We had a lease put together in 2007-2008 on 40 acres, which was held
by Maximus until 2014, when they sold to Red Wolf. I was inquiring about
the current status of the lease, and Red Wolf rep's informed me that our
interests were forfeited by prescription in the 1930s. We had been paid
royalties by Maximus; Key Exploration had originally leased the minerals.
Sounds kind of unusual to me that Key and Maximus both entered and sold
leases, and appeared satisfied with any title work they had done. Red Wolf
stated minerals could not be re-claimed once prescribed. Minerals located
Lot6, in fractional Section 14, T-11N, R-16 W. Any comments or suggestions
always appreciated, looking for any recourse if circumstances justify. P.S.
the well associated with Maximus was the OE Price.
Insufficient information to comment. To run the mineral title would require names of owners and conveyance records of ownership from one owner to the next. If you own 100% of the 40 acres it may be worth the cost to have a professional review the chain of title. The most straight forward, and lowest cost, means to do this would be to ask Red Wolf to share a copy of their chain of title abstract with their explanation of when the minerals would have prescribed.
In LA when minerals are sold, a mineral servitude is created with a prescriptive life of ten years unless interrupted. A servitude is interrupted by a good faith attempt to establish production. If the attempt fails, the ten year clock begins again from day one. If the attempt is successful, the prescriptive period is suspended as long as production continues and the ten year clock begins at day one when production ceases. When a mineral servitude prescribes, the ownership of the minerals becomes vested in the owner of the surface. This is an over simplification of what can be a somewhat complex question.
Thanks for your explanation of the prescriptive process. The more I try to understand
this process the more confusing it seems to become. Was the prescriptive, 10 year use rule,
always in effect regarding Louisiana mineral codes, or, did this law come into effect later?
It sounds as if Red Wolf is interpreting the interruption of production differently than the
other two O&G companies did, I wonder if they are paying royalties to the surface owner
based upon their claim that our interests prescribed in the 1930s. I will attempt to get information
on their title report, if they will provide. Again, thanks a lot, seems like I learn something new
about the oil business all the time, not always to my liking.
You're welcome, good luck.