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Question
My wife and her brother inherited some Oklahoma minerals in 2002.  In 2008 they became aware that a well had been established on the land where they have the minerals and that it was producing gas.  Later in 2008 they found out the interest they had inherited was being held in suspense.  The land man informed them that they needed to get a court order to  determine if they were in fact the legal owners.  The landman also stated that an Affidavit of Inheritance  (AOH) would not suffice in getting the interest out of suspension.  Not knowing the amt being held in suspense they did nothing.   
   
 June 2013  I, the husband and brother-in-law, started doing some “research” into the well they had an interest in.  I determined that the monies being held in suspense were adequate to go after.   
I contacted the Senior Division Order Analyst for the O/G company that owns the well and explained their situation.   A request was made for any information that we had to help with our claim.  A request was made that I send any relevant information to them.  After reviewing the information I had sent, I was contacted by the Senior Orders Division Analyst and told that they could get the suspension listed if an AOH (which would not suffice in 2008) were filed. We are currently in the process of getting the AOH filed in the Oklahoma county courthouse where the minerals are located.   
Do you have any idea why the landman,in 2008, would have said that we needed a court order determining heirship, to get the suspended funds released  and then in 2013 the Senior Division Analyst said that an AOH would suffice  to get the funds released from suspension.  Does the  Senior Division Analyst have more authority over what is needed than the landman?
I am aware that the AOH does not guarantee a marketable title.

I also cleaned from some of the “research” that I did that the O/G company would owe us 6% interest on the monies held in suspense.  If that is indeed true, who do you contact, or how do we go about stating their case to the O/G company that they are owed the 6% interest on the monies being held in suspense?  

Is it true that 10 years after the AOH is filed, the title becomes marketable?

Thanks

Nebraskan needing help

Answer
They (the landman and the senior DOA) could both have been correct. Perhaps it was only after you sent the "relevant information" that it was decided that an AOH would suffice, whereas prior to that a court order (i.e. a probate probably) would have been required.

Interest of 6% or 12% (depends on situation) per annum is due on monies held in suspense by a company, that's true, but once they turn the money over to the Oklahoma Secretary of State's office (usually after a few years) no more interest will be due, and you can only hope that they included any interest due in what was turned over to the State. Once they turn it over to the State you'll need to contact them in order to claim the funds and find out what paperwork they'll need from you to release them. In Oklahoma that will often require a probate of the decedent's estate (if not already done in Oklahoma) in cases involving inherited mineral rights.

Yes, I believe it's true that an uncontested AOH will vest title in Oklahoma after ten years. Check with an attorney to be sure but I think that's the case.

Hope this helps you out.
Frederick M. "Mick" Scott CMM, RPL
Manager at the Mineral Hub
http://www.mineralhub.com

Oil/Gas

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Frederick M. Scott

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

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

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

Education/Credentials
Certified Mineral Manager (CMM), Registered Professional Landman (RPL)

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