You are here:

Oil/Gas/Interpreting deed languge transferring O&G interests


As an heir to an estate having multiple O&G interests, I am trying to interpret the deed which transferred the right to the mineral interests so that I can ensure proper bonus and royalty payment from the various companies with producing wells.

I believe I have the math right on calculating the Net Royalty Interest (NRI = mineral acres/unit acres X royalty interest) but what I am struggling with is determining the "mineral acres" variable based on the language in the deed which is presented two ways.

1st Example:
An undivided 1/160th interest of the NW/4 of 23-14N-5E.

I believe this transfer means I have an interest in 1 mineral acre (1/160 X 160 acres in a quarter of a section = 1 acre)  Is this the correct math for this language?

2nd Example(the more confusing):
An undivided .175 acre interest in the SE/4 of 23-14N-5E.

I am not sure if this means the interest I own is literally .175 of an acre or if my interest is 28 acres (.175 x 160 acres in a quarter of a section).

3rd Example:
An undivided .166666 acre interest in the E/2 of NE/4 of 35-15N-5E.

Similar to example 2, do I literally own an interests of .166666 of an acre situated in the E/2 of NE/4 or do I own 13.33328 mineral acres (.166666 X (160 acres in a quarter of a section / 2)) or .16666 x 80 acres(half of a quarter section).

Your help and insight is appreciated.


On the first example, you are correct you have "one undivided net mineral acre" in the NW/4.

On the second example, you have .175 (or almost nothing) in this quarter section.  The language would have to read "17.5% of the section" rather than ".175 of an acre".  You should look at this language again and see if that is is an uncommonly small interest.

On the third example, it is the same as #2.  The language is specific in that it is .166666 acre interest rather than .166666 of the 1/2 quarter section.

If you do not have the original deeds going into the person from whom you inherited you may need to obtain those and see what interest they actually had before they conveyed to you.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.