Most individuals who own freehold mineral rights are citizens of ordinary financial means with no understanding of oil and gas law and with no training or experience in oil and gas exploration and development. Most freeholders find themselves at a tremendous disadvantage in their dealings with energy companies. For the first century of oil and gas development in Canada individual freeholders had no organization to represent their interests. The Freehold Owners Association (“FHOA”) was organized in 1999 in an attempt to level the playing field.
FHOA is a not-for-profit organization directed and managed by volunteers. Our mandate is to provide information and education to freehold owners, to research issues of concern to freeholders and to act as a common voice for the freehold owner community in bringing the legitimate concerns of the freehold owner community to the attention of the energy industry, industry regulators and the judiciary. Our principle source of funding has historically been membership fees and donations (see “Audited Financials”).
Since inception, FHOA has provided information and education to thousands of freehold owners (see “FHOA Information and Education”) and has assisted countless freeholders through our help line (see “Contact Us”).
If your mineral rights are already leased and you wonder if your energy company-lessee is complying with all of the terms and conditions in your lease agreement, join FHOA. We can provide you with technical information about the wells on and in the vicinity of your mineral rights (see “Technical Service Reports”) and help you to review your lease agreement to determine if your lessee is honouring the terms of its lease with you. If you cannot resolve any outstanding issues yourself, we can provide you with referrals to competent professionals to assist you (see “Freehold Owner Recovery Services”).
If you are approached to lease and you don’t fully understand the lease agreement which you have been offered, join FHOA. We can help you to understand the clauses in freehold leases and suggest changes to more adequately protect your valuable non renewable resources (see “About Leases”). We can also provide you with information which may assist you in determining whether the lease offer presented to you is fair (see “Technical Service Reports”, “What’s the Going Rate?”). If you want help with negotiations, we can refer you to competent professionals.
If you believe, as we do, that the lease agreements that freehold owners have historically been asked to sign are unfair, join FHOA. We have the technical and legal expertise necessary to draft freehold lease clauses that are fair to both freeholders and oil company-lessees (see “Freehold Friendly (FHOA) Lease”).
If your mineral rights are not leased and you wish to lease or sell (FHOA does not recommend that freeholders sell their mineral rights except under exceptional circumstances) we can assist you in making the industry aware of your wishes (see “Post Your Available Mineral Rights”).
If you are concerned with passing your mineral rights on to your children, FHOA can assist you in determining the best way to do so (see “Estate Planning for Freeholders”) and in determining the fair market value of your minerals as is typically required for estate plans (see “Freehold Owners Evaluation Services").
If you believe, as we do, that the regulatory and judicial processes that protect the vulnerable from exploitation by the powerful in Canadian society are not working for freehold owners, join FHOA . We have the technical expertise necessary to recognize situations in which oil company-lessees are treating freehold owner-lessors unfairly, and we can deal with the oil and gas industry and its regulators on an equal technical footing (see “The Role of Regulatory Authorities”).
FHOA also has the legal expertise necessary to recognize regulatory and judicial issues that impact freeholders. Since inception, FHOA has researched many complex technical and legal issues which impact freehold owners (see “FHOA Research”), has promoted the interests of the freehold owner community in letters (see “Correspondence”) and meetings with government and regulatory officials, and has intervened in a number of regulatory and judicial hearings (see “FHOA as your Common Voice”).
FHOA efforts are opposed by powerful vested interests who for more than half a century have ‘had their way’ with owners of freehold mineral rights in Canada. Since inception more than 4,700 individual freehold owners and family corporations representing more than 26,000 freehold owners have joined FHOA. There is strength in numbers and our modest annual membership fee is a small price to pay to help us to help you (see “Join FHOA”).