I have purchased land by county tax sale with 2 producing wells. The well's operator is telling me I don't own the minerals because the producing wells severed the minerals from the surface. Does anyone know if this is true?
I would say maybe, maybe not. You need to get a title history of the property to see if any or all of the minerals were previously severed.
Thanks for the reply. The minerals were not previously severed.....I did the chain of title.So what do you think now?
I think you need to contact an attorney whose specialty is property tax law
Did you find a copy of the lease for your land? The lease may have been extinguished upon foreclosure of the land. You need to find talk to an expert - many are found here on this forum that can help you further.
You contracted to buy what the county owned. There may even be a redemption period in the contract. Once you have a deed from the County, you will know more. In the meantime, get a copy of the lease as recorded in the county. You will dost likely find that the operator had a right to pay down a lein against the property to keep the lease valid. If the minerals were not separated prior to the tax default you purchased, you may have taken the place of the previous owner including royalty obligations. If the minerals were separated from the surface, a record of it will be in the County records.
Invest in a little local lawyer advice.
Gary L Hutchinson
In Oklahoma the minerals are severed from the surface if gross production tax is being paid on production.
We may be talking about two different types of severance. One is a severance in ownership (Owner A sells to Owner B, Owner A retains the minerals). The other type of severance you are describing is when Owner A leases the minerals, so Operator now has title to the minerals while it is held under the lease. Owner A has a reversion in the minerals, so that when the lease lapses or terminates, the minerals revert back to Owner A. While the operator has the minerals, Owner A has a royalty interest. When the lease lapses or terminates, the royalty interest also terminates. My knowledge is limited to Texas in this matter, but it sounds like Oklahoma may be the same.