Help with land descriptions for minerals

I am very confused about a description of land and the calculation of net mineral acres. Hoping someone can tell me how this is calculated.

This is a quote from an old lease my mother had for a portion of section 4-25S-35E, Lea County:

“Lots 1 and 2, S1/2NE1/4, E1/2SE1/4 (241.64 acres)”

Is this an accurate number of acres? I have seen it on a document from 1920’s as well.

Appreciate any feedback

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Hi Snowbird, the 241.64 acres would be your gross acres. The number looks reasonable since each standard quarter section is 160 acres. S1/2NE1/4 would be 80 acres. E1/2SE1/4 would also be 80 acres. Each of the lots are roughly 40 acres… so an estimate of 240 acres is close to your listed total. If you have 100% ownership of the mineral rights, which is rare but not impossible, you would also have 241.64 mineral acres. If you have a 1/2 interest you would 120.8 mineral acres, and so on. Hope this helps.

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Also, the northern tier of sections and the western tier of sections in a township are not always 640 acres. Those sections may differ slightly due to the correction for the curvature of the earth. The clue that you are not at 640 is the use of the words Lots 1 and 2 as those are the ones that are different.

For many states you can find out the acreage on the BLM website.

Now Zoom into section 4 and you will get the odd lots. Lot 1 is 40,81 and lot 2 is 40.83 acres. As Pete said, the S2 NE4 is 80 acres (blank on the map since it is “normal”) and the E2 SE4 is also “normal” at 80 acres. Original gross total is 241.64 acres which is accurate. Your percentage would be determined by how much of that she actually owned and then what she passed to each heir.


PeteR has spelled it out.

What you need to find out HOW MUCH of those acres you own.

We also have acreage and I have seen over and over again, where someone who actually own 1.25 acres of a given plot listed in their lease, EXPECTING that they own all of what is listed.

So don’t get too excited yet. People who write the lease rarely do any indepth research. IN our case, we actually own the majority of it, but back in the 30’s our family gave away via mineral deeds small amounts (like that 1.25 acs) but they claim they own all of it.

It can be long and difficult road. We’ve been doing research on our mineral rights in Lea county and there were a lot of little issues that can and do make a huge difference in your ownership.

In our research, we found that the family did a quiet title back in 1948, which returned all the ownership to the family. But then they sold the acre, (all 320 acres) BUT KEPT THE MINERAL RIGHTS. (thank you family for doing that) and it extinguished the claims of other people.prior to the quiet title suit.

So, don’t take this at face value.

What we did was trace the ownership of the land (land patent from US Gov) in 1913 for the first tract the family owns. Total acreage is approximately 840 acres, but from three different family members. We have one other things we have discovered over the past eight years. We have had TWO bad attorneys and we finally found one here in San Angelo that has been spot on. And we are slowly getting all our information researched in the Lovington, New Mexico land office (Elliot & Landon - it was sold to FIrst American in the past two or three years ago) and then went across the street to the Lea County court house and looked up documents that we found the listing in the title books of the Title Company…

It’s an interesting and sometimes frustrating process. As I said, we’ve been chasing the mineral rights the family still does own. Our portion is 150 - 200 acres, but that keeps changing as we continue to do the necessary research. We’ve pulled probably a hundred court certified documents relating to our families mineral rights.

But if you paid someone to do this research? We could not have afforded it. it would have been in the tens of thousands of dollars. Perhaps way more. But we did it ourselves and have been making fair progress.

Our third attorney has made huge progress, but we all agree that we are not comfortable going in front of the judge not knowing the answers to all the questions that he may ask us. So we have been going back through the documents we have, clarifying what each document says or does not say.

I wish you well. I will give you the same advice I was given when I started this journey back in 2013. The research can be very addictive. Truer words have never been spoken. But this was us doing research on my fathers side of the family which prior to then we had very little information about.

Now I know all their names, when and where they lived and died. VERY enlightening FOR US.

Good luck on your journey on this. You will have a lot of choices that you will have to make. Don’t do it quickly.

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Ms. Barnes, Thank you so much. The diagrams and resources are so helpful. I have read many of your replies to questions and see you are very knowledgeable. As a business professional, are you available to review the details of a lease offer? We have agreed on a bonus amount and 25% royalty however I feel the 3 pages of fine print with regard to how royalty is paid, how long the lease can be extended after initial period (seems like we might be dead and buried) with a payment of a dollar to keep it active, warranty clause, no statement of our acreage amount, etc is set up to take advantage of naive seniors. I am drafting pushback. Our quiet title attorney has a conflict of interest and can’t represent us in negotiations. If forum guidelines allow, and you are willing can I contact you offline?

I am not a specialist in NM and cannot give legal advice at all. You do need to find an attorney to go over the lease. Ask your current attorney for a recommendation (and get a time limit on that shut in clause and go for more than $1 an acre).

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Thanks very much. Will do. :+1:t3::sunglasses: