Identifying properties

My brother and I inherited leases from our father. We are having trouble identifying properties being referred to in emails, letters, and such as different references are being used. The things we get from the companies usually have a name such as “James Ranch Unit” but emails from others will have mostly numbers such as “T26S R32E Sec. 36 N2N2, Lots 1-4”. How can we resolve what is what??

The “James Ranch Unit” just means the lease/unit name your minerals are under - it corresponds to a physical location, but you could own minerals within just a small tract (e.g. only Lots 1-4) inside the unit. A more accurate description of the exact property location for your minerals is “T26S R32E Sec. 36 N2N2, Lots 1-4”.

What County and State are the rights in?

Some are in Texas and some in New Mexico. I guess I just have to ask the companies for more accurate locations then?

Yes, ask them to be as specific as possible. If they seem like they are withholding information, then tread very cautiously. Sometimes companies prey on those mineral owners who know less than the company does. Are these companies soliciting to purchase minerals? Or are they operators of existing leases/wells?

Did you inherit minerals which your father leased to oil companies? In that case, you can find the correct legal descriptions in the leases. If you do not have copies of the leases, then you can ask the operators for the leases or get them from the deed records in each county. Or was your father assigned overriding royalty interests in leases which are related to minerals owned by other people? The assignments to your father will have been recorded in the various counties. Or did you inherit working interests in the wells? In that case, you will be one of the lessees under the oil and gas lease for minerals owned by other people. Most Texas counties have on-line deed records through some agency and you can search for your father’s name. It is less easy to research deed records for counties in New Mexico.

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