I don't know of any advantage to a mineral owner who signs 5-year over a 3-year lease unless you get a HUGE lease bonus... enough to pay the money you lost if the oil/gas company never drills. The property was effectively off the market for three or five years. It gives the O/G company a lot of time to drill.
I know of one NG company that is good at leasing a bunch of acres for little bonus and never drilling. And then assigns the property to various companies (for $$$ i'm sure-mineral owner gets squat) before the lease runs out. Your only hope is to get leased by an honest company and your property gets developed properly.
In my opinion a five year lease only benefits the company unless as JHH says the mineral owner gets a very large bonus. The problem is I don't know of any companies that will willingly sign a 3 year lease unless they have immediate drilling plans.
To give you an example: My family was under lease to Amoco on a five year lease and we were contacted by CHK at the beginning of the fourth year to lease for Austin Chalk. Amoco held our lease for the remaining 2 years with no plans to drill and killed our chances of getting a well. Things move quickly in this business and my feeling is the shorter the lease the better. If I could get a 6 month drill-or-drop lease I would go in that direction with a company that knows how to develop and produce the Austin Chalk and TMS. Just my thoughts.
The company gave its explanation. The intent of my post is to solicit unbiased information from Shalers who have insight into lease terms, either through their profession, personal experience, or both.