New Milton district WI purchase offer

Hi All- I am new to this forum, and am trying to get an understanding as to the potential value of a working interest that I have been contacted about.

I received a call from a law firm representing Antero, trying to track down other family members that have inherited a working interest.

My grandfather purchased a working interest in 1962 in Doddridge county. I have a copy of the lease, best described as being in the Tom's Fork area of Doddridge. New Milton district. The interest is 1/16 of the north 50 acres and the south 50 acres of the farm parcels of 247 and 204 acres (plat book 59 page 280 and 60, 162.

There are 5 members of our inheriting family. It seems that each of us would have about a 1.25 acre interest

The law firm has offered us $250 each in the typical letter stating that if we don't take the offer, it will go to litigation with risks.

I spoke with the lady, she mentioned the risk of abandonment, as the interest have not been inquired upon by my family, the asset was not included in my grandfather's will, etc.

She did state that there must be at least a producing well on the parcel, not sure which, or our rights would be gone.

The law firm is trying to track down a total of 70 WI owners to get them to sell, freeing up Antero to drill the property that they bought through a bankruptcy.

Sorry for the scattered info.

What are our best options with this? Is it possible to lease our working interest back to Antero, or can you not lease a lease?

If selling is the best option, what could be a realistic value for this working interest?

Is there a chance that we could be owed back and current royalties on the producing well(s)?

Please let me know if I can provide any further info.




Just my opinion, but when a company starts a conversation with a threat, "it will go to litigation with risks", I question the validity of the source. Secondly, if they were free to drill, they would not waste the time to call you.

I would recommend you spend 250.00 to meet with an attorney to gain better insight and if nothing else, you may get significantly more for your interest. Additionally, the offer to purchase your share at that price is an insult.

If you need any suggestions for an attorney, let me know.

Thanks. I have a call into Atty. Nutrell.

The lady from the law firm I spoke with a t length, and she was friendly and stated that the letters come off a bit harsh, but that is how they get peoples attention.

I have looked at tons of posts on this site about mineral interests. Is this working interest inferior to the mineral interests that are discussed so often, or is it still of possible substantial value? I sense that the developmental cost responsibility is a major negative value factor that most mineral interests discussed on this forum do not have.

Steve, I second WV Mineral Owner's recommendation about the attorney, and you have stated that's you have contacted a good one.

As I understand it, a working interest is part of the "company"'s part of the oil and gas interest for a property, as opposed to the mineral owner's royalty interest. This is most likely a 1/8 royalty interest, meaning that 7/8 of the interest is "working interest". Your family shares 1/16 of this working interest, probably the 1/16 being 1/16 of the whole, not 1/16 of the 7/8.

The working interest owner(s) carry the expenses of the operations, unless the lease allows the royalty to share this, so your 1/16 would be paying 1/16 of the costs, and getting paid 1/16 of the revenue minus the 1/16 share of the costs.

Sometimes working interests are in (own interest in) the whole lease, and sometimes just in one well. It sounds like your interest is in the leasehold estate (I am perhaps not using the correct term), at least your portion of the larger tracts, sharing in any revenue from any wells on the tract. As the lady said, in order for the lease to be valid and for your interest to be worth anything, there must be some production from at least one well on the premises. In this low price environment, there might not be anything for the working interest owner to have as profit, but in earlier years there would have been. To answer your question, there might be some money owed to you.

One thing to remember, if there are more expenses than revenue, my understanding is that the working interest owners are liable for their share of the necessary expenses. And, if Antero wants to drill a new well, if you retain a working interest, you might need to pay your share of the cost. Not sure about those things. That is where an attorney would help.

Things to think about.

You said you have a copy of the lease. Have you looked up anything on the Doddridge county records site?

Do you have a copy of the lease from the mineral owner to a company or an individual, or of an assignment from a company or individual to your grandfather?

Thanks for the valuable input. I have an assignment from an individual to my grandfather, and after requesting it, was given a copy of the original lease. I am not sure of the significance of the original lease in my case.

I was told that the original lease was assigned to an individual #1 who assigned a portion of the parcel lease to the person #2 who sold (assigned to) 1/16 of his portion to my grandfather. Person #2 died in the 70's and the estate was bankrupt. I was told that Antero bought its interest, whatever it is, through a bankruptcy. Confusing, to say the least.

The original lease will tell you how much the royalty is to the mineral owner so you can see how much the working interest is (probably 1/8 royalty leaving 7/8 working interest).

You said person #2 was assigned (bought) a portion of the lease from person #1, then assigned 1/16 of that portion to your grandfather. It sounds like he retained a portion of his assignment portion, and that is what went to the estate which went into bankruptcy? and what Antero bought? and they are trying to get the rest of the working interest I guess.

