Nine years ago in 2007, I was contacted by a landman working for XTO regarding leasing my mineral interests in Navarro County. I inherited these interests in 1997 and had absolutely zero experience. I think my ownership is 8 net mineral acres out of 128 acres. With the guidance of a knowledgeable acquaintance, I attempted to negotiate a better royalty (the offer was 1/6 royalty and I countered with 1/5 royalty). The landman was openly agitated that I wanted anything better than their offer. He was supposed to get back with me regarding the higher royalty, but he never contacted me again. Fast forward to 2017, and having learned to navigate the RRC maps and data online, I have just today discovered there is a producing gas well that was drilled in 2008. Evidently, and without any further attempt towards a mutual satisfaction of terms, XTO moved forward, which apparently has resulted in my exclusion from participating in bonus and royalties. Can XTO legally ignore or deny my interests if the landman just found me too "difficult" to bother with? Who is receiving my share of the production? What recourse do I have and what steps should I take? I'm new at this so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
My twin sister did this when family received lease offer from Apache, and she was left out, unfortunately nothing came of that lease for any of us and they sold us to another company. I think we all need a class on how to counter for the best deals, as owners we should be able to counter without repercussions. And of course, all landmen read out discussions everyday here.
I would be happy to discuss this with you - it sounds to me like you got gerrymandered out of a
pooled unit. Have you researched it at the Railroad Commission? Bobby Grace
It depends on how the acreage is listed. If it is undivided interest throughout the pool, or portion, I don't think they can gerrymander you out. If it is a specific acreage not included in pool they can, but you probably have what is called a "unleased mineral interest." this creates a cotenancy with you and the operator, and they must account to you for the proceeds. They can recover the costs of the well out of first dollars, and then pay you for your percentage interest less reasonable production (not G&A, reworking or ultimately plugging) costs. They can not make you come out of pocket for any expenses greater than your revenue. Fighting this all the time with old wells my uncle had drilled on his property. I would look at the plat on the RRC and see if your minerals are included, and if so, contact operator.
Good research. Now get the well information including API number, permit number, and well name then send a certified letterRRR to the XTO address on the permit claiming an interest in the well and indicating you have a valid interest in the producing unit. Make sure you provide the information proving your interest has been properly recorded in the county. Copies are adequate showing Instrument number, book, page, date recorded etc. Address your letter to the "Officer in Charge" or "Legal Department". Indicate that you demand a response of denial or confirmation by a date certain. (30 days is enough) Include your current address, email and phone number. Your address must be identical to the address on the conveyance to you recorded in the county or explain your change of address.
XTO should contact you with what it needs to prove your interest or make a lease offer. If they don't respond in a timely manner send a certified letter to the appropriate RR Commission Office asking for help. Remember that your taxes help support the RRC. Don't expect XTO to be clairvoyant about your inheritance. Inheriting minerals is easy. Management of the inheritance is up to the heirs.
Gary L Hutchinson
Happened to me also, several times. Thank you for bringing this up.
To All of you that have responded, thank you so much for taking the time to read and offer your advice. I am going to do further research like you suggested and make some inquiries to XTO. Hopefully, I will get to the bottom of this. I will update this thread when I find the answers to help anyone else that faces this situation. Of course, if anyone has any further suggestions, please add your comments. JB
I recommend reading this post:
It sounds like the UMO situation they discuss in that thread might have happened to you.