To answer your first question, you would need to know whether your minerals are tied to a producing unit that has producing wells. If you do, an engineer can forecast the production of the wells to estimate the future value of your minerals. If there aren’t any producing wells, you can value your minerals using one of two methods: 1. market comparables and 2. technical evaluation. For market comparables, you can reach out to a landman who is experienced in the are who can provide you with recent sales to estimate your minerals on a $ per net royalty acre ($/NRA). This approach is misleading since it’s highly dependent on how much undeveloped acreage is remaining in the unit your minerals are pooled to and the offsetting well performance. For technical evaluation, a petroleum engineering consultant can evaluate the area and provide an estimate of how many wells are remaining and what the expected recoveries are per well to arrive to a value of future cash flow. However, you would have to make serious assumption on the timing of when the wells get drilled and start producing. The farther out in time the wells come online, the less present value. Unfortunately, operators do not provide guidance to mineral owners as to the timing of when they plan on drilling wells. A strong leading indicator of when wells are going to be drilled is searching for permits that are filed at the New Mexico Oil Conservation District (OCD). You can search for well information using a map or a database search at the OCD site. Links below for your reference:
As for your question on finding out ownership, you can work with a title attorney or landman to perform a title search to identify whether there exists a chain of title that shows that the mineral rights were deeded to you. Typically, deeds are submitted in the county clerk’s office which are searchable using a service such as Texasfile or Basin Land Records if you would like to search for yourself. Both charge a fee to view any documents submitted to the county, but allow you to search for free. However, if there’s a lot of complicated family history or you don’t know where to start, it’s best to seek the assistance of an attorney or landman who can assist you. Below are the websites for your reference:
I hope this helps. Happy to help with anything else.