County clerk in Saline County would not tell me who the owner of the land is on phone. I don’t live in Illinois. I have mineral rights in Saline County that had a now expired lease on from Next Energy in Denver CO. They are out of business and I read they mortgaged leases and didn’t pay and actually severed mineral rights of owners. How do I find out who owns the 120 acres now and if our mineral rights have been removed w/o our permission? This is way out of my knowledge base. Thanks.
Most oil companies finance operations by pledging the leases against loans. This does not affect your mineral title or ownership. It is to let the bank foreclose on the leases in case the oil company defaults on the loan. The lender will only get the rights that the operator has in the lease and if the lease expires, then neither the operator or the lender has any further rights. The reference to severance most likely means that Next Energy sold pieces of the leases to third parties. For example, Next Energy would end up owning 50% of your lease and XX would own the other 50%. Sometimes the company will sell a flat percentage of the lease and sometimes a company will sell the deep leasehold (ie right to drill in deep depths) and keep the shallow rights - or sell the shallow rights and keep the deep rights. Again, this does not affect your title to the minerals, but instead means that different companies can drill at different depths. You can look at the deed records to see if there is an Assignment and Bill of Sale from Far Energy to another company and then look at the exhibit pages to see if your lease was listed. Hopefully the deed records are on-line for you to research. You may have to purchase copies or pay to read the document and decide if you want to buy it. If your lease expired due to failure to drill and produce the minerals, then you do not need to worry. If the lease is expired, it is preferable to have a release filed by the lessee, but that may not be possible. Are you sure that Next Energy was an operating oil company? More likely it was a leasing agent on behalf of an oil company and if so, then the lease will have been assigned.
Thank you for such a great response. I signed an Oil and Gas Lease with them in October of 2011 for 5 years never heard another word from them. Now they are out of business. They were from Denver, CO. The lease was negotiated prior to my inheriting some of the mineral rights with other beneficiaries. We then signed a new lease as the new mineral rights owners. I do not live anywhere near Illinois so I would have to pay someone to find the owners/etc. Online data with the legal description of the 120 acres failed to bring up an owner Called courthouse in Saline clerk of court would not tell me who owned the property. I see Next Energy has disappeared and by the rip off report website on the internet did some very shady things in Saline and Edwards County also. Guess I will have to find someone to look at the deeds, titles, mineral rights recorded etc. Land law/mineral rights are something I know nothing about.
Hi I am in the same situation. I signed lease 2011. I only have 42 acreas of mineral rights(inherited) I have no idea what to do with it. Like you I called Next energy to find out they are closed. I want to know what is happening on that land. I received no notification of drilling. But I also live far away from Illinois. Did you get any information about activity on the acreage?