Ok, folks I am fighting to keep minerals on a piece of property. Scenaria: Purchased it in 2008 and had mineral title & reg. title done & it was clear. Got ready to lease for big bucks only to have the gas co. say that the land was held by a lease several miles away. Yes, one of those old leases where a huge land owner put all land together without a pugh clause. There was a crummy well producing on the section several miles away and that held this section. NO WELL DRILLED IN THIS SECTION SINCE 1993. That nat gas co. said we had 50% minerals and bound by old lease. Went to another group of attorneys who said yes, you have 50% & bound by old lease. Spring forward. Well is drilled & producing. We don't get check. Talk to div. order specialist who says we don't have minerals AT ALL. He says an owner in early 80s reserved minerals. That is correct BUT when she reserved minerals in 1980 in our section, didn't her prescription run out in 1990. The well drilled in this section was in 1993. In my opinion HER mineral reservation would not be protected by the original lease covering all the sections.
One other added info, the well drilled in 1993 played out in 1995, and our mineral title says minerals prescribed in 2005
A good faith effort to produce even if it is a dry hole resets the 10 year prescription clock so it's not just "production" that you are looking for. Did those performing the mineral title due diligence go down to the LOC District 6 office and search the paper well files?
You say the well is "several miles" but just curious, was the original reservation contiguous, creating one single large servitude?
yes 1200 acres
I'm interested in understanding this, especially since you had an opinion that cleared it for you. I would agree with everything DNici said, except to add that I would request the operator to provide you with their opinion on the subject tract so you could compare how each addresses the servitude and the activities that may or may not have held it. Didn't the opinion that cleared it cite that it was already under the older lease before you attempted to lease in 2008?
I wouldn't get caught up in the lease vs. the servitude since it may turn out to be separate issues. I would just address the servitude issue first to confirm its lifespan since that is what the operator is citing as the core problem.
no other efforts were done in the section where we own property. In the adjacent area the well that holds all 1200 ac. is producing a tiny amt. That holds all 1200 ac. at 50%. The other 50% minerals went with the sale of the section where we own land. In 1981 an investor bought the land we own and reserved minerals when she sold in 1983. A well was drill in this section in 1993 and was plugged 1995. No other attemps to drill in our section
Suggest you go back to 2008 Mineral title and Regular Title opinion giver. Have them clear title or you have recourse against them for faulty work.
Would need to read original lease to advise further.
Is this LA or TX?
Was any of this land unitized under the producing well or any other unitization?
Here is some info regarding prescription of mineral servitude that I found earlier on this site..
Read through to part 2 and the comments have a nice drawing as an example that I think pertains to your situation. Although not the result you want.
Thanks to all. This servitude business gets really confusing. By the way, those of us held by the servitude because of tiny production in well 2 sections over have NEVER received a penny from that well. How can a well that "holds" you not PAY you. It is only paying people in the section in which it was drilled
Research the paper reports in the well file at the LA. Office of Conservation and make copies for 25 cents each. Then print out the SONRIS Lite well file production history and take it all to an experienced O&G attorney. One that the industry knows can and will suit if it comes to that. Get an opinion and, if appropriate, an estimation of legal costs to address the situation. The circumstances sound very similar to Kassi's Rambin Farms Group. They have been in litigation for three years now. However their attorney did get the members of Kassi's group who were not in the Rambin Farms cohort a very nice settlement about a year ago if memory serves. Old mineral sevitudes can be quite complicated far beyond the perception of a layman.