How Do I Attract Offers from Landmen?

I am an heir of an heir(deceased) of the original owner(deceased) of oil and gas lease rights in Divide County, North Dakota. My share is 40 acres out of a total of 160 acres. They are in a moderately active area. The problem is that I am not getting any offers from landmen. I suspect it’s because they don’t know that I am an heir. To the best of my knowledge, the other 120 acres are also unleased, probably because the heirs of those acres are also unknown to, and untraceable by, the landmen. How do I make it known to the oil and gas lease world (in particular, to landmen) that I am the person they need to contact regarding these 40 acres?

See who is leasing in your area, and call them. You can do that by looking at recorded leases at the clerk and recorders office, or probably by looking at this forum by doing a search under Divide County. Or contact an independent landman or company that markets rights. We had several unsolicited offers in our neighborhood, but we also reached out to a big company on our own, that ended up being very interested. Now, we have an independent landman acting for us, and the offers have gone up, and hopefully we’ll find out next week that we have more offers on the table to entertain. So far as not knowing you are an heir, if they are interested in the land, they should be able to track you down as the owner–that’s a major part of the job. But, with that said, just because they haven’t contacted you, doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. You should also contact the other owners, and market your rights as a group.

Thanks Lisa for the helpful suggestions! I have a few follow-up questions …

Can you recommend any good independent landmen, or at least point me to some kind of list of independent landmen?

When you use an independent landman, does he/she typically keep a small % of the bonus, and therefore is motivated to strike the best deal?

As far as improving my traceability as an heir, do you think filing an Affidavit of Heirship would help?

Thanks!

Todd-

Best thing to do would be to go to www.dmr.nd.gov for the North Dakota Industrial Commission (NDIC) website. Under the “Surface-Mineral Owner” tab in the left hand side you will find a “Statement of Claim Form”. Fill this out and record it against your tract in Divide. I think the cost involved would be $8-$12. This will put anyone researching title on notice of at least yourself, once contacted you can direct them to other family members. Another option would be a Affidavit of Heirship, but this would be an easier route. The NDIC website offers quite a bit of information for any additional questions you may have.

Thank you all for your very helpful suggestions!

It would help tremendously if the minerals were in your own name. You can contact them and bring yourself to their attention, but you may only get the signing bonus and they will hold royalties till you prove you own the minerals. RWK

If you contact the state there probably is an agency who handles the paperwork of estate transfers. Or start with the county offices. You probably need a copy of the will, if there is one. I don’t know anything about North Dakota laws, but in some other states it is done that way.

r w kennedy said:

It would help tremendously if the minerals were in your own name. You can contact them and bring yourself to their attention, but you may only get the signing bonus and they will hold royalties till you prove you own the minerals. RWK

Let me know the land descriptions and I may be able to help you. See my profile and email me.