How to find owners of mineral rights currently receiving royalties?

Somehow big companies find out and send out offers to purchase mineral rights but how can an individual find this information?


Tax rolls

In Texas, the Counties tax people with producing royalties. They do not tax people with non producing minerals or royalties.

But the Mineral Tax Rolls do not show someone's mineral or royalty ownership. The show the individual's decimal interest in a given well.

You have to study the records of the County Clerk, County Court Clerk and District Court Clerk to determine actual ownership.

In other States, researching the County and District Records is the only way you can find mineral owners.

Mr. Tooke, thank you for the info. So you are saying a person could walk in, and have access to research this information that would be available to the public, at the county where their minerals reside? How difficult would this be to search the files?

Hi, Kay -

Please call me Charles. My Father's Name was Mr. Tooke.

The files are very simple to research. You're either looking at a printed set of the Mineral Tax Rolls just like they have for the Real Property Tax Rolls or you're looking at a computer screen.

A number of Texas Counties have all of their tax rolls available online, but only under the individual's names. You couldn't look up an entire Well's worth of Owners unless you went to the County Tax Office - they may have a second set of printed records that are sorted by well. Each Individual Owner has their "ID Number" and so does every Well.

There are a few Websites you can subscribe to or pay-to-go on that have all or most of the Mineral Tax Rolls that you can use to search for the owners of entire Wells or Units. You can even research a County, RRC District or even the entire State of Texas under a given name.

On you can research a County at a time and even buy a complete set of a County's Mineral Tax Rolls. Probably be able to download the rolls into spreadsheet for mail merging, if you want to send every mineral or royalty owner in a given County something.

On you can research by County, RRC District or the entire State.

Do you have a particular name or set of names that you want to search for? I can do that for you in a matter of minutes.

One thing to note is that many times when you add up the decimal interests under a given Well or Unit they do not add up to "1.0" (100%). That is because the Counties do not tax producing mineral interests that are below a certain appraised value (typically a $400 - $500 minimum threshold). Not worth the stamp.

Hope this helps -


1 Like want to buy is my two cents worth...what you should do...

1. Get some mapping software. QGIS is free and easy. ESRI ARCVIEW is the best but pricey...but affordable, there is an ARCVIEW workaround if interested message me. If you have half a brain you can begin to utilize these software packages in about 8 hours. ARC has free tutorials available online...I might even have my old book from College...If I can find it...Ill mail it to you. Geographix is a nice software if you are a Geologist....its difficult to operate and maintain but once you get the hang of it you will love it...its about 12k/year. Delorme and Xmap are nice...but their functionality is not good. You can use Google Earth, but no self respecting GIS Analyst uses Google Earth...if you go this route you are on your own...don't ask me for anything.

2. Data. Most of your states provide free data sets, of your roads, streams, rivers, political boundaries...etc..some states (NY) are more difficult than others. Usually your larger land grant Universities have available all the base datasets you need via downloads.

3. Oil and gas data. Depends upon your State...but you need to get well spots, with tabular data of operator and you need to have available the well data, production, formation, type of fracturing...etc. If there is horizontal drilling going on you need to get the horizontal lines. either draw them in yourself via coordinates given on well plats, buy them, or have someone give them to you. You need to know what properties are producing and what properties are not. You need to have an idea of where companies are leasing, where they are not...and where they may go...Youll have to network/or just figure it out yourself.

4. Base need some farm maps. You need old paper maps of the basin you are interested in showing the older property lines of the area you are interested for reference. These are wonderful references when it comes to abstracting out ownership and finding potential properties you may like to buy. Get them however you can...if you have do things that would have you excommunicated from the church then do it. Find an old surveyor, an oil and gas title attorney, blueprint company that services oil and gas, maybe even a smaller mom and pop company may have them. Don't call a large E&P company they wont give them to you (unless you have an insider...which helps). It depends upon the basin but you need maps from around the time the first wells started to be drilled. IF the first production began in 1900 then you want the farm lines from that era...but really if a pro has them and uses them they are probably good. Get these maps scanned and georefernce them into your mapping system. Go to a blueprint company and have them scanned they may georeference them for you too. It will cost you...

5. Surface data...purchase the surface tax parcels shapefiles for the area you are interested in. They are probably broken up by county/parish/tax district/municipality...urban areas are more expensive than rural areas. Dynamo and GIS Realestate are two providers I like to use...get vectroized datasets and not raster/paper need to be able to analyze these in you mapping program. This is your base dataset for finding oil and gas you know they usually are not the same as the surface owners. Only buy sets that have tabular data linked to the mapping the table you will have owner/identification/address/deed book and page/tax id...etc. These are priceless.

6. I map the ownership myself. I find an area I or someone I buy for likes...abstract properties out (go to the courthouse or some counties are online). Get a good feel for the area you are interested in...get to know the old names of the family names who own the minerals. Start with the surface owner and run the title to the point where the first oil and gas reservation was made then run the title forward. Its not hard...find an abstractor they are actually a lot of them. There could be 100 owners for a property there could 1...Depends upon what you are looking for. Start contacting people or find people interested in it out, analyze it...price it...and run with it.

7. If you have a lot of money then you can pay someone do this...If you are a do it yourselfer then in my opinion this is a good route to take. I personally, can not make mistakes. If I make a mistake then its back to my parents basement. Be may take you about a year to really get things rolling...but in my opinion you have time. The Saudis just put out a press release that they are happy with the worlds oil supply equilibrium, and I don't see natural gas rising above this winters baseline for a quite a few more years. So you have time to still get in while there is long term money to be made.

Some owners want to sell and some don't. Use a fine line...Don't be a car honest and treat everyone like you would treat your own family... Price an area get an HBP price, an open price, and leased price....prices are variable and can change overnight. Good luck.

1 Like

In states that don't tax the minerals, i.e., Oklahoma, you would need to run title. Is it open to the public? Yes. Is it easy to do? Not if you've never done it before.