Mother just contacted for Ratification

My mother was just contacted by o&g person. She didn't know there was a well that used to have a lease with the people she bought it from... Texas deed does not specify her not having the mineral rights but paper says she has over 75% of them. She says she has them all, but I don't know why nothing was in the deed. She's owned land for 10 years and lease was expired long before she got it, but the operator didn't know about her. Is this normal and is she able to get anything out of them for pulling out oil for the last 10 years without a lease, royalty payments, etc? She has some documentation started and I have researched all night and since they want a ratification, I guess a lawyer is her best bet?

I suggest that your mother consult with an oil and gas attorney.

In Texas no matter how long you own the land you do not necessarily own the mineral right as they can be withheld and/or sold separately to an individual who may never have seen nor set foot on the actual property.

In Louisiana after 10 years ownership of the land WITH NO MINERAL ACTIVITY then minerals go to the owner.

Several of the olditimers that I know in Texas still own the minerals to the property they grew up on despite having left the area decades ago.

You need expert advice. I find this site to be most helpful. Good luck finding it (good advice that is).


Ratifications are also used for non-executive right mineral interest owners.

A deed does not have to specify the exact amount of minerals, or specify ANY minerals, in order for minerals to convey with the surface. If I sell you a piece of property along with "everything that's in it, on it, or under it," and you dig a hole and find buried treasure, who owns the treasure? You do, of course, because I sold the property to you with a promise that I owned everything in, on, or under it. If it turns out that I did not own what I sold to you, then you can sue me in court for the value of whatever I claimed to own and did not own.

Just like a Will, if I say that I leave my entire Estate to you, does that mean that because I did not mention exactly what mineral rights I had that you did not get them? Of course not, you get everything because I said you got everything, I was not required to specify exactly what "everything" meant.

Anyway, your posting was very confusing. You say that the lease expired long before your mother got the land, but then you inquire whether or not she can "get anything out of them for pulling out oil for the last 10 years without a lease." I've heard of oil companies doing some pretty dumb things, but producing a well for a decade without leasing the person who your mother claims "has ... all" the minerals certainly is not one of them. That's what I infer you are claiming from the way that your posting was worded.

You definitely should NOT sign ANYTHING without consulting an attorney who specializes in oil-and-gas law because it's sound like you might be in a situation very rarely encountered, with potentially large rewards for you. Depending upon the exact circumstances, you might very well be entitled to MORE money by NOT signing a Ratification than by actually signing it. If, for example, the Operator "didn't know about" your mother, they went ahead and drilled a well without her signing a Lease or Ratification, and the well was profitable, then you could be entitled to a interest in the entire well, not just your pro rata portion of the royalties in the well, and that Operator might be trying to get you to give up some of your profits by signing that Ratification.

Absolutely, if your mother owns a mineral or royalty interest and was not paid her associated royalty, then she would have a cause of action against that Operator. ALSO, if she has a Non-Executive Mineral Interest (NEMI) and not a Non-Participating Royalty Interest (NPRI), she needs to ask the Operator NOT ONLY for her royalties but also the bonus consideration that they never paid her for her mineral interest at the time that the person who had the right to sign the Lease did so. Depending upon the mineral title associated with this tract of land, there is a chance that she would not be entitled to any bonus consideration, which would make her mineral interest a Non-Participating Mineral Interest (NPMI), but those are pretty rare.

Dear Dana,

A quick read through might reveal something else that has not been mentioned. There is a lease in force and effect when your mother bought the property. It might have been out of the primary term and into the secondary term. In 99.99999% of leases, it is the responsibility of the buyer to notify the operator of a change in ownership.

So all of this might just be on your mother. But all of this is just speculation. I am giving another option that would fit your general facts.