NMA; whose title opinion is it to be?

I read somewhere that you could put into a lease a requirement that the oil company would provide their title opinion to the leasee. Searching through leases I found one with the clause shown below titled “WELL INFORMATION”, where the well leasee will provide “copies of any filings made to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission” to the leassor? Does this include the “title opinion”? So is the title opinion or the basis for the Division Order (i.e. the steps and calculations necessary to arrive at the NMA) part of “any filings made to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission”???

WELL INFORMATION: Lessee agrees to furnish Lessor promptly, on request, a true copy of all of the following information pertaining to the leased premises or land unitized therewith, to wit: full, complete and correct records showing volumes produced and values received on gross production; gas balancing statements; gas purchaser statements; daily drilling and operations reports; core analysis, drill stem test, well completion, pressure survey and production analysis reports; all well logs of whatever kind; and copies of any filings made to the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. Lessor agrees not to disclose any information described in this paragraph to any person other than Lessor’s counsel, petroleum engineer, account, and support staff without the prior written consent of Lessee.

If the above clause does not include a “title opinion” how should it be re-worded?

WELL INFORMATION: Lessee (including anyone the Lessee sub-leases or assigns, gives to or in any way gives, bargains or conveys to anyone else) agrees to furnish Lessor promptly, on request, a true copy of all of the following information pertaining to the leased premises or land unitized therewith, to wit: All documents which deal with the determination of the Net Mineral Acres of the Lessor. The purpose of this clause is to make clear the rational, thought process and reasoning of the determination of the Lesee’s interest, in particular it is meant to force the oil company or oil producer or oil buyer to provide the Leassor a copy of what is commonly known as the Title Opinion. This clause is binding on the original signature of the Lessee, and also anyone to whom he assigns, gives, grants, bargains or conveys such Rights to and secessivley to all of those who follow. It is the intent of the current Mineral Rights owner to have full knowledge, provided by all producers, drillers, operators and sellers of the current Mineral owners Rights as to the exact and precise method of their calculation of the the Leese’s financial interest in the leased lands.

I realize the above clause is way too wordy and windingy to ever make it into a contract, but I’m old enough and mean enough and I have enough money to take a working interest, so be it. But on some occasions, I’d like to just lease and still have knowledge of exactly How, Why and What they are paying me.

Robert, I don’t believe title opinions, leases etc. come under the authority of the OCC. A good oil and gas attorney would save you some headaches.

Title and ownership issues are not something that is under control of the OCC. Mineral ownership reports and title opinions are proprietary data owned by the operator.

In my opinion and (it may be worth less than 1/2 what you are paying for it); Your clause for data request is overreaching. If you want all of the logs, drilling, and production data, the usual way to get them is to take a working interest in the well. You will be paying for your proportionate share of the reports and will be entitled to receive them. Although I have seen some of the data given, it has usually been limited to the daily activity report. I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask. You can ask for about anything. Getting it accepted is a whole different game. You can ask for a clause to “deliver a 32oz Grape Slurpee each Tuesday at noon during the term that the well is held in production”. Who Knows?? ;)

I think to cover your desire on the title discrepancies with your records you might add something like The Lessor shows a NMA of 6.3874 acres in (STR). In the event the Lessee final title opinion does not agree with this, the Lessee will be required to provide documentation to support their calculations. This will include and be limited to all title chain relevant to the Lessor ownership.

The majority of the differences I have seen have been because of errors or poor record keeping of the mineral owner. Not all by any means, but most. Some have been a varying legal opinion on the language in the instrument of conveyance that would take a quite title suit to determine. Most of the mistakes have been cleared during or just after the leasing period, but still many are found during the title opinion.