Last year I purchased a 5 acre tract in Caddo Parish T15n R16W section 28. I received the mineral rights with this purchase. The property was leased in 2008 by the previous owners who never received any royalties. I have discovered an error in the lease. The tract is located in section 28, however the lease description states section 29. Section 28 has an early Haynesville well, but section 29 was never drilled.
Chesapeake is the operator in section 28 and I have sent them royalty demand, notice of the lease discrepancy and provided subdivision maps From the Caddo conveyance records with section lines clearly indicated. I also included a statement from a surveying company stating the tract is in section 28. Chesapeake has indicated the title discrepancy must be fixed prior to putting us on the pay deck but has indicated what we sent them will not suffice. I believe a Notarial Act of Correction would be my next move but cannot locate the original Notary and his credentials have expired.
Any suggestions from the board would be appreciated before I consult an Attorney.
I have some direct phone numbers to some of the head people at Chesapeake. Did you try them Ronny
I have been in contact with the legal department at Chesapeake. Their replies indicate the title must be fixed, however, do not specify what exactly will satisfy them. I will contact the Land department to see if they can help. Thanks.
From what you have stated above, it sounds like the deed of acquisition for your property describes the 5 acre tract of land in Section 29 instead of Section 28. How does your tax assessment read? If your acquisition deed does indeed erroneously described what section your property is in, then a notarial act of correction correcting the error is needed and that should satisfy Chesapeake.
The deed of acquisition and the tax assessment both indicate the lot is in section 28. Also the subdivision maps filed in the court records have survey markings with the sections indicated and there can be no doubt the tract is in section 28. I believe I will pursue a Notarial Act of Correction to cure the error. Thanks.
Did you find Chesapeake's Division Order filing? If they have your seller who signed lease in right section then it will show gas company made a typo on your lease.
Could not locate divsion orders in conveyance records. not sure they even file them in the Parish records. Couldn't find them in the labyrinth they call Sonris either. Not enough hours in the day.
Louisiana operators do not file DOs in the public record. The next best thing is a unit survey plat. Some, but not all, are entered in the SONRIS database.
I have found several instances in Desoto where Operator filed Plat/ Div. orders for public record with all owners listed
Those are exceptions to the rule. Operators regularly file Field Orders but not DOs. A Field Order is a public document, a DO is not.
Did you have any luck on getting this straightened out
WARNING: I am not an attorney or a Notary.
From my reading of your post, I understand that you bought 5 acres in Section 28. Your title to this land is correctly listed as Section 28. However, when the previous owner signed a lease, he signed a lease that described the property as being in Section 29. This would mean that Chesapeake does not have a valid lease on your property: I am not an attorney but if they wanted to pursue it they could correct it.
They apparently are carrying you as an unleased owner. Request a copy of the division order for this section of property and you will probably find your property listed. As an unleased owner you would be entitled to your share of the operating royalties once the well pays out. However, depending on the circumstances, you could be required to pay double the payout amount before you receive payment.
Since someone paid a lease bonus for this property but described it incorrectly you will need the original owner, or their heirs. to correct the original lease description. The notary is not required to be same notary. They are only attesting to who signed the document not whether the information in the document is valid unless they drew up this document. Since Chesapeake is the other party to the lease and there are no wells in Section 29, they may be uninterested in correcting the lease since it will require them to pay royalties.
WARNING: I am not an attorney or a Notary.
That is what I told Ronny. He needs to go to Caddo Parish records and find the RECORDED Division Order. I think (not an attorney) that if they recorded the original owners with the lease in the Div. Orders in section 28, then that ownership should transfer. I bet that sec. 29 was just a typo in the lease.