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How do you prove that your land is being tracked and have not given anyone permission or signed any contracts.


You would have to take your suspicions to the Texas Railroad Commission in Austin.  The driller has to file papers with them.  They should have the lease maps and the drillers plans.

It is possible that the driller may have drilled under your property.

There is a provision in common law about resources that was extended to energy law.  The idea is whoever makes the best used of something, whether it is land or resources, should be granted ownership of it.

This explains the old photos of drilling rigs setting one next to the other.  It was called "right to capture."  What it meant is if I drilled a well near my property line and happened to be draining the oil out from under your property, the only way you could stop me was to drill your own well.  However, I could not drill a directional well UNDER your property.

Fracking involves drilling directional wells horizontally so it could be that such a well could have been drilled under your property without you knowing it.

The fracking is selective cracking of the rock in which the oil resides in order that it can flow out into the well bore.  This usually takes place miles below the surface and has no discernable impact on aquifers or the surface.

If you concern is that you might be losing out on royalties, you need to first own the mineral rights to the property.  If you don't if the previous owner kept the mineral rights, which are divisible from the surface rights, then you have no recourse.

You need to look at the original deed to the property and see if the deed includes the mineral rights.  If it does not you are out of luck.

PS I am a Texas State Registered Geologist #5483 and did a bit of law school too.


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Keith Patton


I can answer questions concerning physical and historical geology, environmental geology/hydrology, environmental consulting, remote sensing/aerial photo interpretation, G&G computer applications, petroleum exploration, drilling, geochemistry, geochemical and microbiological prospecting, 3D reservoir modeling, computer mapping and drilling.I am not a geophysicist.


I have 24 years experience split between the petroleum and environmental industries. I have served as an expert witness in remote sensing, developmental geologist, exploration geologist, enviromental project manager, and subject matter expert in geology and geophysical software development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Photogrammetrists and Remote Sensing

Bachelor and Master of Science
Registered Geologist in State of Texas

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