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QUESTION: Mr Williams
In The State Of Oklahoma, IN The Case Where The Government Takes ( Purchases ) The Land ( i/e ) Building A Lake Or Similar, Whc7gat Happens TO The Ownership Of The Mineral Rights??


The only exact answer to this is to read the document.  Each one is a little different...some are called easements - such as instances where the taking is for a roadway, or they can be fee conveyances where the State (or Fed) obtains minerals as well.

In Texas, there is case law that indicates that the state can only take what they need for the explicit purpose to support the taking, i.e., the road taking would not require the minerals transfer to the state.  A lake could be different, if the agency taking the property can prove that the minerals could not be extracted without damaging the lake or other underlying need for the taking.

Take a close read of the exact document that you are referring to and determine whether the taking is an easement, right-of-way, or a fee taking where they get all ownership within the property described.

Sorry I could not provide a definitive answer on this one.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: In This Case ( A Lake ) I Guess They Would Take The Minerals, But If They Do Are They Required To Purchase Them??

It's not necessarily a foregone conclusion that they will take the minerals.  You should have a voice and any eminent domain case would entitle you as the property owner to be compensated at "fair market value" for the taking.

I'd tell them that they would need to compensate you separately for the mineral estate if they are going to take fact, I would tell them in the first pass that they need only the surface estate and that you are going to keep the mineral estate.  You pushing back on them and telling them that you want to be compensated for each estate (surface and mineral) independently will likely cause them to up the payment or only take the surface estate.  


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Cliff Williams


I will try to answer any question you have. Even if I reject a question, I still will give a shot at what I would do in your position. The only questions I will not take a shot at would be a highly technical engineering or geological question. I am beginning to see quite a few questions from land men and other oil companies and that doesn't matter to me either. I will attempt to help.


I am an oil and gas attorney that has been in the business for more than 20 years. I have held a series 22 and 63 securities license, been in oil and gas operations, land man, division order analyst all prior to obtaining my law degree. Today, I typically write title opinions verifying ownership of oil and gas minerals, assist landowners in negotiations on oil, gas and mineral leases, easements and conveyances. I also assist oil and gas companies with the sale of working interest ownership as well as common business law issues.

State Bar of Texas, Member of the Tarrant County Bar and the Dallas County Bar Associations.

Multiple oil and gas topical columns on

I have a B.S. degree which I rely upon more than my Business Mgmt degree or Law degree...

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