What agency, if any, notifies a surface owner in Louisiana if prescription has occurred on a mineral servitude, returning mineral rights back to the surface owner. Have an oil company claiming my mineral rights had prescribed 80 years ago, associated with a lease they purchased from an oil and gas company I was paid royalties on, until the sale in 2014.
We were even negotiating with the present surface owner in 2016 for water right usage under a pending gas lease that we entered into; as far as I know, same family has owned surface rights for as long as we have owned mineral deed from the 1920s.
Does Louisiana Dept. of Conservation have any resources to research if our mineral interests have been in continuous production for at least 10 years throughout our mineral servitude ownership, or, should I leave this one to the experts and hire an attorney to contest the O&G companies claim.
No, no agency monitors this. If this were me, before I hired a LA oil/gas attorney, I would hire a LA landman skilled at running production records in the LA Office of Conservation. Once you do that, you'd have a better feel for what to do regarding spending a boatload of money.
BTW, you might need to hire a landman who can physically visit the Office of Conservation office (hire a landman local to the office) because the online state database probably does not have production info that far back. I will also add that finding reliable production info from the 1930s and 1940s might be rather dicey. You actually have a legal situation suited for an oil/gas attorney, but that can get real expensive.
What I would do is ask the company that says your minerals prescribed for proof of said non-production. Your position is stronger than normal because you said you were paid for decades and then they made this decision. Well... then give me the evidence!
Spent the better part of the day drafting a "demand and termination of lease" letter to the O&G company in question. Did specifically request if they had evidence to the contrary of our mineral rights servitude, to respectfully make it known, or, divest themselves of any claimed interests. If I don't get a suitable response, I guess it's time to go attorney shopping in Northwest Louisiana. We do have two other families that will hopefully share in the costs.
About 7 acres per family, will have to weigh the "cost/ benefit" equation between legal costs and production; interests do lie in the Haynesville play, and so bonus money and production on that amount of acreage can be fairly profitable.
You might consider talking to an attorney prior to making a demand. One thing that struck me was... is making a demand to provide a release what you really want? I would think you want the lease to remain intact. You just want them to recognize you as valid owner. I would be very careful without legal help from a very experienced Louisiana oil and gas attorney. Not just any Louisiana attorney.
That's a good point. I have used a couple of attorneys in Louisiana, I might very well contact some that have been recently referred in other matters, and forward the letter to them for their advice, which also pretty well lays out all the particulars of the situation.
No agency monitors mineral servitudes or when prescription is running. There have been mutliple thousands of servitudes created in Louisiana, and the large majority of them are extinguished by prescription, so there would be no way to monitor each servitude.
The company may simply be incorrect in their determination that your servitude has prescribed, but you will need an attorney to review your case to see if further action by you is in order. If your servitude did in fact prescribe 80 years ago, the company may try to make you repay all the royalties you have collected going back 10 years. If you have been collecting royalties for some time and a company is now claiming your servitude prescribed 80 years ago, you should not have any further this company until you talk to a LA oil and gas attorney.
If you need a referral for a LA oil and gas attorney, message me and i'll give you a few suggestions.