Our family has discovered that for several years BP has a PRODUCING well on land we have mineral rights to. We found this out because we were sent paperwork that MORE wells were going to be built. When our family contacted BP, they began a long drawn out process of not acknowledging our rights. We have produced the original transaction from my great grandfather in which he purchased the deed, and have completed and filed BP's required "proof of heirship" paperwork in the Hughes County Courthouse. Has anybody experienced this? and if so, do they owe us retroactive proceeds dating back to the original date well started producing? How do we clean this up before they build the additional wells...we definitely have mineral rights and the proof to show it. ANY help is appreciated.
Diane Wilbur hello,
Three knowledgeable persons on this forum have helped me greatly. They are M. Barnes; Wesley Skinner, and Clint Liles. Seek their guidance for sound resolution of your problem...........Leta C.
Diane, just sent you three recommendations of helpful persons: Adding one more: Troy Curtiis, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Troy, post his email on the Forum. He too is most helpful............Leta C.
Certain companies may require more than the "proof of heirship", you may have to produce probate documents, especially if the person passed away in a different state. You may have to probate in OK as well. Talk to the Division Order analyst assigned to your section, township and range to get the specific requirements for your particular situation.
The short answer is, YES, if you have clear title, then they have to pay you back to the original first sales date plus 12% interest.
You may also want to check the unclaimed funds for Oklahoma under whatever names you can think of that might relate. The funds may be held already for you. Also, if the company is domiciled in Delaware (even though royalties are in OK), you may need to check with that state as well.
Sometimes this happens when company A didn't do a very good title search "back then", company B buys the production and doesn't do their own title search. Sometimes you have to back up your claims again and again.
There was no probate, so BP asked for the "proof of heirship". Yes, my great grandfather passed away in a different state. We have checked the unclaimed funds for Oklahoma and there is nothing. You mentioned domiciled in Delaware....what does that mean and how can we tell? Thank you for helping. We are so puzzled. Love the answer that they will need to pay back to the original date plus interest. I told them it is "weird" that their attorney sent us a letter of intent to build more wells if they did not recognize us. Makes zero sense to me. We get the feeling that BP just does not want to pay us....but perhaps it is just time consuming to prove we indeed do have mineral rights.
Diane- find the right Division Order Analyst for your area- if you are talking to Owner Relations, ask that you be referred to the correct DO person. In my experience BP is very concerned about making sure payments are made properly. This can sometimes require patience, especially if this has been going on for some time. You may need to probate your great grandfather's estate in OK.
Hi Diane - Just a little background on BP in Hughes and Pittsburg Cos. might be helpful. They came on the scene in November, 2008, when they bought wells from Chesapeake, including straight hole older gas wells purchased from smaller producers and newer horizontal wells that they had drilled in 2007-8. BP has refraced a number of the horizontal wells and drilled many additional wells.
From your post, you likely received a copy of an Application for Increased Density from an attorney for BP, which has been filed with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. If you will post the Cause CD No. on the upper right of page 1, I will check to see if some previously filed orders can be found. If so, I will provide you some links to filings for those orders so you can search for familiar family names, which may indicate where unclaimed funds could be located. The CD No. will be expressed as 201x0xxxx.
Note to M Barnes - One of the speakers at the OK-NARO Annual Convention in May spoke to the limitations of Affidavits of Heirship imposed by some of o&g companies, as well as the practice of some companies placing unclaimed funds with the state of Delaware (if they are chartered there), and the time limit for claiming those funds.
For all mineral owners who hold an interest in Hughes County........read carefully the above response/s by W. Skinner; M Barnes, M. Erickson, because this is informative and instructive to the rest of us as an avenue to pursue should any other member have similar 'difficulties' obtaining appropriate remuneration of our royalties and potential royalties. I shall copy and paste for my 'desktop' for reinforcement..........Leta C. (Montana)
Yes, I sat in on the meeting at NARO. The speaker mentioned that some companies are legally "domiciled" in Delaware even though their main office might be in Houston or OKC, etc. The corporate rules are more favorable in Delaware. She said that you should try the "unclaimed funds " or "unclaimed monies" site in Delaware to see if your Oklahoma royalties have been turned over in that state. She also said to do it quickly as Delaware may be passing a law soon that would turn over the funds to the state and shorten the time limit and not be available to you anymore. Some states keep the funds separate indefinitely, some states do not. I routinely check the OK and TX websites, but am adding Delaware to my annual checklist now!
Wesley Skinner: the first document received 12/1/2014 is for Increased Density CAUSE CD NO: 201405177 order 633254 (we are listed on the respondent list) The SECOND document was received 3/23/2015 and it is for Exception to OAC 165:10-13-9 and 10-17-11 (separate allowable) CAUSE CD NO: 201407157 order 637874 These documents were sent to us by Conner & Winters attorneys for BP. I find it so odd that they found us, sent us the documents, we are on the respondent list, yet they need proof we are entitled to the royalty. Our family is trying to learn how all of this works. We should have had heavy conversation with my grandmother before she passed as to how this all works together. She knew. Our mission is to clean this up and learn how this needs to be managed for future generations. THANK you so much...ALL of you here, for chiming in with some advice and help. I am going to encourage my cousin to join the forum as well and will share this information with her. We are working together on this to resolve. I am going to search the Delaware unclaimed property site next.
