Hey Forum Members,
This is my first post on as a new member in your group. Let me qualify my post, to let you know I am inquiring about a title/mineral rights question in the state of Louisiana. We do have interests, fortunately inherited in Texas, Louisiana, and West Virginia, Haynesville and Marcellus plays. I have become a "quick study" in the ways of leasing and mineral rights over the past 10 years, but, you quickly realize you have just scratched the surface of any expertise knowledge.
On to my most recent O&G dilemma. To set the stage, the companies are all mid-size independents that operate in Texas and Louisiana markets; without mentioning names:
Company "A" leases a 40 acre tract from me (a fractionalized owner, 6.8 acre interest). Company "A" sells their leasehold to Company "B". Lease is held by a producing well in Desoto Parish, Louisiana, and we are paid royalties by Company "B". Company "B" then sells (in 2014) to company "C".
This is where it gets interesting: Company "C" does not send me any new division orders, or acknowledgement that they are the new leaseholders, and makes no payments to us. Upon some investigation with the previous company "B" I am informed who Company "C" is, and contact them. I am informed by company "C" that based upon their title work, that they independently determined, that our rights to the mineral leasehold had been "Prescribed" back in 1936, and cannot be reclaimed, and they owe us nothing. Hear to say, that everyone may not be aware of Louisiana's 10 year, non-use Prescription Laws, where mineral servitudes revert back to surface owners.
Needless to say, I was confused as to how the two prior Oil companies' title work justified them paying me bonus monies, and lease royalties, but, present Company "C" claims, that was their fault, and they have no requirement to payout, because our ownership was apparently interpreted to be forfeited, based upon their title work.
I know, an O&G attorney might be the most common response to resolving my issue, but, any suggestions from any Forum members would be greatly appreciated, that would perhaps provide me an alternate, less expensive route, to further investigate, to prove or disprove, Company "C's" claim of my new status as a non-existent mineral owner. My posts are generally not so long, just trying to provide some specifics here for consideration.