Option to Extend Primary Term in Oklahoma Oil and Gas Leases

Oklahoma Mineral Rights Owners,

One of the most common provisions an oil company landman will try to negotiate is an option for the oil company to extend the primary term of the lease. For most oil and gas leases in Oklahoma, the primary term of the lease is three years. The landman will ask for an option to extend the primary term of the lease for two years. This oil and gas lease is sometimes referred to as a 3 + 2 lease.

While a 3 + 2 oil and gas lease is more favorable to the Oklahoma mineral rights owner than a oil and gas lease with a 5 year primary term, it is still worth the mineral owner's time to try to negotiate it out of the oil and gas lease and here's why:

  • If the area turns into the next SCOOP (South Central Oklahoma Oil Province...thanks Harold Hamm...) then the bonus amounts per acre will increase substantially and the Oklahoma mineral rights owner will most likely be locked into a reduced bonus amount that was negotiated several years prior.
  • If the area turns out to be a bust (think Mississippi Lime...) then the oil company would let the option expire and if they were going to re-lease, would negotiate a lower bonus amount. This leaves the Oklahoma mineral rights owner in no better shape than if they didn't have an option.

If a landman won't strike the option, request that the option to extend be priced at 125%-150% of the current lease bonus. Most will hem and haw, but will usually concede that point.

More to follow.

BR