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Question
I received division order papers for a North Dakota well I disagree on the decimal interest. Is their a statue of limitations for me in order to take it to court or solve it some other way?

thank you

Answer
Civil court generally is always available to settle disputes when all other means fail.  But I suspect you are a long way off from that, just yet.  As for a statute of limitations, it depends on the root of the problem (is it a mathematical error, or misinterpretation of record title documents, or title defect you don't know about?) so only an attorney can advise you on that.

But before you visit with an attorney--

Have you asked for the company who prepared the division order to give you a written statement of the mathematical formula they used to arrive at the decimal on the division order?  The division order analyst who prepared the division order should be able to give you that.

Have you provided them with a written statement of the mathematical formula that you used to arrive at what you believe the correct decimal should be?

When the answer to both of these questions is "yes" and you still have not resolved the problem, you can:

Ask for a telephone conference with the division order analyst's supervisor and explain why your calculation is correct and the company calculation is wrong. You can ask to be provided a copy of every document that proves that they are using what they believe are correct numbers. These documents can include a copy of the Declaration of Unit, copies of only those pages in any title opinion setting out your ownership in acreage contributing to the well, and copy of the lease (or memorandum of lease) from which your interest is derived.  They should not have a company policy against providing copies of documents already available to the public, but a copy of pages from title opinions might be a little harder, and might require going "up the chain of command" to get.

If the Division Order Supervisor can't or doesn't help you, ask for a telephone conference with the Land Manager.

If the Land Manager can't/doesn't help, ask for a telephone conference with the Vice President of Land.

You can also contact the National Association of Royalty Owners (they have a website) and ask how you can get assistance without incurring the expense of an attorney.

Good luck, and let me know if I can provide any additional information.

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Marsha Breazeale, M.Ed., CDOA, CPLTA

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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)

Publications
"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
B.A.in 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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