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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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My grandfather lease a section of land (640 acres) in Crosby

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My grandfather lease a section of land (640 acres) in Crosby County Texas in 1969 to Gulf Oil for 10 years. In the late 70's they started producing oil wells and currently there are 16 producing oil wells on this section. They are producing from the clearfork formation (approx. 4,400 ft.) Our family has had calls from 3 different companies wanting to lease this section from 5,000 ft and below. I can not find anything in the lease written in 1969 that puts a maximum depth that Gulf Oil could only drill to. Is this legal for another company to come and lease below 5,000 ft.

Alan L. James [email protected]
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

Generally speaking, if the lease does not specifically state that the lessee is limited in the depth, then that lessee has the right to drill to any depth. Accordingly, it would be a breach of the lease to also lease the same land to another lessee for the purpose of drilling at a different depth. It would infringe upon the original lessee's rights. Of course, you should have a lawyer review the lease in question to be sure that the lease does not somehow limit what the lessee can do.

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