Locating an old Lea County NM oil lease

I am trying to locate a copy of a lease in Lea County NM. I appears to involve BLM. I think BLM kept the mineral right when they passed out land claims in the early 20th century. Lea County has few records on line, OCD New Mexico has a bunch of stuff but seems of little use. Most is well tech data. BLM has some old records , patent claims , etc. … The lease keeps showing up as NMLC032592a and “FED”. This looks like it is a had copy in the Lea Cnty court house. This appears to be a pre-war lease. Short of hiring someone to dig in the court house , I am out of ideas. mike


 My advice is "Git Digging".  Our family has mineral rights in Lea County but our family homesteaded the property back in the early 1900's.  Also, if your family also still possess the surface and water rights you could definitely make money in the Solar Industry as well!

My best regards,


Definitely BLM lease. I think having someone dig it out of the courthouse is your option. That or BLM records in Santa Fe. NMOCD will not have any lease information in general. As far as I can tell it covers 160 acres in E/4 of Sec 3 of T25S R37E.

Old vertical production and little hope for horizontal drilling.

I am making progress , got a copy of lease from Lea County Clerk, nice people. Unfortunately there appears to be two leases from the USA land Office. Have yet to locate second one.
The index of things at Lea County has a learning curve, but if you can give the Lea County people Book and Page. They go for it. What I haven’t figured out is the “NCT” notation, NCT1 and NCT2. The area is a mix of BLM and private. And boy have they split the royalties. Scattered to the wind would be the best description.

Hey Mike20, I’m glad to see you are making progress! I ain’t got a clue as to what “NCT” notations are referring to. Please let us all know should you find out!

My hopeful regards,



You have to start at the Land Office. It used to be owned by Eliot & Waldron. Then it got purchased by First American Title. In Lovington, they are on the NORTH side of the old Court house. Directly across the street - just ‘cross the street’ and you are at the Title company.

They have all the ‘land records’ in books and a landman OR YOU can go look at them. Go into their office, be REALLY NICE and tell them what you are looking for and where can you start.

Did I mention to be nice to them?

Once you look in the land records, you will find what you are looking for you will end up with book and page numbers and take THOSE numbers over to the County Clerks office again and this time you have the info you seek. You KEEP doing this until you have found all the information you need. Eventually you may (or may not) need help from an attorney.

We have spent SO MUCH TIME in both offices - land office across the street from the County Court house and at the County Clerks office IN the County Court house over the past four plus years. We have found records in the title company and took that to the County Clerk and gotten so many records on just our mineral rights, it fills a two drawer filing cabinet and we still have more spilling out.

But that is where you want to start. At the land title office owned by First American Title you search their record books, get the book and page number.

Then go over to the County Clerks office and look that book and page up. That gets you the records you are looking for. As I said above, they are literally across the street on the north side of the court house. ASK anyone.

We got ‘Court CERTIFIED’ copies of the ones we felt we would use in our quiet title suit.

Hope that helps.

Actually I started with the Lea County Clerks office , they seem to be nice people also. It is a little tedious searching on line, but you do find things. As long as you can tell book and page to the Lea County people seem to have no problem.

Do you happen to know what NCT stands for? I run into “NCT-1 and NCT-2” in reference to leases. example: C C Fristoe (b) NCT-2 Federal mike

BLM lease files are maintained at the BLM State Office in Santa Fe. There are two companies who will copy all or part of the lease file (including the lease itself) for a fee:


Actually found them via Lea County clerk. You need to tell them Bk and Page and they will send a copy. The only thing I found at the BLM office in Sante Fe was a copy of the original land patent. I was a bit circuitous , first there was a prospecting permit from the US land Office, then an assignment to a production company, then two different leases from USA to Texas Co. The trick seems to be the USA does not give the mineral right on a land patent, that and finding out who the Grantee was for the leases and when. It would appear you actually have to look at the physical records in Santa Fe. The Lea County indexes can be searched on line.

Stephen Watkins: Are you a descendant of Sidney D. Watkins ( and/or Wayne & Shirley Watkins)? Minerals in NM Sec 27 T 12S Range 38E and Sec 34 T12S Range 38E? I hold deed to this also.

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