I have interest in a well in Howard County that has been in production since 2010. I have not received any of the royalty payments To date. I finally got Apache to admit their error and a greed to pay me, Back to late 2010. However half of the production Was from early 2010 when mariner energy Held Production. Are they responsible For their half even though they no longer own the well? Is Apache responsible for all with there purchase? I also for some reason thought Apache acquired Mariner. WHAT should be the intrest rate on this production held?
I have a similar situation in Lea Co., NM, that goes even further back. Four different operators have failed to recognize my now-deceased aunt’s 1/8 mineral interest in the property. It is further complicated by a Chapter 11 resolution this year by the last operator. I accidentally stumbled onto the existing well by studying drilling maps of her holdings. I have a landman researching the situation, but she is getting no cooperation from her contacts with the previous operators. Ownership has been confirmed by title search, but short of legal action, I am doubtful that justice will be served for
Do you know if a lawyer will take this on without significant retainer, being that state law alows for all attorney fees for non payment plus interest. Doesnt seem fair for half of i to go to a lawyer when we were wronged.
Rodney…Which is better 1/2 of a loaf of bread or no loaf at all? You can’t handle the legal wrangling yourself and if a lawyer does it and gets you SOME money on back royalties not paid you…are you going to deny him/her their wages?? Seems pretty cut and dried to me…
ol’ Lawrence in Verhalen
Under law i believe there entitled to attorney fees, for failure to pay. Every loaf of bread i have taken to a lawyer got eaten by them and the table they share it with. I walked away hungry, but thats been my experience. They get rich when others get wronged for half the amount just saying
Rodney, Apache would only be responsible for payment of royalties while they are the Operator of record. Previous or subsequent Operators are responsible for their own royalty payments. Unless it’s millions of dollars, it’s not worth the heartache of chasing Mariner down.
Texas Natural Resource Code: Chapter 91: Subchapter J, governs just about every part related to the relationship of a mineral owner and an Operator when it comes to payment of royalties. Let me tell you right up front, the State of Texas wants to do everything possible to make sure Operators keep drilling. The laws are set up to favor the Operator, not the mineral owner. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it keeps Operators wanting to drill in Texas because there are very few barriers and hangups; it’s an Oil & Gas friendly state. That being said, I can tell you from experience, this code is designed to make sure an Operator keeps moving forward with or without the mineral/royalty owners.
There is a provision called " Sec. 91.403. Payment of Interest on Late Payments". However, I have never seen an Operator pay interest, ever. The reason is because “Sec. 91.402. Time For Payment of Proceeds” allows an Operator to withhold payment without interest for an indeterminate amount of time if there is “a reasonable doubt that the payee: has clear title to the interest in the proceeds of production; or”. This is the clause that Operators would use if you took them to court. They would say that their title opinion was not clear on this interest and therefore they withheld it. I have and continue to use some of the best Oil & Gas attorney’s in Texas, I mean, these folks can get just about anything done. But they have never been successful in getting me “in pay” when an Operator is acting horsey. Now that you are probably thoroughly despondent, there is some hope. I have a 100% success rate in getting all the money owed (without interest) to me by Operators using one simple tool. An email to the CEO of the Operator that owes me money. There is not a CEO alive that wants to see an email from some no-name, back-woods, uneducated, hillbilly mineral owner that hasn’t been paid. I would encourage you spend some time researching the email address (they are NOT easy to find usually) of the CEO and send him an email every day until you get a response. You would not believe how fast things move when you annoy a CEO.
I can appreciate your frustration and at some point you say “wait a second, this just ain’t right, there needs to be a class-action law suit to make them straighten up!” While I agree, I’m not interested in making a life’s work out of a lawsuit, so I just use the tools that I have to get paid with as little hassle and cost as possible. Will you get everything owed to you? Probably not, but you’ll get more than you have right now, and as my dear Grandpappy says, something is better than nothing.
It doesn’t hurt to ask for interest, as we have had quite a few operators pay interest if they failure to pay was their fault.
I will try the email deal Half of the money is from Mariner half from Apache pretty close to 50/50. They first agreed after i sent term royalty deed it took the better part of year bugging them. They sent out Division orders, which were wrong. They just simply took half of the owner intrest on record. Except that was wrong, i brought thos to thier attention, then they finaly reviewed title opionion, which they said we sold all of out interst , yet term deed says 1/2 intrest Subject to the lease, lease to same person . They said the half was all of it, even though we only owned 1/4 interest. So if he purchased half, but hey say it was all how do they come up with a 1/16 x the 1/5 royalty for him. Either he has 1/4 or 1/8 and we keep a 1/8 , but he doesnt have a 1/16 for them to divide with me and know say he has all of it but he doesnt have a quarter. This is at least a mistake in his favor, but my argument is we didnt sell half minerals which we didnt own we sold half royalties subject to lease for 5 year term which means we still have half intrest in royalties. He knew we did own half the minerals, he had leased from us. Also know man my whole life, and his exact words were “this gives you some money now to take care of your mom, and still later if there is production, he said kinda like hedgeing your bets.” He has now passed unfortantly but i thought intent of a document ment more than someone elses interpertation, which doesnt even add up.
Unfortunately, you are bound by the exact wording of the legal document as interpreted under Texas law. It does not matter what you intended if that is not what is written in the deed. Suppose you own 1/4 minerals in the tract. Then you intend to sell someone 1/2 of your minerals in the tract. You mean to keep 1/8 minerals and for the buyer to get 1/8 minerals. If your deed says you are selling 1/2 minerals (as opposed to 1/2 of your minerals), then you have sold all of the minerals you own. The buyer will not get 1/2 minerals in the tract because you own own 1/4 minerals. But the buyer will get the 1/4 minerals. Did you have an attorney draft your deed? Did he understand that you wanted to sell 1/2 of what you owned and keep 1/2 of what you owned? This may not be your situation, but this is what can happen. You might want to consult an attorney to review the wording in your deed. Or the landman with knowledge of the history of the minerals can explain what you owned at the time of sale and what you actually sold.
It was the same landman who leased the property he was aware we only owned 1/4. He only leased 1/4 and only paid for 1/2 in term deed. While it was completely possible he knew he was pooling one over with wording , i dont know, and hope not my Grandmother helped raise his daughter. He is now passed away. The wording is 1/2 intrest in all oil and gas royality
This is what is crazy about it. There is 2 wells i gey paid for one, have for 10 years vey little but none the less.2 different sections, same exact lease covers both sec, same term royality deed list both sections, one title opionion says we have 1/2 of 1/3 of*****, the othere says we dont have the half we sold it all are intrest keep in mind they are reading the same doc on both. They both cant be right.
Does anyone have a name of a good land man that handles Texas? I have an acquaintance who is interested in checking into some old inherited royalty interests that are not being paid. This same thing happened to my aunt who had mineral rights in Lea Co. NM, and it has been a nightmare trying to get restitution.
There are so many landmen in Texas, its just a question of what area you are lookkng for in Texas. There are alot of companies that have the deed records and oil leases available online that there is a lot a person can do for themselves with help to first learn the basics.
Duhig can be a doozy!