Do you know just where this is? If you can locate it on the interactive oil and gas map from WV office of oil and gas then you can see what drilling has been going on in the area.

Maybe that helps.

Here is what I was told by the Antero rep-

You have a copy of the assignment where Ferrell L. Prior assigned to (my grandfather) an undivided one-sixteenth (1/16th) working interest. The original Leases – one for each farm, 247acs and 204acs – are reference in the description section on the first page of your document. The John M. Walton lease was for 204ac and is of record in Doddridge County Lease Book 60 page 162. The Mary Walton lease for 247ac is in Lease Book 59 page 280. Both of the original leases were to George Jackson who assigned both to Joe McLaughlin who assigned only portions to Ferrell Prior. Ferrell Prior is the one who died in the 70s and whose estate was in bankruptcy – after bankruptcy I have no idea whose hands they traveled through. Attached is a copy of the Mary Walton lease and as you can see it is pretty difficult to read – the one on record in the courthouse isn’t much better. I’ve reversed the second copy so you might be able to read the portions that are not clear on the first.

My grandfather bought one of the 1/16 interests from Ferrell Prior. Antero is trying to buy, or clear out, my grandfather's interest, along with all of the other 1/16 heirs.

The original leases are Mary Walton leases, do mention 1/8 interest in well production. I have copies of them.

I have the property descriptions, but they are described by metes and bounds, so they are hard to figure out exact location. They do border waters of Tom's Fork. New Milton district, of course.

I have tracked down nearby Antero wells (Farrow 06362, Gearhart 06334, Carr 06453 and Nickers 06333. I even have surveys of them from the permits, but can't determine if they are on my interest property.

The leases are still in force per Antero, as there is still oil and gas production, but I cannot determine if the production is on either the north 50 or the south 50 acres that my interest is on, or just somewhere on the entire 450 acre plus farm parcel that my interests are part of.

Your help is certainly appreciated. I am trying to determine the likely market value of my families interests and see if there could be any royalties due.


To help with the metes and bounds description: free Tractplotter site which has some explanation of the way to use it. If you input the calls correctly and if they are correct on your document, it will plot the tract and show the outline. You can print the screen, and use that to compaare with things.

I guess you have put the well numbers into the oil and gas map in the link I put in recently, the WV oil and gas database? A permit number should be in the form of 017-0xxxx (017 is Doddridge, and there needs to be 5 digits in the permit itself). If you do that, you can see the areas where those wells are.

I think you'll need to hope the descriptions plot correctly, and figure out if there is a likely "north 50 acres" or "south 50 acres" from what shows up. I have seen where the deed says N and it should be S (for example) or the handwriting was hard to read and somebody had to guess...

Another thing to do is to go to the site WV Oil and Gas well search and search "Doddridge" for county and "Walton" for farm name. You will find a number of Mary Walton and John Walton (not sure if they are for those leases) and several with Ferrell Prior as operator. I think those were abandoned or plugged but should show the area.

When you have the API numbers (017-0xxxx, in the far left hand column) you can go to the Downloads site for the API numbers (the link already has Doddridge selected) and look at these. It will give you a lot of information, maybe more than you need, but something to look at.

I am hoping somebody else can help with the valuation of your interests. Out of my field of information. But your attorney can help with that.


You are an amazing source of information! Thank you for your continued support of the board.

You're welcome, WV Mineral Owner. We all can learn from each other.

Yes, you are awesome!

Thanks so much.

I did find the assignment show that my 100 acre tract (south and north 50) is known as the John Walton tract.

On the tract plotter site, it doesn't seem to want to take my descriptions: north by Mary Phillips & George Willis

East by G W Willis &J. Davidson

south by I O Dicks & W E Nutter

west by J Walton

I will keep on trying

Is your description as you wrote above? That is more of a a problem, since you need to know when those people owned those tracts etc. A metes and bounds description would be something like this " Beginning at a stone thence N 71/2 E 671/4 poles to a stone thence S 521/2 E about 28 poles to a stone thence S 241/4 E 11 poles to a stone thence S 26 E 10 poles to a stone thence S 12 W 17 poles to a Dogwood thence S 32 W 15 poles to a stone thence S 44 W 9 poles to a stone thence S 41 E 34 poles to a W O thence S 56 E 56 poles to a hickory thence S 20 W 151/2 poles to the place of beginning"

You would put in "n7.30e 67.25p" for the first line, "s52.3e 28p" for the second line, etc.

What year are those original leases?

Nancy, I can't reply to your latest post, as there is no reply button below it.

I stand corrected. My description on the lease and assignement is as I stated, not metes and bounds.

The lease is from May 1957, and the assignment is 1962.



I can’t reply to your post either! There might be a way around this… I’ll think about it. Did Antero give you a tax map number for New Million district?

Antero did not give me a tax map number for New Milton district.