Diane, good for you for getting informed. Some good places to start are:
Read the Mineral Help section at the top here
Go to the NARO site and get Look Before you Lease (cheap) and/or Money in the Ground (more, but my favorite) from their books list.
Read the last six months to a year on this Hughes site. Then go over to Garvin, Grady and Stephens which are very active sites and peruse the last year or so. We chit chat a lot, but you will pick up good tips and links. Those counties are in the Anadarko basin and the geology there is a bit different than Hughes, but you will pick up important knowledge.
Go to the investor relations portions of the websites for the major players in OK-Newfield, Continental, Marathon, Apache, Eagle Rock, etc and read about what they are doing. Hughes County is in the Arkoma Basin which is a bit more on the gas side, so your payout won't be so high.
Map your acreage on this map so you know where you are.1151-HughesCountyMap.pdf (410 KB)
As I suspected, Chesapeake sought and was granted the 640 acre spacing and drilling unit for Sec. 23-6N-10E in early 2007. Look for names on Exhibit "A" of the application at this link http://imaging.occeweb.com/AP/CaseFiles/OCC3054445.PDF
In May 2007, the unit was pooled and any respondent who did not elect an option was assigned $825 per acre bonus and 1/8 royalty interest in any subsequent wells. The names in the pooling are on Exhibit "A" http://imaging.occeweb.com/AP/Orders/0031C282.pdf
The well drilled, the Burns 1-23H, was completed with initial test of 597,000 cf/d on Dec. 11, 2007. The completion report is here http://imaging.occeweb.com/OG/Well%20Records/00373C9B.pdf
The well was refraced with added perforations by BP with first sales from the rework on January 9, 2014 with an increase to 989,000 cf/d. See the now report at http://imaging.occeweb.com/OG/Well%20Records/1DD1D49F.pdf
This is Woodford Shale dry gas and be aware that the production decline rate on these wells are really steep. As you discover if and how much your interest is in this well, we will help you find on the OCC website what the month to month production numbers are.
The Burns 23 2H was spud Sept. 10, 2014 and Burns 23 3H was spud Aug. 12, 2014. The Permit to Drill for each are here http://imaging.occeweb.com/OG/Well%20Records/1DD24E38.pdf and http://imaging.occeweb.com/OG/Well%20Records/1DD24E39.pdf .
When you have questions, let us know.
In order to cover all bases exhibits to The poolings orders and other OCC documents list anyone remotely suspected if having an interest. If they accept your proof of heirship
And any other required curative instruments you will/should receive proceeds from production from date your ownership commenced.
Checked in Delaware unclaimed property, nada. None of the names on any of the pooling orders provided included any family names, Wesley Skinner. HOWEVER, my cousin received an email response today from the Division of Interest Analyst at BP that we have been working with who has confirmed receipt of all of our documents including our great grandfather's death certificate and the Affidavit of Heirship that has been recorded at the Hughes County courthouse per their request. The analyst says our documents are "currently under review" and any future correspondence should be directed to Owner Relations in San Antonio, Texas. Well, that is where we STARTED this process months ago. Are they sending us back to the drawing board or does this mean they have everything they need and we have made progress? We are discouraged that the ball is being dropped. What do we do now? THANK you everyone who is responding. This has all been so helpful.......
Diane, you have done what they requested so they can check the title chain. The transfer of the paperwork to another office doesn't necessarily mean the ball is being dropped. The people in their owner relations division are experts in title examination.
Did the DO Analyst you were working with give you a name, address and contact number in San Antonio? I would wait a couple of weeks and then make a telephone or email inquiry - and remember to use a really nice and friendly tone with the worker. If you have ever worked with the public, you know what I mean.
Good luck and keep us informed.
After almost a year of leg work with the friendly folks at BP, my story does not have the ending I was hoping for.
Our family has jumped through all the hoops of proving heirship only to learn that my great-grandfather quit claimed the mineral rights away YEARS ago and our family knew nothing about it. We are suspecting he settled a debt of some sort with the rights.
The paperwork that BP has sent us from the courts look authentic, etc. We feel we have reached a "dead end", but I am not sure why they reached out to us in the first place on the respondent list.
Are we really "done"?....lol It is hard to believe. I have all of the documents, and a letter from them which basically ends our paper trail.
I have no reason not to believe them other than this was never revealed to our family. We know BP has wells that are producing that we "thought" we still had rights to. Disappointing to say the least.
A response would be great, I know it has been a LONG time since I was here. It has been a huge journey of discovery and patience.
ps. If anyone thinks a review of the documents would be in order, let me know. There is really no reason not to believe and trust BP....but I am not experienced in these things.
So sorry.... sometimes that happens.
If BP gave you the documents with the Quitclaim deed including the book and page number and stamp from the county clerk, then it is most likely legit. Maybe one of the attorneys on the forum has more knowledge.
There are two levels of title search, one is a quickie for leasing and drilling and then there is a very extensive one for the actual payment. The first usually casts a very wide net with possible respondents. The second is very focused on who actually has the right to get paid for years and years, so they really dig into the title work. Both depend upon the quality of the personnel doing them and the quality of the data they have to work with.
Diane, I wish the results had been different, but thanks for taking time to let us know.