When leasing oil or gas rights I have always received a division order with everyone’s name and percentage that has an interest in the well.
I have inherited an interest in a producing oil well from my Mom and requested from the oil company a list of the division orders. They said due to right of privacy they can only supply my percentage. I have never ran into this before,
I have received one division order just lately that was actually being calculated wrong which was easy In my case to figure out Since I had everyone’s percentages of all the royalty owners.
So is there a privacy law that now restricts division orders of others being seen by anyone other then your percentage?
If so, where would that privacy law be documented concerning division orders?
It is just so strange after all these years to come across this, maybe I have just been lucky…
I would say that you have been lucky. 99% of my division orders only show my percentage. Some of the older wells have everyone, but in the last decade, most of mine have had only the single percentage on the Division Order.
Thanks for replying. I was hoping it was just a one off, but it doesn’t sound like it…
Update: I just got off the phone with my Moms probate lawyer and asked her the same question. According to her there is no privacy law or right to privacy in Texas for knowing everyone’s percentages for minerals and there is no legal reason for them not to give you the list. This is because all that information is public and recorded at the court house that anybody can go look up, if they so desire and want to do the work. She thinks they just didn’t want to give out the information (for whatever reason) but it doesn’t have any thing to do with a right to privacy, of course this is just concerning the percentages and names no other info… Anyway just wanted to let people know what this one lawyer said.
As a division order analyst with over 40 years of experience in the industry working for many oil companies, I can tell you that I know of no law in any of the states prohibiting listing in a division order every owner entitled to a share of production sales proceeds. That said, listing every owner along with their decimal opens the oil company to financial liability. I’m not a lawyer, so I won’t expound on that, but just know that a stern letter addressed to Attn: Legal Department of the oil company who issued that division order should promptly put an end to that practice.
Most likely, the employee who mailed out that division order to all owners is inexperienced, and doesn’t understand that the division order containing ALL owners’ names and decimals is for internal use only. Each owner should receive a division order listing only their name and decimal or percentage they own in the well.
Keep in mind a couple of things.
- Land records are open to the public including:
a. Ownership interests
- Spacing units and pooling orders are also public.
Therefore, any landman, attorney or other person knowledgeable of oil and gas can determine your percentage. That being said you SSN and other contact information should remain private.
Thanks so much for the input. I have always gotten a list from the oil companies with peoples name and percentages, when they want me to sign a lease.
Your responses have let me know there is no legal reason they shouldn’t give them to me since this information is public.
I do understand they just might not want to give them to me, but thankfully I haven’t ran into that yet except in my Mother’s case, Where they couldn’t give them to me due to the right of privacy which is how this thread got started.
They have zero obligation to provide information on other owners to you. Doing so would likely just cause a problem for the operator, and they want to avoid problems. It’s the same thing as asking them for a title report copy; most companies will provide a copy limited to your interest(s), but omit other owners. The operators had to pay good money for title reports and attorney title opinions so that they could produce a division order, thus they aren’t in the business of handing out such expensive and “proprietary” information for free. Some operators are easier to deal with than others.