Copies of Leases

My siblings and I inherited mineral rights in Camp County, Cass County and Marion County, Texas. Very little income, especially the last two years. (Sunoco Partners, Chevron and other smaller operators.) I did not get much in the way of paperwork when my mother passed in her 90s. I do not have copies of any leases. I have asked some of the companies for copies and have never been provided with any. Is there a way to obtain copies of all of the leases? Thank you for any guidance.

In some cases, the leases may be filed in the county courthouse. Texas frequently has a “memorandum of lease” filed instead. Not quite as useful, but it does have the royalty amount listed and a description of the acreage.

I’m in that same lousy boat. I don’t understand how a contract is VALID if only one side can view it.

My operator referred me to county clerk who checked iDoc (as had I) and too long ago. Suggested i come in and sludge through their books.
Ok, sure…I’ll book a 3 hour flight in a PANDEMIC and be right there. Clerk astonished operator wouldn’t provide…then realized who

said, “Oh, I know all about them. I get calls all day.” :flushed:

Thank you. Do you know any way to find local people who can search for leases at reasonable rates? My biggest concern is that there is an automatic renewal clause that I should know about, so I can avoid automatic renewal and then renegotiate.

The American Association of Professional Landmen- AAPL has lists of landmen by state and location. (Yes, there are plenty of women “landmen” as well.) Depending upon your state, you might check the Directories tab above and see if any are listed. Be aware that due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, many county courthouses are shut down or running on minimal staff right now, so being in a hurry may be an exercise in frustration for a while.

It is very important that the lessor (owner) who signs a lease keep a copy for the records (and for your family down the line). It is also useful to keep a digital copy and have it backed up in the cloud like all of your other important personal financial records. Leave a location and password with your financial planning and estate records. Also make digital copies of deeds, wills, affidavits of heirship, trust documents, probates, etc.


And i can’t type that loud enough. Save your loved ones the stress…and it will be stress.

You definitely should get copies of the lease agreements covering your property so you’ll know what they include. But I think your comment, that your biggest concern was those leases possibly including “automatic renewal clauses” and thinking you might be able to avoid and then renegotiate, is probably not realistic.

If you are referring to renewal or extension options included in existing leases, those are always one-sided options that only give the lessee (the oil company) any choice about extending the term of the lease. If prior to expiration of the primary term of the lease the lessee elects to pay the additional bonus, or other requirements that might be in the lease, then the lease term would extend, and the lessor/mineral owner wouldn’t have the right to refuse that extension or require renegotiation of the lease. There could be other provisions in those existing leases that need your attention but the extension options would be out of your control.

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