I live abroad and will soon be taking over the management of my family’s mineral rights, all located in Oklahoma. I think I’ve identified a local person to act as my secretary – receiving mail, forwarding me documents and depositing checks for operators who don’t offer direct deposit. My question is this: is it acceptable to sign and return division orders via email? I assume a lease will require a trip to the US Consulate for notary but with DO’s being so frequent, it would be easier via email. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.
I think it depends on the company, you have to check with them. I’ve done orders, sales, and other forms with several oil companies in Oklahoma and all accepted a scan of the signed document. But that doesn’t mean they all would.
Division Orders are not required in OK in order to be paid. (They are required in other states.). However, it is good policy to either sign them (they do not need a notary or a witness in OK) or you can send the NADOA form which can be found on the NARO website (www.naro-us.org). It is better than a DO in my opinion since it has the required information on it and prevents a DO from changing any lease language. It is a universal form that all the states’ Division Order Analysts have agreed to. Or even better, you can send a letter via email or certified mail which lists the same information such as your name, address (and your agents’s address), email, description of the minerals pertaining to that well, well names and a big statement that says that you agree that the decimal amount is correct (if it is) and that the letter does not allow any changes to the lease. I keep a record of the correspondence for future heirs or to be able to look back and see if any company has changed the decimal amount.
I agree with Martha. Companies always want you to warrant the ownership, decimal, etc. I like to write back requesting information that would permit me to calculate the interest etc. Always provide a W9 and your mailing address.
Thank you so much for such a comprehensive reply. And thank you to the others as well. I found the NADOA form on their website. Instead of having to re-write all the pertinent data from the DO onto a letter or onto the NADOA form, could I not utilize the operator’s DO and write in a phrase above the signature line that says “This Division Order does not amend any lease or operating agreement between the undersigned and the lessee or operator or any other contracts for the purchase of oil or gas.” ?
As far as record keeping, I’ve created a digital file cabinet and keep copies of all correspondence organized by legal description and county.
I have another question about interest represented on a DO. We discovered a few months after having returned a DO that we own more interest in a certain tract than we knew. This means we affirmed that we had less interest than we actually do. I assume that once we have the legal documents in order to prove this, the operator is still legally obligated to pay us. Correct?
I use the NADOA form because some of the company forms are more than one page long and attempt to get away with more than they should. Five minutes of my time copying their info onto the NADOA form or a letter may save me hundreds of dollars in lost revenue. My opinion… If you do sign theirs, make sure you put a disclaimer on it. Richard can help with the wording.
Division Orders can be changed by either party. If you have discovered that you have more acreage, then contact the operator and be ready to back up your claims in order for them to send you a new DO.
Thanks very much. You make an excellent case for sending in my own form. I’ll try to implement that going forward. As soon as our attorney has the documents prepared, we’ll be reaching out to the operator(s) to correct our interest claims.
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