Ohio Mineral Rights Lease Royalty Payment Question

A landman contacted me in the summer 2018 informing me that I was heir to some mineral rights in the state of Ohio. Turned out to be several of properties varying in size. Lease agreements were signed, and lease bonus checks were mailed out to me from a large oil company. All varying in $ amounts depending how large or small the property. All is well and dandy. I thought / assumed then that the next step would be to wait until said oil company would put a well on one of these properties and then I would be then begin to receive royalty payments based upon a percentage. While monitoring some websites looking for new wells to be permitted, or come on line, I came across one site in particular: ODNR Map Viewer. Using the tax map and parcel #’s from the lease agreements I was able to locate the properties on the website: ArcGIS Web Application

I cross referenced the parcels on the first site above and several of the properties appear to have a horizontal well going directly through them. A well owned and operated by the oil company that sent me the lease checks. One well was permitted in May of 2016 commenced in October of 2016 and completed in February of 2017. It has been producing and continues to produce to this day. I emailed this information to the Landman as well as the Oil company. The Oil company responded back that they do not have enough evidence that I am actually an owner. I emailed a copy of the lease check that they had sent to me and asked them what the lease check was even for. I haven’t heard back. It’s been a while. I’m sure there could a be a valid reason for this the silence and lack of communication now is frustrating. Does anyone out here know why royalty payments wouldn’t be applicable? Past or current?

It is not uncommon for a Company to take a lease without doing a full mineral abstract to verify title. Once a well is drilled, then a full Division Order Title Opinion is done. It may be that your chain of title has some minor defect in it which is easily cured, or it may be that the original landman simply made a mistake when he leased you originally.

Unfortunately, this would be very difficult for a layperson to figure out on their own. You should engage a competent attorney who specializes in mineral title work. A general real estate attorney probably wouldn’t be able to help you out.

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Is there an attorney you would recommend? Frustrating thing is that I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason for all this but not returning my calls or emails makes me wonder…