Leasing Mineral Rights

Recently I discovered that I am part owner of 1/4 undivided, non participating mineral rights in Section (18), Block (34) T1 S, T & P Ry Co survey. 297 total acres. RRC Website list a well being drilled and produced oil for approx. 2-3 yrs. around 1998/2000. Recently through searches I have found the property owner of some of the land has signed a lease in 2014. Can I recoup past royalty payment? Do I contact the Operating Company of the current lease or should I just get a lawyer? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.


How did you figure out that you were a part owner? The well that you referenced was on the E/2 of that section. It is probable that your 297 acres are on the west half and were not included in said unit. I would not recommend getting a lawyer. That well was terrible and your full royalty share, assuming you were in the unit, would add up to approximately one phone call and one email exchange with an attorney.

Thanks for your response.


In a 1998 Texas Supreme Court decision, commonly referred to as Heci Exploration, the four year statute of limitations for royalty claims was made virtually impossible to circumvent. So at least with respect to a claim related 1998/2000 timeframe, it would be a wasted effort.

With respect to the 2014 lease you could contact the lessee -- CHOLLA PETROLEUM INC. 5949 SHERRY LANE SUITE 850 DALLAS, TX 75225. Even as a non-participating royalty owner, they may provide you with a copy of the lease that controls your interest. They may also redirect you to the lessee, which my research indicates is either THE ESTATE OF LAVON HANCOCK 130 SPRING PARK DRIVE SUITE 201 Midland, TX 79705 or WELLS FARGO BANK NA. P.O. BOX 1959 Midland, TX 79702.

Thanks for the info on the statute. As far as contacting the lessee I believe that was assigned to JPM EOC Opal by Cholla. In your opinion which would be more beneficial to work with the lessee (JPM EOC) or lessor (Phillip A Hancock, Executor)?

I would first contact the lessee, as they are in the habit of responding to records requests, and they should have all the leases nicely filed in their offices. But I don't believe they are legally obligated to provide it. The lessor has a legal obligation to provide utmost duty (or words to that effect (I'm a royalty owner, not an attorney)) for the non participating royalty owner (you). But they may not understand they're legal duty to the NPR. They're are also a number of sites where you can access county records. So, there are 3 options.

On another matter, I checked drilling info, and shows no permit applications in the last 2 years for your royalty. Until there's a well, the issue of the lease and royalties is mute -- but its good to have your records as complete as possible.

Attached is the lease copy.

972-OGLHancockEstatetoChollaPetVol1396P376.pdf (517 KB)

Thanks for all your help!