As a Texas oil and gas attorney representing clients from all over the country with oil and gas leases in Texas, I am continually amazed at how many people sign an oil and gas lease without reading it!
My flight instructor used to have a rule he would use when I was doing something bad while I had the plane and he wanted me to stop it immediately because I was getting ready to kill both of us. He called it “Rule 13” and it meant “Whatever you are doing, stop it!” To all of you folks out there who sign a lease without reading it, or who read a lease and don’t understand it or who don’t understand the legal ramifications of what you are signing, I would say: “Rule 13…Don’t do that!”. In most cases, I can negotiate with the oil company to make changes that will make the lease much more fair and much more favorable to you. In almost every lease I have negotiated, the oil company has accepted most, if not all, of these changes. For most leases, I charge a very modest set fee. Many of my clients find that the increase in their bonus or royalty check more than pays for my legal service. An oil and gas lease is a serious legal contract that is going to control your land, in many cases, for many years to come. So please seek legal advice before you sign that lease!