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Oil/Gas/Oil Well Share


Hi Cliff-

My father recently passed away, and left me his oil rights. Recently I've been receiving operating statements that have been in the negative, and no royalty checks have been coming my way. A.) does this mean that the well is running dry? B.) how can I double-check for certain? I just want to make sure, that I am getting what I have coming. Thanks in Advance. Peter

It means any one of the following:

1. The well's production is down to nothing.  
2. There is mechanical failure that is requiring maintenance.
3. The production is natural gas and the well's operating expenses are eating up the revenue.

You should call the oil and gas commission of the State where the well is located and tell them the legal description of the well and ask them if the operator is reporting any production.  The operator must also tell the commission if they are reworking the well, re-completing or deepening.  Also, ask the commission if state regulations provide for an "audit privilege" for royalty owners.  If so, you may want to tell the operator that you'd like to audit their books.

If you do not already have a copy, you should call the clerk's office in the county in which the mineral interest is found and ask for a copy of the oil and gas lease.  Typically, they will charge you a nominal fee and mail the document to you.  Read the provisions and terms of the lease to determine how you are being paid your royalty.

Between the commission and the details in the lease you will have a better foundation from which to arm yourself prior to calling the oil and gas operator.


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Cliff Williams


I will try to answer any question you have. Even if I reject a question, I still will give a shot at what I would do in your position. The only questions I will not take a shot at would be a highly technical engineering or geological question. I am beginning to see quite a few questions from land men and other oil companies and that doesn't matter to me either. I will attempt to help.


I am an oil and gas attorney that has been in the business for more than 20 years. I have held a series 22 and 63 securities license, been in oil and gas operations, land man, division order analyst all prior to obtaining my law degree. Today, I typically write title opinions verifying ownership of oil and gas minerals, assist landowners in negotiations on oil, gas and mineral leases, easements and conveyances. I also assist oil and gas companies with the sale of working interest ownership as well as common business law issues.

State Bar of Texas, Member of the Tarrant County Bar and the Dallas County Bar Associations.

Multiple oil and gas topical columns on

I have a B.S. degree which I rely upon more than my Business Mgmt degree or Law degree...

Awards and Honors
Husband and father of 26 years

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