Large Deductions on Royalty Check

For the past 2 years around November, one of my largest operators reduces my check by a significant amount. I do not have an original lease (would love to know if I can get one) since this has been inherited through the generations - all I have is Division Orders. I called last year when it happened, and they said I was paid for a well that I didn’t own…hm ok - don’t you send a letter or something saying that you made an error and you will not be getting your normal amount X month? That was last year…fast forward to this year same time - same thing. Is there anything that can be done? If so, is this a *lawyer I get. I asked again (via email because they aren’t taking phone calls) and will see what answer I get this time. Any thoughts or ideas are appreciated. I don’t mind small production costs and reductions, but we are talking a 1/3 of the normal amount with no letter or explanation. I have always wondered about the original lease agreement and if that is somewhere too - to view / look at. How do we know that we are getting paid what we should be. Up til this point, I had just got the checks and cashed them…but this whole thing has me curious who monitors/regulates and makes sure that we are getting paid what we should? any help or resources would be great! TYIA.

It is up to the mineral owner to monitor royalty payments for accuracy. No state agency will review as royalties are a contractual matter between lessor and lessee. The volumes are reported on RRC website and gross sales are reported on Texas Comptroller CONG website. If you are under an old lease, most likely it is recorded in county deed records. Most Texas county records are available online, but some counties have limited years accessible. It will be filed under name of original lessor and original lessee, so you can look back through names of your predecessors. Or ask the operator for a copy of the lease or at least for the recording data. The operator’s explanation about an extra well seems odd, but you may have misunderstood. For this reason, it is best to correspond by email to get answers. Are you certain that the reductions are not adjustments of prior production months? Could be increased costs charged, reduced volumes or reduced sales. Each well will be identified on the check detail, and each product,(oil, gas, liquids) listed on separate lines. Could be entries for only one production month or for multiple months. If you post the operator and identify the wells, someone else in pay for these wells may have more specific answers. There are lots of posts on this forum which explain how,to read and understand your checks. National Association of Royalty Owners is another good source of information. It will take some digging on your part, but will be worth the effort.


My wells are Yoakum Count Wasson Clearfork and Denver unit tr 45.

First, thank you so much for responding!

And I’ll be honest, I had no idea that we were to be monitoring or assessing for accuracy?

I’ve had these royalties many years and honestly just cashed the checks without really much thought as to if they are paying correctly until recently.

Are there services that can be hired to do an audit?

I’ve just found the wells and numbers etc based on the data from the commission, but have no idea how to put it all together to calculate accurately the amounts that should be paid.

I have an email stating that I was paid on a well I did not own that’s what the deductions are for. At least that’s what they said last year.

I definitely would like to learn how to monitor for the correct payment.

Thank you again, I will see if I can do some more research.

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