Every mineral owner should assemble, and keep current, a file of pertinent information regarding their mineral estate. The file should contain conveyance documents of numerous types, royalty payment receipts, lessee contact information and well data (if the minerals are under an existing lease) and notes that help to describe the extent and status of the mineral estate. The discussions on Go Haynesville Shale provide a daily reminder of why all mineral owners should know as much as possible about the details of their mineral assets.
Conveyance documents are, by law, recorded at parish Clerk of Court offices and represent the foundation of your mineral file. I find the staff at all parish Clerks of Court offices to be courteous and professional. Mineral owners should feel no reluctance in asking the staff for assistance. Mineral owners should be prepared to assist the staff by providing accurate, basic information such as legal names, pertinent dates (exact, if known, or approximate), legal property descriptions (if known) and the type of document desired. For those who have the time and inclination to perform their own record search, the staff will provide a tour of the record room and a basic lesson on how the records are organized. A partial list of the conveyance documents of value may include mineral leases; memorandum of leases; lease assignments,releases and extensions; deeds and successions and rights of way/easements. I provide a research and document retrieval service for mineral owners who are unable to access the public conveyance records themselves.
The State of Louisiana Department of Natural Resources maintains a public web-accessible database, SONRIS, that is the gold standard among on-line state mineral information portals. Go to the GHS Main Page and point to "INFO" at the top of the page to review all the links provided including SONRIS. All members should familiarize themselves with the valuable information available through each of the links. If you are new to the site and to the discussion of minerals, I recommend "SHALE TERMS", "WHAT IS IT?", "PHOTOS" under "MEDIA" (for maps) and "GROUPS" (for the information and discussions specific to your area of interest). Also "HELPFUL LINKS" and "NOTES" on the Main Page left hand column. On the SONRIS Main Page, I suggest that you read the database overview and then click on "SONRIS Lite" under the title, "DATABASE ACCESS", in the left hand column. You will then see the search options organized into sections. For those with basic computer skills, I think you will find the database to be user friendly and comprehensive in scope. Searches using the information specific to your mineral interest will provide valuable data to include in your mineral file. Please keep in mind that the information is subject to the filing of reports by operators and, though generally accurate, there may be a considerable time lag between actual well status and that information appearing on the database. I provide a research service for mineral owners unable to access or understand the information contained in the database.
The Louisiana State Department of Natural Resources/Office of Conservation divides the state into three districts: Lafayette, Monroe and Shreveport. The Shreveport District office covers all of the NW Louisiana parishes that have Haynesville Shale exploration and production activity. The OOC Shreveport District office is located at 1525 Fairfield Avenue, Suite 668. The office is open from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday (Phone: 318-676-7585, FAX: 318-676-7486). The office contains copies of the paper records of oil and gas related reports and applications required by the state. A significant portion of the documents, particularly those most recent, are available via the SONRIS database though some may not be accessible on SONRIS Lite. The office provides computer terminals so that interested parties also have access on site to the SONRIS databases. Examples of reports and applications on file include: well and unit applications in their complete edition, unit orders, field orders, plats, pooling agreements and well files. My research and document retrieval service includes all records housed at the OOC Shreveport office.
If you would care to contact me, please point to "SPONSOR" at the top of the GHS Main Page and then click on "Skip Peel". Good Luck.