Dear Mr. Wynne:
Thanks for your input. I do have a copy of the warranty deed which says it part, (after all the info on transfer of ownership, etc.)…"…it is distinctly understood and agreed, however, that grantors (my grandparents) herein expressly reserve for themselves, a one–sixty-fourth (1/64) of all oil, gas and minerals that may be saved and produced from said land to be delivered to grantors herein free of cost what the same be produced, it being our intention to hereby reserve for ourselves, and except from this conveyance a one-sixty-fourth of said oil, gas and other minerals, as a royalty interest, together with the right of ingress and egress over and across said land for the purpose of removing and marketing the same." It goes on: “TO HAVE AND TO HOLD, the above described premises, together with all and singular the rights and appurtenances thereto in anywise belonging unto the said J. T. Ehrlich, his heirs and assigns, subject to the reservations herein contained, forever; and we do hereby bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, and administrators to warrant and forever defend, all and singular this said premise herein conveyed unto J. T. Ehrlich his heirs and assigns against every person whomsoever lawfully claiming or to claim the same, or any part thereof.”
In the letter I received in Nov. of 2009, it says in part, “Enclosed please find an original, Ratification of Oil, Gas and Mineral Lease. This ratification will allow for pooling of your interest with other existing mineral and royalty interest in our Black Stone Brown Bear Unit and our proposed Grizzly Bear Unit.” On the first page of the lease it also says in part, “WHEREAS, the undersigned ELIZABETH RICHARDSON, whose address is…is an owner of a Royalty Interest, Nonparticipating Royalty Interest, Mineral Interest or other Nonexecutive Mineral interest under all or a portion of the Leased Premises, and desires to ADOPT, RATIFY, and CONFIRM the Lease and all of the terms and provisions thereof, as may be amended from time to time…”
What I don’t understand is, am I an owner of a Royalty Interest, a Nonparticipating Royalty Interest, Mineral Interest or other Nonexecutive Mineral interest…which one would apply…
Any translation appreciated!
Philip Wynne said:
NOT LEGAL ADVICE
Dear Ms. Richardson,
As soon as I read your introduction, I thought that you must be a royalty owner, not a mineral owner, because I have never seen an Oil and Gas Lease per se (as opposed to a Memorandum of Oil and Gas Lease) that did not mention a royalty percentage.
Those who have mineral rights are entitled to negotiate a lease, receive a one-time bonus payment for executing the document, as well as some other rights. Those who have royalty rights are asked to sign a ratification, not a lease, do not receive a bonus payment, and receive royalty payments only if the well produces in paying quantities.
Based upon what you have stated, I believe that your grandfather owned this land, sold it, and reserved a royalty interest in the property for himself and his heirs. But it is possible that he reserved a mineral interest instead, in which case you would have some bargaining powers. You would have to inspect the deed where he sold the land to know which one.