Lease limits

My dad and uncle had joint ownership of their dad's farm. My dad purchased my uncle's half of the farm, but my uncle retained his mineral rights for 20 years. Those 20 years end December 31, 2017. He has since died and his son has inherited those minerals. Can his son legally enter into a 3-year lease, since he will only own the minerals a bit over a year? If so, will he be entitled to the entire half of any such lease?

Ms. Marple, that is going to depend on the wording of the reservation of the mineral rights. I would be looking for the words, 20 years, or as long thereafter as oil and gas are produced. Or words to those effect.

Dear Ms. Marple,

This is something that happens all the time in Louisiana. Louisiana has a prescriptive period. When we lease in Louisiana and the minerals are going to revert, most of the time we lease the reversionary interest as well. We try to work with both parties to arrive at an equitable situation.

As RWK said, it is ALL in what the mineral conveyance provided. If it is a flat 20 years, then the lease signed by the son will only be valid until reversion, unless you ratify the lease or sign your own lease. If, the conveyance provided for "and as long minerals are producing in paying quantities" then actual production will perpetuate the severance. There are LOTS of different ways to word it -- and they all pretty much mean something different. The devil is in the details.

Why don't you scan the conveyance and post it so that we can give a more informed response?


Buddy Cotten