McCullough Oil, Inc. v. Rezek

In McCullough Oil, Inc. v. Rezek, 176 W. Va. 638, 346 S.E.2d 788 (1986), the Court concluded that a notice and demand clause in an oil and gas lease or other mineral lease has no effect upon the habendum clause or the cessation clause of the lease. The Court indicated that the notice and demand clause relates to express and implied contractual obligations of the lessee under the lease, and relates to forfeiture of the lease for breach of those contractual obligations. It does not apply to termination by abandonment. The Court stated: The notice and demand clause does not relate to termination or expiration of the lease upon the occurrence of the estate- limiting event stated in the habendum clause or cessation of production clause. Id. at 645, 346 S.E.2d at 796. The Court also stated: Thus, the lessee (or its assignee as operator) is not entitled to notice before the lease terminates automatically under the habendum clause or the cessation of production clause of an oil and gas lease (or other mineral lease). Furthermore, once the lease automatically terminates, requiring notification of the lessee would be a superfluous act, for the lessee could not unilaterally revive the lease. Id. at 645-46, 346 S.E.2d at 796.