My family has recently signed a lease and we have very limited knowledge of the process. Basically we signed a lease in late November and have been sitting in the dark ever since. How can I find a history for the land? Is there any way to see how drilling (or whatever) is currently going?
I will guess that you are referring to Anderson County, Texas. In regards to learning about the oil activity history and the current drilling activity in that area, you can contact the Railroad Commission of Texas office in Midland, Texas as they will have all field records for well activities around that area. Also, you can go to their website and there you will find various areas of information.
If you just signed then they probably are doing nothing. It is rare to sign and they come out the next month and start drilling. The past won’t necessarily provide any prediction of the future either. They may or may not drill and if the do drill it maybe years before you know if it produces anything. You will just have to be patient and hope they drill and they produce from it. You can keep watching for a permit but like I say, it maybe years.
Like I said this really came to us out of nowhere, we are use to hard times. We decided not to even think about the financial aspect of this. However the nerd in me is incredibly curious about the entire process. Really what I’d like is to know how they decide where they want to drill, what studies they conduct and stuff like that. I’m sure it’s an incredible amount of work. It’s not like some people are sittin around an office with a giant map pinned to the wall and a handfull of darts.
One way an oil company decides to drill on a particular acreage is by the use of 3D seismic tests which in short is like taking an xray under the surface. This type of tests are very common and is conducted by specialized companies in this line of work.
Actually your not far off on the whole dart thing. I was speaking with a guy a few days ago that has been in the business a long time, we were talking about how they make most decisions based on the word of a geologist who's drives an old beater and can't afford much more, as to where they should lease or drill. I know all my friends that are mineral buyers rely on the same. Use the RRC web site, it's not simplistic at all and really sucks as far as the mapping program but use it to get an idea on the GIS to see what all wells have been drilled in the area and find and follow permits in the area. True wildcat wells were staked from a hunch, a feeling and some by witching or dowsing as some call it.