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Oil/Gas/inherited royalties


Marsha, thank you so much for your help with this complicated issue.  

The main reason I think there are interests that are missing is that as recently as 2011, royalties owed to my uncle’s mother were escheated to the state of Texas where she had lived.  Royalties in her name have also been escheated to the state of Oklahoma where the mineral interests are located.  She died in 1968, (I had the year wrong in my earlier notes) so these interests should no longer be in her name.  All of the descriptions on the documents I have refer to either the NE/4 or the NW/4 of the SW/4.  The one exception is the division order in her name.  On that one, the description is SE/4 of the SW/4.  Would this be a different area?  A letter from an attorney to my uncle in 1969 informs him that his sisters decided to deed the royalty interest in the Oklahoma land to him.  I have assumed it meant all her interests; if his sisters had retained any, royalties would have continued to go to them.   Whether these royalties are part of my uncle’s estate or belong to his sisters, they should be retrieved from the state treasuries where they are being held.  What is the best way to begin this process?

Based on the additional information you have provided, I strongly recommend that you hire an independent landman to run title for you.  Even though records in this Oklahoma county are available online, there is no guarantee that all of the documents necessary to run title correctly for your uncle's mother's interest that are filed of record have been copied into the online database.  The best thing to do is to send an email to the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) and ask for the names of several independent landmen who live in or near this Oklahoma county, then contact each of them to learn rates, etc.  The website for AAPL is and the organization's email address is

This issue is very complicated according to your facts.  Hiring an attorney at this point will be much, much more expensive than hiring an independent landman to "run tile" from your uncle's mother's name wherever it appears in the public records, forward to the current, named owner of record, AND to find out what valid leases are covering which parcels, and what companies own those leases today.  The independent landman you hire should be well experienced in this type of task--at least 5 years of experience working Oklahoma properties.  Going to this expense will finally find all of the parcels of land in this county that your uncle's mother owned at any given time, and explain exactly what happened to each one.

Be sure to file a claim with Texas and with Oklahoma to get the unclaimed production revenues they are holding.  Be prepared to provide them with the legal documents proving that you are entitled to at least part of the money.  Your claim automatically will be sent to companies continuing to escheat money in your uncle's mother's name, so they will stop escheating and open a dialogue with you to get their records updated.

Please let me know if I can help you further with this in any way.  Good luck.


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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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