To address several issues:
In states like Texas, County Records are organized / indexed by the names of individuals and companies = Grantor (Direct) and Grantee (Indirect or Reverse). In other words Seller to Buyer and Buyer from Seller - can be Lessor to Lessee, Vendor to Vendee, Mortgagor to Mortgagee, etc.
Abstracter's Records (Title Plants) are organized / indexed by property description = Section, Township and Range down to the 1/4 1/4 1/4 Section or so.
Well, except in Texas and I would imagine the original 13 Colonies - their land descriptions are based upon older European style Surveys, so an Abstracter's records are organized accordingly and then, within those, by acreage call.
In many States these Abstracter's style records are kept and maintained in book form and are referred to as "Tract Books". There may even be other names for them.
County offices in Texas do not maintain Abstract Plant style records, only Grantor - Grantee style records. Abstracter style records are maintained by privately owned Title Companies, sometimes several Title Companies maintaining a single, common "Title Plant".
Many States, such as North Dakota, do maintain "Tract Book" style records, which everyone uses - even the Title Companies - as the primary method of researching the records (County Court and District Court and Vital Statistics Records are maintained separately).
They also maintain Grantor - Grantee Indexes, but those are usually considered to be a secondary method of researching the records and frequently only used to find documents that do not contain legal descriptions and that sort of thing.
Every document filed of record will eventually be available for public viewing. There may be some delay in their availability due to the constraints of human endeavor, but eventually they will be there.
Accurately indexing every single document by every single name, Direct and Reverse, and every single legal description they effect can be quite tedious and detailed work. I know this from personal, because I did that type of work for about a year and a half and (a) developed a very high level of respect for the people who work in the County and District Clerk's Offices and (b) never, ever, ever, ever want to do it again.
In Texas, the Abstracters' Title Plants are required by the State Title Insurance Board (whatever it's name is) to be no further behind in their Indexing than 14 days - that may be true for other states as well.
I am not aware of County offices anywhere being required to do anythiing as to their Indexes or Tract Books. I've even had it explained to me that they are not by any law or statute even required to build or maintain Indexes of any kind - that they just do so out of courtesy for the public. You cannot sue a County or District Clerk's Office for any mistakes or inaccuracies in their Records or Indexes.
That stint of Indexing I mentioned above? Most of the time I spent enjoying that little period of my life was spent helping to bring the Public Records of Cook County, Illinois (Chicago) up to date.
When we began the project, they were 5 - 1/2 years out of date... You could have gotten married, bought and paid for a house, had 7.33 children, divorced and remarried several times and even died before any record of it was made available for public viewing.
On to Tim's question about the 19 owners:
Remembering that I am not an Attorney and that if you want more exacting detail you should consult one -
In the scenario you have described, each individual owns their own stand alone interest, as an undivided portion of the entire mineral estate. There may be variations, such as Non-Participating Minerals and Non-Participating Royalties, where those individuals do not possess the Executive Rights, but the total still adds up to 100%.
Those who possess the Executive Rights (think Signature Rights) have the right to negotiate leases and other agreements affecting the land. Typically, that would be each of the individual Mineral Owners and they would each negotiate their own leases (and own terms such as requiring copies of Runsheets, etc.).
Undivided interest owners certainly have the right to negotiate together for equal terms, or to appoint someone to act as their Agent and Attorney-In-Fact or to transfer their individual ownerships to a trust. But I would imagine that would be fairly rare except perhaps in the case of a close knit family.
As to what authorization would be required would depend upon state law, but the right to negotiate Oil, Gas and Mineral Leases, accept funds on behalf of others, execute Pooling Agreements and Royalty Division Orders and that sort of thing at a minimum.
A Title Runsheet will not be prepared until a well is scheduled to be drilled - many times long after the leasing is completed, perhaps even several years.
What you may be thinking of is sometimes known as a Mineral Ownership Report (there are any number of names), which the Landmen handling the leasing for a given prospect prepare by reviewing the same records he or she would in preparing a Title Runsheet, but only with an eye toward mineral ownership. In preparing such a report, the Landman determines who holds the Executive Rights and negotiates the leases with them.
Review of the records to quickly determine Mineral Ownership is imperative in a competitive leasing situation. The "Bells and Whistles" of a Title Runsheet come later.
As to Title Opinions, there will be an Original Title Opinion, perhaps a series of Supplemental Title Opinions as title curative issues such as affidavits and probate matters are addressed and such documentation submitted to the Examining Attorney for review, culminating in a final Division Order Title Opinion setting out the Examining Attorney's final determination of surface, mineral, royalty and leasehold estate ownerships.
Each of these various types of Opinons will be prepared for each mineral tract, but the only one you really need for your records is the final Division Order Title Opinion.
There are classes for this sort of thing, even for Civilians! Try contacting the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) - they're bound to have something they can send you or that you can download.
There are other organizations out there as well - just gotta find them.
Many Law Firms that specialize in Oil and Gas matters have papers and information sheets you can download and I would imagine you could Google "Negotiating OIl and Gas Leases" and find lots of information.
Hope this helps -