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Oil/Gas/Royalty Payments in Suspense


I am a mineral owner of fractional shares in a tract that is 320 acres in a pool of 1280 in Mountrail County North Dakota.  The oil company is Hess.  Hess Corp hired a landsman company to produce cross-convenience paper work that was based on information provided by Hess as to the mineral interest ownership of my family members  This information was incorrect and I in turned worked with the hired landsman company and provided them the correct information.  During this time all mineral owners in the pool received a letter from Hess Corp that all owners have been put in suspense.  This letter was dated in May 2014.  I then called the landsman company I ask them why my family's tract would be in suspense if we provided all appropriate information.  The landsman then called Hess and asked why our track was in suspense.  Hess replies that our tract had no problems and we should receive payment in 60 days.  The 60 days have come and gone my family still has not received our royalty payment.  Called Hess and asked what the status is and all we get is that we are in suspense.  I have asked for a copy of the title opinion showing why we are in suspense but Hess we not release that information.
What recourse do I have as I do not have any information as to what the ownership interest problems are.  How long can Hess keep all mineral owners in suspense?

You should contact Hess Corporation directly. Try 713-496-7968, to talk to a Division Order Analyst who can either help you or direct you to the Analyst who handles Mountrail County wells for the company.

When you talk to the Division Order Analyst, tell them that you have not been paid any revenues AND you have not received a Division Order covering your interest in the well (give them the well name so they can look it up in their database system) and you are requesting that one be mailed to you immediately so you can sign and return it along with a W-9 or other documentation they require per their business rules before they can release your money.

If you are told that there is a "title requirement" outstanding and they cannot issue a division order to you at this time, you are allowed to demand that they provide to you, in writing, the full and specific title requirement set out by the title attorney in his or her Title Opinion where your title requirement is stated.  If you only get voicemails and no call backs, or encounter other problems, send a certified letter containing these demands and address it to:  Hess Corporation, Attn: Division Order Supervisor, 1501 McKinney, Houston, Texas 77010.  Be sure to include your phone number and return address clearly in the contents of the letter.  Give them 30 days to respond, then contact an attorney.

Best of luck. Hopefully, this will get results quickly.


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Marsha Breazeale, M.Ed., CDOA, CPLTA


All questions regarding division orders; ownership decimal calculations; title ownership and payer record changes (testate/intestate inheritance; deed; assignment; court order); oil and gas lease analysis for record-keeping and purposes of payment by operator or payer; pooling, horizontal wells, horizontal well allocation units; unclaimed property reporting; royalty owner relations questions. All questions concerning administration of surface land contracts and payment questions, such as for Surface Right-of-Way, Sub-Surface Right-of-Way, Easement, Surface Use Agreement. All questions regarding industry-standard and company-specific policies that affect land owners.


Sr. Staff Division Order Analyst. Certified Division Order Analyst (CDOA, National Association of Division Order Analysts) and Certified Lease Analyst (CPLTA, National Association of Professional Lease and Title Analysts) with 35 years of experience as a combination division order analyst and lease analyst in exploration and production in the oil and gas industry.

National Assoc. of Division Order Analysts (NADOA), National Association of Division Order Analysts (NALTA), American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), American Society of Trainers and Developers (ASTD)

"How an Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Company Operates" and "Principles of Oil & Gas Lease Analysis: Standard Clauses", Oil Patch Press; Articles in NADOA Magazine; LandFocus EDU Professional Training Manuals

Education/Credentials Management from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio; M.Ed. in Instructional Design from WGU Texas.

Past/Present Clients
Past 15 years: GeoSouthern Energy Corporation; Contango Oil Co./Crimson Exploration & Operating Inc.; Apache Corporation; BP America; Marathon Oil; Newfield Exploration

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