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Oil/Gas/Can I quit claim a natural gas lease?


Several years ago I and various family members inherited a portion of the mineral rights on some Oklahoma property.  None of us lived in Oklahoma when we inherited.  After distribution of the estate all of us subsequently agreed to a natural gas lease with Chesapeake.  The royalties are very small on my small portion.  And, I still live in Colorado.  My heirs live in Colorado and Missouri.   My question is, can I quit claim my ownership of the mineral rights and lease over to both of them, or at least one of them, prior to my death?  I know I could quit claim ownership of out of state land, but I'm uncertain about whether mineral rights and leases are different.  I was the Executor who had to sort through settling the distribution of the out of state mineral rights that led to the lease and I hope to avoid leaving my kids with the same mess.
Thank you for any direction or help you can give me.

You could quit-claim your ROYALTY rights, and still keep the mineral rights, which would in effect give the grantee the right to receive all (or a portion you elect) any future royalty payments attributable to the minerals beginning on the date you conveyed them. I suppose you could limit the conveyance to royalties derived from the current lease, though that's not often done.

If you simply want to quit-claim the mineral rights, then your rights under the current lease (and any future leases) would go with that so there's really no separate "lease conveyance" needed in that case. The new owners would then be subject to the current lease, even though they didn't sign it.

You could also convey the minerals  but retain a "life estate" in them, meaning that until your death you'd enjoy all the benefits of ownership (including royalty and bonus payments) but upon your death all the rights (including those you leased) would automatically go to them. This is a nice way to keep the minerals out of probate.

Hope this helps you out.
Frederick M. "Mick" Scott CMM RPL
The Mineral Hub  


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Frederick M. Scott


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.


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.

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

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

Certified Mineral Manager (CMM), Registered Professional Landman (RPL)

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