually responsible for issuing drilling permits, registering oil and gas operators, etc. Therefore, it is recommended to review local legislation requirements before entering into oil and gas lease agreements. 

Also Read

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are oil and gas forms important?

Oil and gas fossil fuels have always played a significant role in the energy sector. The need for well-composed and legally enforceable documents has risen when multiple legal templates turned online.

A lease agreement for oil and gas is one of the initial steps between landowners and energy companies before cooperation. Based on this oil and gas lease form, lessors and lessees can create other lease-related oil & gas agreements, e.g. ratification lease, notice lease, amendment lease, etc. When this contract includes all its specific provisions which parties have discussed in detail, the chances to end up in disputes or court are lower. 

What notary acknowledgment form to put on an oil and gas lease?

The parties’ signatures should be notarized in oil and gas lease land contracts. Most US states require notarized documents for state land records.

Before you introduce your oil and gas lease to the notary, double-check your legal form and remove errors and typos if you have found any.

How long do oil and gas leases last?

Commonly, oil and gas leases have primary and secondary terms. The primary term is a permanent duration of the lease that can last from one to ten years in full. 

The secondary term is activated after the primary term expires if the parties still agree with the term clause of the oil and gas lease purchase option contract. In the case of continuing the cooperation between the parties, the secondary term expires when the sources deplete. Before enabling the secondary term, companies should pay for the lease extension.