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Energy Industry (Oil & Gas)/Partition of Mineral Classified Land

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Question
Is it legal to partition mineral classified land already in production in Texas?
Because of the uniqueness of the Relinquishment Act and the rights it gives to surface owners,
wouldn't a partition be unfair for multiple owners if there is future drilling, limiting their mineral interests to only the newly partitioned land?

Answer
Hello Julie.  Yes, the surface of Relinquishment Act Land in Texas can be partitioned.  Co-Tenants have an absolute right of partition even though they may be the State's agents for leasing purposes.  Whether the land can be partitioned in such a manner that the partition is fair to all involved is a question that the court would have to address.  If the land cannot be equitably apportioned the court can order that the land be sold, which I have seen happen in a partition involving Relinquishment Act lands.  

Good luck Julie and let me know if you have any other questions.  

Energy Industry (Oil & Gas)

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David B. McCall

Expertise

Questions regarding oil and gas exploration and production, the operation and management of oil and gas producing properties, and questions related to mineral ownership, title problems, and oil and gas leases.

Experience

I am Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law in the state of Texas. I have more than 37 years of experience in the industry as both an in house attorney for major oil companies and as a partner in oil and gas firms. I am also a mineral owner and receive royalties from oil and gas production. I have extensive title examination experience, and have represented clients in many administrative and court proceedings.

Organizations
State Bar of Texas, Texas Bar Foundation, and Austin Bar Foundation.

Publications
Various state bar seminars on Oil and Gas matters.

Education/Credentials
I have a business degree in marketing from McMurry University, 1971, and a JD degree from Texas Tech University in 1974, where I graduated 17th in my class. Board Certified in Oil, Gas and Mineral Law in 1986.

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