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Oil/Gas/Guadalupe County, N.M.


My family owns mineral rights reserved from the 1955 sale of a large ranch in Guadalupe County, New Mexico, about 15 miles southeast of Vaughn.  A Mineral Search was done in 1982 by Territorial Abstract & Title Co. and an agent in Roswell, N.M. said we had a good chance of getting an Oil & Gas lease, but that did not happen.  However, they did lease an adjacent ranch.  Are these mineral rights worth anything?

If the ranch next door ever had any production then they may be worth something.

What we need is a crystal ball to see what we have down below the earth.  30 years ago there was no way to know that the current shale gas would be available.  Because no one knew that shale production would be prolific everyone sold their mineral interests and now wish they had kept them.

Now on to the topic of valuation - Even if you are ready to sell them there may not be a substantial market for the minerals.  Buyers of mineral interests will look to see how likely it is that there will be some money made by the buyer on the transaction.  If there is not likely to be anything of value down there then the price paid by a buyer will be very may be just giving them away.

Here is my rule of thumb - if you have some other investment vehicle that will pay you more than the mineral that you can invest in now then sell the minerals but if they aren't costing you anything and you don't have anything better to put the money into then keep the mineral interest.



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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...

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