I'm trying to get a sense for where the mineral owning community is today in terms of what are their frustrations and what are their needs?

Are these evolving or have they stayed essentially the same? I know there are the issues that remain the same, i.e. Royalty deductions etc, but what else is on your radar and what would you change? Either post below or email me at keith@shaleforum.com.

Views: 3691

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

My primary frustration is in locating exactly what and where our Family holdings are at in all of the various Counties. The prior Family Members were very lax in updating and maintaining records of both Family Land and Mineral holdings through the years and some of the County Agencies are not the most open when it comes to dealing with out of state requests. Slowly learning the in and out of dealing with the State of Texas, the Railroad Commission and others. However it could be made easier and more accessibility to Public Records.

Only other frustration has been with understanding how the O&G industry works, however a hidden benefit is this Site, its resources and the invaluable input from some of the people like Keith, Skip and Juli... without some of you, many of us would be completely in the dark.

Your first problem has an easy fix, hire an experienced landman to do the research for you, That would probably help out some with you second problem too.

What would the estimated cost be for a Landman to research into Family holdings in six counties in East Texas? I know that a Land Use Lawyer here in Oregon said it would cost a small fortune to look into it.

Bill, you have one of the best East Texas landmen for your particular needs right here on GHS.  A reasonable answer to your question depends on having enough detail to make an educated projection.  I suggest that you contact Julie and discuss it with her.  I expect she can help guide you on what elements of your mineral interests are most important.  Just post a message on her personal page.


I thought Julie might be one for the area, but was not sure. I will send her a message. 

Thank you,


There's no way to estimate without more information, and whether it would cost a small fortune would depend on your definition of fortune and ultimately the value of the minerals that might be yours.  There are a lot of variables when it comes to running title. It could take a week or it could take many months, it just depends. I would concentrate in the areas where you think you are potentially not getting paid from active production.  Here's the thing though, oil companies pay people to abstract the title and that's how they form their paydeck. If you aren't getting paid it's because they don't know you exist most likely. Sure, mistakes get made but if you're thinking there's issues in multiple counties with more than likely multiple companies, then there is a title fault somewhere along the line.

When I come up against a person with no probate who obviously would have to be deceased I have all kinds of tricks to try to find out their heirs but sometimes it just isn't possible. Common names are my biggest hindrance. Try to find John Smith who resided in several different places in California in the 1930's and then vanished without a trace. If you don't have a spouses name, a birth date, or something you're going to have a hard time proving whichever John Smith you think it is, is the correct one to a title attorney writing a title opinion. 

I would start by running your family names through the unclaimed property search for the state of Texas. That's where old royalties due to people that can't be found would end up and maybe you'll get lucky and get a hit. 

If you want to hire someone get references and gather up as much information as possible to give them to give you a rough estimate. Don't give them a ton of money upfront. Most landmen work for a day rate, but  a lot of landman also think less than 8 hours constitutes "a day" so you need to be seeing progress reports, runsheets, indexes, etc, to show work and movement. 

Hi, Enjoyed your post. I am new to all of this. I could use some help understanding this game. Regarding your Sept 25, 2017 post, you said, "Obviously most of the Haynesville Shale units have been in production for a good many years past 90 days yet only a small fraction of the unit surveys have been provided to the state and therefor they are not in the state O&G database where the public would have access to them." This is part of my problem.  A company contacted me and paid me for my mom's well that no one knew existed. Almost ten years, and no one knew anything about this well.  A few months ago they called again, telling me that they would be cutting another check for other wells that should have been paid to my family over the last 54 years.  I was told the check would be cut by Sept. The check never arrived. I called to inquire and was told it would not be until after the first of next year. I want go into all the excuses she told me. Two weeks later, when the normal monthly check did not arrive, I called the company. Now only two weeks later, telling me there is 'another' mistake and they will be taking  a huge amount of that money back. I know I was lied to when I called two weeks before. All they will tell me is that 'SOME' attorney made a mistake. Once when the well was placed in my family name and they paid out the money; Now by telling me the same attorney made another mistake and the money does not belong to my family.  This is horrible. After looking into this, I understand that the state stands behind the operator and they only have to go back 3 years. I can't tell you how this hurts to know that 54 years ago my family deserved what was rightfully theirs, but never saw a penny from these wells. Mistakes happen, but how many times can a company use that excuse? My family was very poor and did without, while the money was being given to someone else that never had to pay back a penny. Then when the company did pay, they were wrong again, and want most of it back. Not concerned about the tax problems all of this has caused.  My family never saw a penny, but because of this company, they are telling me that I have to pay this back which in the end, I will never see another check from this in my lifetime. By the time they start sending checks again, I will not be alive. All of this is just wrong. What can I do?

This may sound very odd, but I have to add this to my story. I watched my mother walk to the mail box for years just to open a small check from other wells. This was so many years ago that most were only $1.00, once only 2 cents. But.... To see the look on her face said it all. She told me many times how happy it made her to open the envelope, no matter the amount on the check. Her checks were never very much, so she never expected much. But it was the feeling she got knowing that her mom and dad were still taking care of her. Her words, "In some way my mom and dad are still taking care of me". I heard this story so many times and being young I just didn't get it. Now I know the feeling. My mother passed, never knowing about the mistakes the operating company had made .But when I received the first check, it too was very small, a sensation passed over me, I finally got it! I knew what she had felt opening those small checks over all those years. This is just so very wrong. Time after time this company has got it wrong. They don't care, and will never understand how this has hurt so many for so many years. Yes, I think I know your answer. Hire an attorney. If there is any information you can offer, I would truly appreciate it. If anyone else has been through something like this dealing with shoddily run operators, please contact me. Isn't there anything we can do to stop this from happening? I appreciate any information regarding my situation.  


I think a lot of folks feel that way about their mail box money.  O&G companies make mistakes and some times they knowingly do things unethical.  Sometimes down right illegal.  When in an economic pinch even the better companies are tempted to do what the unethical companies are doing and getting away with in order to stay in business.  Either way they are shielded by many elected and appointed officials bought and paid for over the years.  Unless you have a very good case and the money to hire an experienced O&G attorney, there is not much you can do directly.  There is something that you can do indirectly.  Stop voting for state legislators that take money from the energy industry.  And stop voting for appellate judges that don't promise to look out for the mineral owner.  A lot of the problems holding energy companies accountable are the result of case law.

Hi, Thanks for your reply. This is just so sick and so very wrong. Do you have any idea how I would go about finding out if this has happened to others? The company that I am talking about is Petro-Chem. It is so evident that the company is not being run correctly. Yes, my next step is to hire an attorney. Doing my homework. Looking for others that have had negative dealings with Petro-Chem. I can't be the only one!!!!

If you would like to speak with an experienced O&G attorney that does not have conflicts from working for operating companies, I recommend Randy Davidson in Shreveport, 318-424-4342.

Thanks so very much. Please do not forget me, if you find any information in the future, please contact me, Thanks, E


© 2020   Created by Keith Mauck (Site Publisher).   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service