Oil/Gas/Follow up question
QUESTION: When a oil company drills for minerals, before they drill are they
required to file in the county clerks office that they are going to drill?
The reason I am asking is there are many land patents that are in my family.
I have performed a search on the County Web site but and I get "no results."
Then I go to the Oklahoma Commission Corporation's web site and check the "well drilling" records and it shows that there has been drilling on this property.
This is one of many situations that I have found. Some clerks records do show the activity's on many of the patents I found in my family but many others do not.
Since the patents state "TO HAVE AND TO HOLD that said tract of land with appurtenances thereof, unto the said, ____________and to his heirs and assigns forever", does this mean that the heirs of ______________ then will too own the land and minerals as well?
If that is correct then shouldn't the oil companies find the heirs and "ask" to sign a lease to drill before they drill?
ANSWER: Before a well is drilled, the company will attempt to obtain leases from all mineral owners within their proposed drilling and spacing unit. They must also get a drilling permit approved by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission before they can drill. The drilling permit will not be filed in the county clerk's office, but rather with the OCC.
If you have inherited mineral rights in their proposed unit, then they will either contact you to get a lease or will force-pool you into the unit if they cannot locate you. If you were force-pooled that order would be filed with the OCC as well. In most cases you are also due a bonus payment with a pooling order (much like a lease.) I would contact the operator or the company that did the forced-pooling (if applicable) and let them know you are an owner in their unit. Once you can show them that, you will be paid any monies due you.
Depending on how old these "land patents" are it's quite possible the mineral interest was sold to others over the years and thus would explain why you weren't contacted. To confirm whether this is the case or not you could check the county clerk's office records in the county where the minerals are located, which files all transactions involving mineral rights.
Hope this helps you out.
Frederick M. "Mick" Scott CMM RPL
The Mineral Hub
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks for your help. Yes these patents are the original patents issued during and after the "Land Run." I have researched these patents and the interesting concern is that my relatives did not sell the minerals. On a few they did sell the surface but not the minerals. I have literally followed the entire chain of documents and every lease you can see where my relatives were asking for a percentage of the minerals, and on a few leases they would even ask for half. These leases were with Humble (Exxon) Gypsy/Gulf, Kay County Gas, and many others. While following the records in order, you begin to see around 1960's that the leases stopped and then there is zero activity until around the late 1980's and 1990's. Then there are leases being signed and people who are not in the family are signing these leases. I have contacted a couple of the oil companies who are drilling and they tell me to get a lawyer. The amount of money that is coming out of these wells is millions. Would you be interested in looking into one of these wells? What I really want to do is sell one of these wells directly to the oil company myself since the patents are in my family. If this can be done then please explain what I need to do in order to make that happen. My mother is the only "heir" that is left alive and then me. I already have the power of attorney from my mother and I can easily prove that the patents are owned by my great grand parents..
If you'd like to send me the legal descriptions I can take a look at the wells and see what's up. You can email me directly from the Mineral Hub website's "Contact Us" page. www.mineralhub.com.
If you'd like to sell them we can help with that as well if you like.
Frederick M. "Mick" Scott CMM, RPL
The Mineral Hub