It is my understanding that historically in WV the ownership of mineral rights were determined through a title search done at the county level.

Does anyone know whether an accessible database exists at the county level with that information or possibly a proprietary fee-based database owned and managed by a private resource?

Several counties have their documents database (deeds, leases, will, etc.) online, and many do not. Did you have a specific county in mind?

I am interested in mineral rights in Pecos county, please. Do you know how or if I could find them?


Ms. Becker,

As to your question about Pecos County, Texas: in Texas, many county records are available online at least in part through sites such as www.texasfile.com and www.courthousedirect.com.

Patrick Flueckiger
Attorney At Law - Texas Land and Mineral Law

Do you know if these records reflect the mineral rights? I have my original deed, but it does not make any mention other than that title is guaranteed to be free and clear.

Marshall County, WV

I realize you can usually find oil & gas lease memorandum on the County Clerk site but as far as a I can tell neither the County Clerk or Assessor's office can provide information on mineral rights ownership.

AS you know, many times the mineral rights are not owned by the surface rights owner. Thus, it makes it difficult to find a source which provides the details on ownership for the rights themselves

That is precisely why I am asking! There is nothing on the deed to indicate whether I do or do not own the rights. And this seems like something that should be easy to find, but it has not been as straightforward as I might have guessed.

In my experience, when you purchase a property, you own the air above it and the land below it, unless it is expressly stated otherwise (as it was with my purchase in California). Nothing was said either way, in this instance.

One other approach I took in WV to determine this information was to take a look at whether the minerals are taxed PRIOR to severance from the land. If that is the case in your State, you may be able to find this information through the Assessors office, since there will be one tax being levied on the minerals and one tax on the surface land and it should be broken out.

However, if your state does NOT tax PRIOR to severance, there will be no tax receipt on the minerals and the ownership becomes non-determinable, as far as a I can tell.

I suspect the oil and gas companies have this proprietary information that has been collected over the years by doing title searches conducted by landmen, but if that is the case, they certainly would not be willing to share, for a fee or otherwise.

Thanks for the insight. I do not get separate bills, so I guess that I am back to square one, and falling under the "non-determinable" category.

The sleuthing continues, I suppose...

By the way, if you have the time to perform a title search here is a good article on how to do the same.

The good news, you can find out the answer to your question, the bad news is it will take someone's time and effort to do so. In other words, it will cost you out-of- pocket cash and/or your personal time, which is money.


Hope this helps!

In Texas, the county records as a whole do reflect the title to the minerals, but one has to piece together the records in the chain of title to determine the current mineral ownership. When a company wants to lease a given property, their landmen research all of the records affecting that property in order to identify and contact the current mineral owners.

Minerals in Texas become taxable on January 1st of the year following first production. At that point, the operator reports the ownership to the county appraisal district which then publishes a mineral ownership roll reflecting the taxable value to each owner.

Patrick Flueckiger
Attorney At Law - Texas Land and Mineral Law

So Patrick, is there somewhere on my deed that should reflect this information? Or is just this cumbersome process of researching the chain?