Gone are the dark ages where mineral owners were relegated to relying on hostile oil company employees, unhelpful deed clerks, and state regulatory employees speaking mystifying industry jargon.
The Internet has revolutionized access to information for mineral owners. Plentiful Internet resources can now equip you with most of the information you need. Every day people exchange helpful links to articles and information resources on forums such as the Mineral Rights Forum. This article attempts to accumulate some of these resources into one place. Listed below are some of the resources available to mineral owners **. Connect with me at Profile - Wade_Caldwell - Mineral Rights Forum if you see any broken links, or suggested additions, and I will update this article from time to time. As you can see, some states are missing and there are categories that could be fleshed out.
A. GENERAL HELP
1. Corporate Presentations
One of the best ways to follow drilling trends and results is to follow the companies that drill wells and build pipelines. Many publicly-traded companies do special presentations on their drilling activity to market their companies. See the recent presentation by Apache Corp., as an example.
In addition, quarterly earnings reports and conference call transcripts of public companies are a good way to follow drilling activity and results.
Set up a Google Alert for the companies or shale plays you wish to follow. Some companies will allow you to sign up for email alerts when they issue new press releases and papers. Finally, you can sign up for email alerts through investor websites, such as Seeking Alpha.
2. Drilling Reports Mineral Rights Forum members also often post drilling permits and completion reports also.
The industry sponsored website for issues regarding fracing, including information on specific wells, can be found at fracfocus.org.
3. Free Help
The Mineral Rights Forum is a resource for posting questions and, hopefully, getting answers or direction. You have to parse the information to see if the person really knows what they are talking about.
Geology.com is a good resource on the basics of geology, with a large section on oil and gas.
5. Google Alerts
Sign up for a Google alert to get e-mails sent to your desktop every time a news article is released on your topic of interest. The best way to follow activity in a particular area is to set up a Google alert for a particular oil and gas play, such as “Bakken” or “Delaware Basin”. If you are leased to a particular company, set up a Google alert for that company. Be forewarned, public companies are not big on gloomy news. Most corporate press releases have a relentless positive spin, such as reporting only the best wells.
6. Landman Organizations
The American Association of Professional Landmen has information on the landman industry, good articles and courses on the basics of locating and leasing minerals, and the code of ethics landmen are supposed to follow.
7. Lease Rates, Commodity Prices and Easements
One of the best sources of information for lease rates are the forums on the Mineral Rights Forum. A detailed listing of oil and gas prices can be found through Plains All American. In West Texas, the standard for damage payments for lease and surface damages is found in the University of Texas’ UT Damage Schedule.
8. Legal Help and Glossaries
MineralWise.com has substantial resources on mineral rights and legal materials.
Schlumberger has a free glossary of oil field terms for those learning to speak the language.
An explanation of how to understand division orders and royalty percentages can be found here.
A measurement converter calculator can be found here.
9. Maps – General
Google Earth is found here. Pocket Surveyor is an Android and tablet app that may be helpful. Golden software’s Map Viewer and Blue Marble’s Global Mapper are two pay-for-use mapping services.
The U.S. Energy Information Service includes a map of energy resources. Tools available include natural gas summary statistics, state total energy rankings and reports on household energy use.
For California, Oklahoma, and Texas, Earthpoint.us uses Google Earth to zoom in on tracts by abstract and section searches.
10. Marketing Minerals
The Mineral Rights Forum is one place to start if you want to market your minerals for sale or lease. Post them under the County Group where you minerals are located. There are many landmen and mineral buyers who follow the site.
EnergyNet.com is an online auction that also markets minerals. You can find a swath of mineral buyers by just doing a few Google searches.
11. Royalty Owner Organizations
The National Association of Royalty Owners has a good website with a lot of resources. Linkedin.com also has a Mineral Rights & Royalty Owner group. See also, TLMA.org and TIPRO.org for other groups of interest.
12. Royalty Owner Software
One of the most comprehensive royalty/industry resources is Drillinginfo.com. Basic subscriptions are $2,000/year and up. It pulls together information from many public sources into a single interface. The service also has mineral management features, and allows you to set up “areas of interest” where you are sent email alerts of any activity in the area. An alternative to DrillingInfo is DrillingEdge.com.
Mineral management software is also offered by Avatar Systems, WellDatabase.com, Landboss.com, MineralSoft.com and Pop’s.
Revenue data can be obtained electronically from Oildex and EnergyLink.com. They provide data to mineral owners so that they do not have to manually input check data into their accounting software.
13. Specific Formation Forums
Mineral Rights Forum has excellent discussion groups on all of the major formations. However, there are more specific formation sites, including Eagleford Forum and GoHaynesvilleShale.
Many appraisal districts have databases that can be searched to find if you owe any property taxes, who else owns minerals in your wells, who else owns surface in or near your tract, and other valuable information.
A website that is subscription based and takes CAD data and repackages it in more searchable form is MineralHolders.com.
