This case involves a plaintiff who allegedly had his oil and gas lease altered, resulting in loss of opportunity to negotiate a new lease at better terms. The plaintiff signed a lease that specified a short term, after which the lease was to be renegotiated. The landman for the defendant allegedly altered the lease to make it a much longer term. As a consequence of this change in terms, the plaintiffs were not able to negotiate a new lease. This allegedly prevented the property owner from taking advantage of more advantageous pricing.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please briefly describe your familiarity and experience working with oil & gas leases.
Expert Witness Response E-126929
As a Certified Minerals Manager, I have reviewed hundreds of oil & gas leases, including analysis and examination of mineral title, evaluation of lease terms and addenda, and conducting mineral management seminars to educate oil & gas owners. Through self-education and accreditation, I have honed my skillset in order to assist oil & gas owners in southwestern Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, and eastern Ohio. Reviewing facts and providing a professional opinion as to the economic loss sustained by the plaintiffs in question are deliverables part of my normal repertoire, as I am also a licensed Certified Public Accountant. Previously, I have provided expert witness testimony in civil actions, and I perform valuations of subsurface oil & gas estates for income tax planning, investment, and wealth transfer purposes. Every situation is unique and, although I am not privy to all details in connection with this case, the matter of lease “primary terms”, consideration paid by lessees, and conditions which turn the primary term into the “secondary term” and its validity with respect to the leasehold in question are common areas of complaint of oil & gas owners. It is no secret that landmen can be aggressive toward potential lessors; horror stories exist where the owners were making decisions under one set of assumptions to later find out that the signed documents did not totally reflect said assumptions.