Oil & Gas / Mineral Searches
We know that it can be difficult determining who owns the Oil, Gas and Mineral rights to a property. Whether you are the owner of a property who has been approached about leasing or selling your mineral rights, a buyer wanting to make sure you receive all the interests in the property you are buying or an Attorney or Real Estate Professional making sure your clients have the best possible information before making an important decision, we can help. Be sure to consult our experts to help you complete all your real estate transactions.
Questions Regarding Oil & Gas / Mineral Rights
By searching the chain of title for owners of the property we can determine if the mineral rights were ever reserved of if they passed to the current surface owner.
A thorough search of the public records will let us determine whether the property has ever been leased and whether or not those leases are currently in effect.
If our search determines that there is a lease on the property there are several courses of action to take.
1. Find out if the lease is still active either by the primary term of the lease or by production.
If the lease is active try to contact the leasing company to find out what they are doing with it.
2. If there is a lease showing on the property but it is expired or inactive the customer will need to work with an Attorney to try to get the rights of the leaseholder released.
If there is an active lease on the property the customer can contact the leasing company to get a change in ownership form to get the royalty payments transferred into their names.
Marketable Title vs. Oil & Gas/ Mineral Report
|Marketable Title||Oil & Gas/ Mineral Report|
|Time frame of search||42 Years||100+ Years|
|Are Leases Shown?||Yes||Yes|
|Are Marginal Notations on the Leases Shown?||Not Usually The Commitment excludes any examination of marginal notations or cross references.||Yes|
|Are Mineral severances shown||Yes||Yes|
|Are they researched to find out who currently owns them||No||Yes|
Depending on the property the time frames to perform each exam can differ greatly. If it would normally take half a day to perform a marketable title exam (42 year search) it may take several days to perform a 100+ year mineral exam. The longer the time frame of the exam the more issues arise that need to be noted in the title report. Another factor that adds to the time in examining mineral interests is expanding the scope of the search not just regarding the time frame but also the cross references and marginal notations of leases and severed mineral rights. Each lease that is found needs to be treated like its own chain of title, the same is true for severed mineral rights. When a marketable title search is complete there is usually one chain of title for the owners of the property and a list of all the encumbrances each owner attached to the property. When a mineral report is complete there can be many different chains for each lease or severed mineral interest and dozens of items that affect those interests.