These forums address severance taxes and deductions:
Greenstein, Rogoff, Olson & Co., LLP, CPA’s
Many of the websites mentioned above have links sections in their banners with numerous other sites. See sites such as NARO, TLMA and TIPRO.
There are several multi-state portals for information. Record retrieval sites for multiple states are here, and at courthousedirect.com. A portal for counties across the United States is at the home page for the National Association of Counties. A multi-state portal for unclaimed property is Unclaimed.org.
B. STATE SPECIFIC RESOURCES
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports – Production and drilling reports for Alabama can be found here.
b. Land Maps - ALS has a GIS-type map that is good for locating lands and wells here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Arkansas drilling and production information is here.
b. Land Maps - Arkansas’ version of the GIS land map is here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - California’s online production and well records search forms are located here.
b. Land Maps - California’s GIS map is located here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Colorado permits and production information are here.
b. Land Maps - Colorado’s GIS maps are here.
a. Drilling Permits - Idaho’s permits and other information are located here.
b. Land Maps - Idaho oil and gas maps can be found here.
c. Production Reports - Idaho’s historical production reports are located here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Instructions on how to access Illinois oil and gas resources data are located here.
b. Land Maps - Illinois’ GIS map is located here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Kansas’ drilling and production information is found here.
b. Land Maps - Kansas online maps are found here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Kentucky’s oil and gas records database is here.
b. Land Maps - Kentucky’s online publications and maps catalog is here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Louisiana’s drilling permits and production reports can be found here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Permits and Well data are at the top of this page.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Here is the portal for Montana’s oil and gas records.
b. Land Maps - Montana’s GIS maps are here.
c. Other - The Montana Board of Oil and Gas has a wealth of information online here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Nebraska’s drilling and production information can be found here.
b. Land Maps - Nebraska’s GIS maps may be found here.
13. New Mexico
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - New Mexico’s drilling permit and production information can be found here.
b. Land Maps - New Mexico’s GIS Maps are found here.
14. New York
a. Permits and Production - New York permitting and production information is located here.
15. North Dakota
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - North Dakota’s drilling permit and production report data can be found here and here.
b. Land Maps - North Dakota’s land maps are located here.
a. Drilling Permits and Prod Reports - Ohio’s drilling permit and production reports may be found here.
b. Land Maps - Ohio’s GIS maps are located here. The USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service has GIS maps which can be accessed for Oklahoma (and other states) here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Information about Oklahoma’s drilling permits and production reports may be found here.
b. Land Maps - County and section line maps for the State of Oklahoma may be viewed here and here. Oklahoma’s geological survey information is also available online.
c. Newspaper Reports - Drilling reports are available from The Oklahoman .
d. Oil and Gas Lease Auctions - Information about oil and gas lease auctions in Oklahoma is available online here.
e. Miscellaneous Oklahoma Resources - Oklahoma’s Unclaimed Property Index is a good resource. Oklahoma’s online corporation records are here. Search Oklahoma land records by county starting here. Oklahoma Corporation Commission imaged document search pages can be found here. The weekly Oklahoma City Court Calendar is posted here. And crude oil prices covering Oklahoma (and several other states) can be found here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Pennsylvania drilling and production information is here.
b. Land Maps - Pennsylvania land maps are located here.
19. South Dakota
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - South Dakota drilling and production information is located here.
b. Land Maps - South Dakota’s land maps are here.
A good general resource for Texas is Jack Fleet’s article, Resources for Mineral Owners, Texas 2013.
a. Appraisal Districts - Appraisal District searches can be done here. 9
b. Drilling Permits and Leases – The RRC has a portal for all of their online resources here. Texas Wells has an App Store application for Texas drilling locations.
Leases can be found by searching court deed records, but school districts, who own substantial minerals, usually have to publish terms of the leases they sign.
c. Land Maps - The Texas General Land Office has an excellent, interactive GLO map that is good for locating the block and section on land, as well as providing a general idea where land is located. More data is being moved on this map on a regular basis. There is also information on land grants and leases on state mineral-classified land by clicking on a particular section within the map.
d. Newspaper Reports - The Abilene Reporter News , Odessa American , and Midland newspapers publish reports once a week on oil and gas activity.
e. Production Reports - The Railroad Commission map here, or the online portal here, get you to production information.
f. Public Records - TexasFile.com has free registration, cheap records, and good county coverage. Not all counties are covered, however. See also, courthousedirect.com.
g. Unclaimed Property - An easy search for unclaimed property can be done at ClaimitTexas.org.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Utah drilling permit and production reports are here.
b. Land Maps - Utah’s land maps may be found here.
23. West Virginia
a. Drilling Permits and Production Data - West Virginia’s drilling and production data are located here.
b. Land Maps - West Virginia’s land maps are located here.
a. Drilling Permits and Production Data - Wyoming’s drilling reports and production data are located here.
b. Land Maps - Wyoming’s land maps are located here.
This post was updated from the 2012 version on January 10, 2019.
G. Wade Caldwell
The managing member of Caldwell East & Finlayson, PLLC, a San Antonio-based firm which represents mineral owners and provides a wide variety of legal services.