Mineral rights - Exxon and South Texas

My family owns 1/8 of the mineral rights to 640 acres in South Texas ( the Rio Grande Valley ). Exxon owns the rest. Many years ago exxon drill a well. It was a high pressure gas well. When my father was alive, him and my mom received royalties . Exxon went in to rework something on the well and messed up the casing.they never re drilled. I was raised on the ranch.the seismograph people said that it was one of the. Biggest pools that they had seen in south Texas. I guess my question is, what can we do as far as getting someone to re-drill or lease it. ThankYou for any help. John

Dear Mr. Williams,

You are in the unenviable position of the tail wagging the dog.

Not disputing one word that you have said – not one – I will tell you that time after time after time I have heard stories similar to yours, being that this was the best well in the world and they just left in the middle of the night. Having said that, do you really think that the largest private oil company in the world got that way by walking off from the largest pool in the world?

Your better option is to force a partition of the mineral rights from ExxonMobile. You are never placed in the position of remaining in co-ownership with another. So, at most, you would end up with 80 gross and net acres of minerals, offset by Exxon on all sides. Either you drill your own well, or you lease it for an operator to drill, knowing that unless they make an arrangement with Exxon, then they have a one well deal and Exxon has all the offset drillsites. And, if ExxonMobile still has its maps, you have no information as to which 80 acres would be the most prospective - and they have that information.

Not a good place to be in.