Looking Up Lease Copy

Hello, we are receiving royalties from Prima Exploration in 25N-58E-S13 from an old vertical well, and I have learned that they have permitted 4 horizontal wells in the same section. Unfortunately we do not have a copy of the lease for this as it was not in my late mother’s papers. I contacted Prima about the proposed wells, and they said they planned to drill them this year. I also inquired about getting a copy of the lease, and they said they could not provide one, as this was part of a unit, and they did not know which lease I might be on…so I am wondering how difficult it would be to go to Richland Co Courthouse and try to get a copy from there? Anyone who may have done this please advise if it is even possible, as I’d like to try and determine if we will be entitled to any upcoming royalties from the new wells… Thanks, Mark Presley

Good afternoon Mark,

We received a lease for he 4 new wells Prima is considering drilling.

It should not be hard to go to the courthouse to index your moms lease.

I would first call the courthouse and ask if their records are online. Could save you a trip to the courthouse.

I called and found out they are not online.

Prima should be able to provide you with the lease though. Tell them your mom’s name and what well you are being paid on. Ask them for your mother’s chain of title out of the title opinion that was prepared on the well your being paid on. That should provide you with the volume and page when she signed a lease and the following documents of how you also came into title.

Thanks, Alexis…yes, I guess I’ll need to try and find someone at Prima who will talk to me…typical, in my limited experience with oil co’s it is like pulling teeth to get any info out of them!! Mark

Mark, you will definitely be entitled to royalties. The new Sundance Kid wells will pool the entire section of 13-25N-58E and 24-25N-58E, so if you are getting paid on a vertical within section 13 already, by definition your minerals will be pooled in the new wells. Also, Prima claiming they cannot provide your lease is simply not true - they just didn’t want to bother. That said, I would not hold my breath on Prima actually drilling these wells. They have never drilled in MT and only operator a handful of wells across the country.

Thanks for the info…strange, as Prima pulled these permits on 2/22/21 with surface hole locations in sec 13, and PBHL’s in sec 24. Now I see new permits for the same 4 wells issued on 5/17/22 with the reverse…SHL’s in sec 24, and PBHL’s in sec 13. Wonder what is up with that? And why go to the trouble if they are unlikely to drill these as you suggest?

Switching the top and bottom hole could be a myriad of reasons, none of which would be particularly relevant to you (e.g. complaints from neighbors since the surface is where all the actual drilling activity is). As far as going to the trouble of getting permits - they may want to drill the wells but don’t necessarily have the funds in place to actually drill them. Relative to the cost of drilling a producing, getting permits approved is a nominal expense. There is also value in having the permits in hand and the trying to sell the leases to another operator. Countless permits go un-drilled every year across the country.