Memorial Day

On Memorial Day, here in the good old USA, we honor and salute those who died while serving in the US Military. It originated as Decoration Day to salute those who died during the Civil War and, of course, included both Union and Confederate troops, because both sides were Americans (in spite of what the Yankees think). For the record (and to clarify things for Mr. Obama) it is on Veterans Day that we salute all who have served in the military; Memorial Day is for those fallen in battle. Several years ago, on Memorial Day I found myself working in Iowa, USA and driving through the hamlet of DeWitt. I passed an American Legion-manned hot dog and bratwurst stand with dozens of folks partaking. I made a U-turn... read more

The Art of the Deal: Shhhh! (Negotiate by Listening), Part 2

That is, how do we negotiate by listening, or exactly how do we listen? Your first reaction is more than likely "I already listen, of course I do." Odds are, you probably don't. Like most negotiators you think if you talk enough they will be convinced of both your savoir faire and your position and sign on the line. Listening is a multistep process. Of course first we have to stop talking; then we must actually listen to what the other person is saying; then, we must digest what they have said and be sensitive to it; and, ultimately respond to them in a positive way. read more

The Good Side of the Oil Business

This is not to imply that there is a bad side of the oil business as many people would insist. This is merely to talk about the good side or a couple of good sides that I have seen in my 40 years of chasing, catching and producing oil. We don’t take anything from anybody. We go out to the rancher, farmer, doctor, lawyer or Indian chief and pay money for a lease. In the last ten years, the money we pay for an oil and gas lease exceeds by magnitudes the value of the surface of the land and by many magnitudes the amount paid for the surface and the minerals. In many, many, many cases we make people rich, we change lives. Then we go drill wells and make them richer. read more

The Art of the Deal: Shhhh! (Negotiate by Listening)

Generally, we talk too much. And even when we don’t talk too much, we want to, we just can’t get the other guy to shut up. We do this because as professional public relations specialists/people handlers/negotiators we believe that if we can get somebody to listen to us for long enough, we can talk them in to anything. But, it just ain’t so, Joe. read more

Landman/Notary Conflict

Is it proper for the field landman to act as a notary and notarize a lease (after he has just negotiated the terms, drafted the document and had the lessor sign the lease)? Assuming, of course, it is being taken for a third party and the landman is not a party to the...

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Curative by Affidavit: Beware

In spite of all kinds of modernization (from manual Royal typewriter with carbon paper to magic laptops that kick out leases and online title searches) some things haven’t changed when we set out to cure title. Let’s play a quick word game. Say the first word that...

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The Recording Statutes (Part One of Four)

In highly competitive leasing situation there is a possibility that Company A and Company B each acquires a lease from the same mineral owner for the same piece of ground. In that instance, whose lease is good? Which lease will survive a legal battle? We record leases...

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