Eagle Ford Shale Landowners Can Take Steps to Protect Themselves
A recent advisory piece in the San Antonio Express-News, written by a couple of lawyers with an oil-and-gas practice similar to ours at The Law Offices of Tyler & Peery, is essentially spot-on.
The piece explains in plain English what you should do, as an Eagle Ford Shale landowner, to protect yourself when negotiating with an oil and gas company for the mineral rights to drill on your land.
One item the piece does not mention, however, is this:
- Get the right people involved as early on in the process as possible.
Obviously, this is a self-serving piece of advice, as the "right person" most often is a lawyer who has experience drafting and negotiating oil leases and other types of contracts involving mineral rights.
But, self-serving or not, the involvement of an attorney from the very beginning can help to avoid problems with oil lease disputes down the road.
Yes, involving a lawyer will cost money, but it's a paltry sum compared to what could happen (and the amount of money you could save) if your land on the Eagle Ford Shale turns out to be productive.
Oil and gas companies want to protect their own financial interests, not yours. While all parties generally want to get the deal done to get at the oil and natural gas on your land, there are common sense ways to structure the deal that will help to protect the landowner, which includes getting important details in writing.