Couldn't find me, really?

Recently, as I was online trying to learn a little more about the oil and gas industry (I guess) and I read that an energy company can drill on your sections and not pay you if they claim that they couldn’t find you. They keep all the money and pay the taxes and legally they can continue to do this until the owner catches wind of it. They don’t have to pay the owner anything.

Well, I barely received anything in the last five or 6 years, so i hadn’t thought to much about it until gas prices went up and stayed up, so I started looking around on line and found the name of 3 different energy companies and 1 individuals name all drilling on my mineral rights sections. Is it really possible to not be able to find someone in this day and age.

I’m not sure who might be able to answer this question, but wouldn’t they need to prove that they tried to find me. I’m on Facebook and Twitter. Recently, I was forced to change my phone number, but I had had my old number for at least ten years. So, I want to know if anyone has ever proved that an energy company didn’t put forth a full effort to find them. I could’ve used the money. My life changed a lot during the pandemic and not in a good way.


I am sure that is frustrating. However, it is the mineral owners responsibility to make sure that their name and address and a description of their acres is filed in every county courthouse where they have minerals. That is the official repository of names and addresses and that is where the landmen and operators go for information.

The operators will hold money in a separate account for owners for a certain period of time and then they will turn it over to the state where it is also held. (The state may be your state of residence-last known, or Delaware or where the operator is domiciled.) They are not allowed to keep it for themselves.

If you know your section, township and range or abstract, then you can find the operators through various online searches depending upon your state. You can contact the operator and request that you be put in pay status. They will require proof of title, so ask what documents you need. Always send copies by certified mail, return receipt requested and document and keep copies of everything that you do. You might want to start with the unclaimed funds at the treasurer’s office in your state and see if anything is waiting there.

If you post your state and county, then folks on the forum may be able to point you to the correct websites to start your hunting.


By gollly that Barnes gal is always on the right track! I recently went thru a lot of that and with her help I went from knowing nothing to capturing no less than 7 Mineral Interests with 4 wells producing very well! I too had the misconception that if they owed you money, they would track you down. Nothing is further from the truth. My break was when another person who had been receiving and cashing the checks for 26 years for a person that had died 26 years ago failed to notify the operator of a change of address!
She had moved to Florida for a very short period of time and when she moved back home to New Mexico forgot to make a change of address TO THE OPERATOR! The checks have a “do not forward” annotation so they went to the Florida unclaimed property who eventually tracked me down thru my presence on t he internet and I then found all the mineral interests from the checks! I had to then move the interests down 3 generations by probates etc. Lots of work, but I learned a LOT from people like M Barnes who gave selfishly of her time and knowledge.


Darned spell checker. I of course meant she gave UNSELFISHLY of her time and knowledge

Thanks so much for the info. I really appreciate it. I guess the real problem that I had with it all is that 2 of the energy companies have been sending royalty checks to me ( off and on and never alot) fir several years. One has since 2015. I’ve been battling cancer this year, so I have been really sick and went through surgery. I shouldn’t have waited so long to call and check in with all of these energy companies . Thanks again and I am going to do all of the things that you suggested.

I am so sorry. Let us know if we can help you. I can help with Oklahoma if you need websites for there.

Keep in mind that some states require held funds to accumulate interest. In Oklahoma the amount of interest can vary depending upon the existence or absence of title issues. In addition to your home state check the unclaimed property for the state where the operator is located and where the minerals are located.

"This post is not legal or tax advice. No attorney/client relationship is created hereby.

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The other thing that you can do is to change the minimum amounts on your Division Orders. Many are originally set up with $100 min. You can change that to $25 to possibly get more frequent checks since the royalties have to accumulate to the minimum before they will cut the check. They are supposed to pay at least annually.

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b. Proceeds totaling less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) but more than Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) shall be remitted monthly if requested by the person entitled to the proceeds. Amounts less than Ten Dollars ($10.00) shall be remitted annually if requested by the person entitled to the proceeds. See statute.

No legal or tax advice given. This post does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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How does one post an updated address and phone number with the county? (Specifically, Blaine County, OK). Thank you!

If I lived out of county or out of state I would send a certified letter with return receipt or call the phone # listed here on this link.

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Typically you have to file a notarized affidavit with your name and address and include the section-township-range descriptions of the property you own. There is a filing fee for each page you file.


Many of the counties have a particular form that they want the information to be in. Margins, place for the filing stamp, etc. Ask them for a template.

Good evening

If possible would you have the link for divide county in north Dakota. I have been following the Nd sight and I sometimes wonder if they are pooling my meneral right without my knowledge to. Thank you for your help in this matter is the link for North Dakota. You can look for free, but only $50 for a year to get more indepth information.

If you go to Counties at the top of this page, choose ND and then your County, you can ask more detailed questions and folks watching that area will chime in.

We used to receive royalties from a company which I think went bankrupt. How do you find out who has it now and/or if they are drilling ? We have not received any checks in years.

You need to give more information like your legal description.

I’m wondering if this is what happened to my stepfather’s mineral rights in South Dakota. He is now deceased leaving everything to my mother. I have the legal description of the land from an old document he received with a rental payment. I do not have any legal documents. I reached out to the company that paid him, but they are no longer in business. Does anyone know where I can look for mineral rights in Stark County and get information on any drilling activity? I’m trying to help my mother with this. We know nothing about mineral rights and live in Texas.

You should be able to find the original deeds at the county courthouse in Stark County. Not sure if they have online access, but they may. South Dakota should have an oil and gas commission where you can look up activity. North Dakota does for sure.

It appears that Stark County is in North Dakota.
The North Dakota oil&gas map link is