The publicity attendant upon the "energy crisis" confronting the United States and increasing prices for oil and gas have induced growing percentages of landowners or mineral interest owners' and oil and gas operators negotiating oil and gas leasing transactions to seek legal counsel at some point in their negotiations. An oil and gas operator usually consults either staff legal counsel or a law firm which represents other oil and gas operators, so that as a general rule operators are served by legal counsel who are familiar with the problems involved in leasing transactions and with the particular characteristics of their client's business. In contrast, a landowner is likely to seek advice from his family attorney or from a lawyer whose office happens to be convenient to him. Frequently, those private practitioners are inexperienced in oil and gas law and in the practicalities of oil and gas operations, with the result that they may have difficulty in advising their clients as to what ought and ought not to be included in an oil and gas lease.
This article is directed to the particular problems of counseling landowners or mineral interest owners in oil and gas leasing transactions. It is not intended to be an exhaustive analysis of either oil and gas law or oil and gas leases, but rather it seeks to identify those matters likely to be of importance to landowners and to suggest measures which may protect those interests. Particular attention is given to those aspects of oil and gas law which may be troublesome to counsel for a landowner, either because his experience and instinct are likely to be misleading in handling them, or because they are unique to oil and gas law.
Oklahoma Law Review
John S. Lowe, Representing the Landowner in Oil and Gas Leasing Transactions, 31 Okla. L. Rev. 257 (1978).