I have had a couple of calls from people interested in leasing oil rights from me in section 14-9N-5W in Grady County. They told me there has already been a pooling if interests and that my 7.5 acres were not pooled. They told me the acres are shown in the name of my paternal grandfather c/o my name. I do show that there was ownership by my grandmother of rights in this area. I believe it is Linn Oil company doing the drilling. I have tried contacting Linn but can’t get anyone there to call me back. The individual interested in leasing the rights wants me to sign a lease and then he will go to the courthouse and determine if everything is ok. Is there any way I can research this myself? Or are my only choices to agree to a lease and have this guy do the work or hire a lawyer on my own? Thanks - Gary Jones
OK, first I think you can forget about Linn Energy giving you anything. The have had our leases for years and for the past 6 months or more I’ve been trying to get them to give me copies of the leases, they do not return calls, they do not reply to emails, they basically do nothing. The only help I got from them was months ago (if you can call it help) when I complained about the leases and they emailed me a phone number and said call their Division Order Dept, left messages since no one ever answers the phone and never got a call back. Now, for deeds. Some Counties Clerk’s offices have records online, if so you can check for the deeds and other records there however they usually do not go back too far. Our records are from the 1940’s so the records (Kingfisher) were not available online. If you can go to the County Clerks Office yourself (I couldn’t since I’m in CA) you can search the records yourself which could take quite a while. Best to call the Grady County Clerk and explain the situation and get their advice. Some clerks are very helpful some are not. If you cannot go yourself you will probably have to pay a landman to go search the records and get the info for you. Be sure to get a cost quote up front, they are not cheap, my experience is about $500 or so a day plus expenses. If you can get a referral to a honest, reliable professional landman (man or woman) is best, otherwise check on this forum (pull down menu above “MEMBERS” and find a landman who is a member of AAPL. I can’t suggest anyone since my experience s have all been negative. A good landman can also give you advice about leases. I would definitely NOT sign a lease before I knew what I was dealing with, have some good advice, and have an idea of what leases are going for. You shouldn’t need a lawyer as a landman is going to be more help when it comes to leasing. Get a copy of the lease being offered and ask questions here on the forum about the lease and I’m sure you will get plenty of free info from others who have leases and know what should and should not be said in the lease. Don’t expect anything to happen quickly, I’ve been trying to get information and sell our minerals for almost a year. I would say that finding people who are honest and dependable are the most difficult thing to do. I’m sure you’ll be getting more replies. Hope that helps. NO MATTER WHAT, BE CAREFUL AND DON’T SIGN ANYTHING YOU DON’T COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND!
Thanks John. I am in OR do I can’t go to the courthouse myself. I will try calling the courthouse and explaining my situation and see if I get any help. You said it would cost at least $500 a day for an attorney. Can a landman do the research? What do they generally charge? Thanks again - Gary Jones
Sorry Gary, maybe I didn't make it clear, a landman charge is about $500 per day plus expenses but it is negotiable depending on what you need the person to do. You need to contact a landman first, let them know what you think you need and the landman should be able to tell you what you really need and the landman should be able to quote you an estimate for the work. You SHOULD NOT need a lawyer. The landman will do the research.
Great. Thanks John
Yes a landman can do it. I think the $500 quoted is for one day of landman work. They would charge more for copies & any travel expenses. If records are more recent & online it would much less expensive!
Completely correct, daily rate is about $500 PLUS expenses but it depends on what work is involved and you can negotiate terms somewhat. The Oklahoma County Clerk database is www.okcountyrecords.com you can search for free but if you want to download documents you have to pay a little bit. For well information you can go to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission website www.occeweb.com/Orawebapps/OCCOraWebAppsone.html
I tried the okcountyrecords site but Grady County is not listed so I guess their records are not online. I will try a phone call.
Hear is some reading: https://www.wsj.com/articles/linn-energy-files-for-bankruptcy-1463001443
Good luck, I am afraid you will need it.
That is old news, they came out of Chapter 11 some time ago, since then they have sold off some assets, they have reorganized, separated units that deal with Texas and Oklahoma and several other things, nothing to worry about, they are still paying royalties. I wouldn't worry about those articles, Linn is past that, we still receive our checks. However, trying to get info from them is like most oil companies, they just don't reply. I've been dealing with Linn for many years and the bankruptcy made no difference to the common royalty owners like us.
I just checked for Grady County and found that they are part of a different system but some of their records are online here www.idocmarket.com/GradyOK/Document/Search Evidently they are a small county with few residents (around 50,000)