Questions about mineral rights ownership vs. royalty ownership

Situation: Individual A owned 160 acres of land. Individual A sold this quarter of land to Individual B, but reserved 1% mineral interest of oil and gas discovered in future. Individual B then sold 160 acres of land to Individual C, but reserved 6.25% royalty of all oil/gas produced.

When Individual C passed away, the final decree was written incorrectly and 100% mineral interest were passed on to heirs, reserving 7.25% royalty (the incorrectly combined the 1% mineral interest and the 6.25% royalty interest). Corrected, it should have read 99% mineral interest passed on, reserving 6.25% royalty.

The error will be corrected by a stipulation and cross conveyance. However, my question is: If the heirs of Individual A have been receiving 1% of the royalty, instead of 1% of the mineral interest, have they been receiving more $ or less $ than they should have received?

If the lease were 12.5%, it would seem to me that receiving 1% royalty of 12.5% would be financially greater than receiving 1/160 of the 13.75 left over after the 6.25% share of Individual B is taken out.

Is my understanding/math correct on this? If not, please explain. There is no feeling attached as the error made by legal counsel years ago was not intentional and likely understandable, but as a newcomer, I am simply curious as to how this all works. Thanks so much in advance to whomever might clarify this for me!

The answer depends upon the exact wording of the documents. You can get a land man or an attorney who specializes in title issues to answer it. They would have to see the original documents.

The later deed does not override the first deed. Title opinions by attorneys require deeds from sovereignty forward and each successor only can acquire what was owned by his predecessors. If minerals are severed, then subsequent deeds by owner of surface rights cannot grant minerals. There are a few states where there are reversionary mineral statutes so that can affect title. Be sure that you have your own oil and gas attorney review the deeds and any stipulation of interest agreement and do not simply sign a legal document presented to you by an oil company or other owner. You need to be sure that any language preserves your legal ownership and rights.

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