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Mick, I was contacted by a landman about "ratifying" an old lease in Madison County, Texas.  This gal asked for information about my great-grandfather, my grandfather and his siblings, my father and his siblings, etc.  She said she needed all of the family heirs to "ratify" some old leases from 1945.  Does this seem reasonable?  I am not aware of anyone in my family owning any land in Madison Co.  Can we have valid O&G leases without owning the land?  If so, would they still be valid from 1945?  I plan to drive to Madisonville to visit the county courthouse next week to research these leases, but I'm curious how realistic this sounds to you.  Thanks, Brian

Madison County may have their records available online, but likely not back to 1945. Sounds like your grandfather signed a lease way back then that still may be producing. I'd ask to see a copy of the lease they're asking you to ratify (approve) before agreeing to do so. Might show it to an oil and gas attorney as well. The old lease would only be valid (and therefore need to be ratified) if there has been continuous production from the leased premises since it was signed by your grandfather.

One thing to watch out for is if the lease stopped producing long ago, or even just a few years ago, and by ratifying it you are "reviving" it, where without such a ratification you would have been able to negotiate a new lease and perhaps get a bonus payment or better royalty. That's why I'd suggest asking WHY they need your ratification and also ask to see a copy of said lease AND ask them about any planned drilling, current production, or previous production from the premises BEFORE agreeing to ratify.

If you have further questions you can do a follow up here or contact me at the Mineral Hub (below.)

Hope this helps you out.
Frederick M. "Mick" Scott CMM, RPL
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Frederick M. Scott


Oil and gas leasing, lease negotiations, how to best deal with the oil and gas companies or their representatives, buying/selling mineral rights, forced-pooling, correlative rights, deeds and conveyances, and "post-production" costs. I am most experienced with Oklahoma properties and laws, but am able to answer questions concerning other oil and gas producing states in many cases.


I am a Certified Professional Mineral Manager (CMM) certified by the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) in Tulsa, OK. I am also a Registered Professional Landman (RPL) with the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL). I have managed my family's oil and gas properties in Oklahoma for over 10 years and have dealt with many landmen, title analysts, attorneys and other oil and gas professionals in the process. I have written several articles which have appeared in various oil and gas industry magazines and newsletters. I have negotiated and drafted leases, prepared deeds, affidavits, and other legal instruments relating to my own minerals, as well as performed title, legal research, and curative work for same. I have acquired a good deal of knowledge on the subjects of oil and gas law, mineral appraisal, and landwork over the past ten years, and also worked as a professional landman and lease buyer for a time. I've seen the business from "both sides" and therefore feel confident I can help out most of the folks who ask questions in this forum.

National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO); American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL)

National Association of Royalty Owners "Action Report" (ROAR); NADOA Magazine, The Mineral Hub, Landman Magazine, and several royalty owner association group's newsletters.

Certified Mineral Manager (CMM), Registered Professional Landman (RPL)

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