Letter from TRRC - advice needed ASAP

I really need some good advice. It's been about a month since I last posted in which I previously stated I was contacted by someone from Conoco Phillips who advised I inherited some mineral rights on property my great, great, great grandparents owned in Karnes County. After conducting extensive research and contacting an attorney, I found the 147.5 acres ly within the hot spot (gas condensate window). Burlington Resources, the drilling company for Conoco Phillips, had three drilling permits approved on the land which consists of two surveys. I was advised they where interested in sending out an oil and gas lease which I was to receive months ago however still haven't. Over the past month I've made several attempts to contact someone at Conoco however all attempts made where unsuccessful. Yesterday I received a letter from the Texas Railroad Commission which was a notice given by Burlington Resources who filed an application for a spacing exception permit under the provisions of RRC state Rule 37 which states the permit they are requesting for drilling purposes is not within the amount of distance needed (it's either on or near my family's property). I feel as if since initially being contacted they've now discovered 80 family members to own the mineral rights to the 147.5 acres, they are trying to work around us so they won't have to have all of us sign a lease to drill. This area is highly targeted and the letter states I have until May 17th to dispute however this will lead to us taking them to court. I really want someone to confirm that in fact this is what they are trying to do to avoid having our family sign a lease agreement. They plan to drill horizontally so they can still drill towards our land and into our minerals. I need to contact an attorney however have a sour taste in my mouth seeing as when I did contact one here in Houston, I felt he was working more for the other team than myself. I need someone who is willing to take on the case quickly and who will work off of a % vs. being paid up front. Has anyone else experienced something as such and if so what was the outcome? I am really desperate for assistance so any advice given would be GREATLY appreciated.


Located in the upper righthand corner of the page is a search window…enter “attorneys” and you’ll get several returns. It’s a good place to start.

visit the RRC website at:

Most drilling companies and their lawyers are pushing to have the new admendment passed, while majority of property and minerals owners oppose it. RRC received numerous comments on this proposal. The following are comments received by the RRC concerning proposed amendments to §3.79 and §3.86 regarding horizontal drilling. The comment period ended at noon on 3/22/2011.

Hi, Natasha -

I advise a little patience on your part. Tracts with such intricate title issues take a great deal of time to research and lease.

It would be difficult for me to believe that Burlington Resources / ConocoPhillips would go the all the trouble and substantial expense of indentifying and locating the 80 or more owners of your 147.5 acres if they did not intend upon leasing the land and including it in a Unit.

And, while the issue is a hot topic (Google "Mineral Trespass in Texas"), I honestly doubt any company would ever be allowed to drill under your land or drain your minerals out from under your land without your being paid a fair market value for them, whether that be under the terms of a lease or as an unleased, pooled interest owner.

Go To: http://info.sos.state.tx.us/pls/pub/readtac$ext.TacPage?sl=R&app=9&p_dir=&p_rloc=&p_tloc=&p_ploc=&pg=1&p_tac=&ti=16&pt=1&ch=3&rl=37

I would advise against your protesting. An application by a company for an Exception to Location to move closer than 467 feet to another company's lease line or an unleased tract boundary line is not particularly unusual - sometimes it's not logical to stand up a rig in a swamp or on top of a mesa. And some landowners would rather have drilling locations and production facilities in the corner of their lands rather than in the middle of one of their fields.

Consulting a Attorney is almost always advisable, but from what you have said I assume that you only own something like 1.84375 net mineral acres out of the 147.5 gross acres (147.5 / 80 owners).

Even at the fairly high Bonus rates I've been hearing they're paying in Karnes County (Texas), you've got a really sharply angled period of diminishing return: You stand to be giving every bit of your Bonus money (and maybe substantially more) away for advice you may not really need to pay for.

I ran across this posting when Googling "Mineral Trespass", where a Board Certifed Oil and Gas Attorney (Texas Board of Legal Specialization) named David McCall addressed a landowner's similar concern:

Go To: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Energy-Industry-Oil-2441/2009/3/unleased-minerals-probable-trespass.htm

Mr. McCall may allow you a little advice simply for the asking.

Beyond all that, if you will let me know what County and Survey is your interest in (your legal description), I will be happy to try and track down someone with Burlington Resources / ConocoPhillips or the Land Services group leasing for them in the area for you to talk to.

Hope this helps -


Charles Emery Tooke III

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas



Thank you so much Charles. Your response is greatly appreciated. Below you will find the property and land survey description.

The property description is 147.5 acres situated in the F.J. Haskins Survey, Abstract 136 and the N. McLane Survey, Abstract 189 in Karnes County, Texas. Of the 147.5 acres, 91.5 acres are in the F.J. Haskins Survey and 56 acres are in the N. McLane Survey.




I see that you are still researching, as are we. So far we have not received any clear answers and each questions asked leaves us with more questions. Have you come to any conclusion? Did you receive the 2nd application?