Help with mineral deed wording

Cans someone please help me understand what I own as the current landowner. I have had an offer to buy my royalty interest and this paragraph has me confused as to what we own. It is a 44 acre plot in southern Marshall County, WV.


"THERE IS RESERVED AND EXCEPTED from this conveyance unto the said (FIRST PARTY - SELLER) one half (1/2) oil and gas within and underlying these tracts, as well as also the unsold coal, and all other minerals, together with necessary mining rights and privileges appurtenant thereto.

It is distinctly understood that the said (FIRST PARTY SELLER), shall have all the leasing rights for the oil, gas, and coal and other minerals within and underlying these parcels of land, and to collect all rentals from said leasing, however, the said (FIRST PARTY SELLER), to pay unto the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns, the one half (1/2) share of said rentals paid. "

As far as i can tell we own half of the royalty rights on the entire property. Company that wants to buy, says we only have 12.5% on 21.5 of the 44 acres. there are no mention on oil and gas rights in any deed before or after this one in 1950.

thanks to anyone who can help me out with this.

An attorney should review the deed in its entirety. You need legal advice.

Richard is correct. The language you quoted indicates the earlier seller kept the Executive Right to lease (i.e negotiate terms in years, percentages, indemnity etc.). You should also (or have your attorney) attempt to find out who now owns this right. Regardless of what you percentage of ownership turns out to be, you will need to have a clear understanding what obligations the Executive Rights holder has, and does not have when negotiating and signing mineral leases covering your property.

In Texas, our Supreme Court has held that an executive rights holder owes a duty of “utmost good faith and fair dealing” when negotiating or signing a lease agreement. The holder of the Executive Right is “not required to wholly subordinate its interests in favor of the non-executive if their interests conflict.” It comes down to the facts of the negotiations.

All the more reason to retain an attorney familiar with mineral rights and, to get to know who will/may be negotiating any leases. You can then try to influence them and protect your interests during any lease negotiations.