Rights ownership records archived where?

I'm trying to discover if there's a simple way to access the records for Texas mineral rights to determine precisely what the percentage and acreage of the rights our family owns in Panola county are. I assume the Texas RRC maintains these records? Maybe the Texas General Land Office?

I've been fiddling with the online Decimal Interest calculator at mineralweb.com, and the Decimal Interest figures it produces have been higher (two times higher) than the Decimal Interest designated on our Division Order. We were supposedly granted a 1/5 royalty rate, and I'm hoping I can determine all the correct numbers I should be plugging into the online calculator through some state agency. The Division Order refers to a 698.595 acre Property, but our rights are located on a 110 acre portion of the survey in question, and this 110 acre plot is in turn divided into quarters, one of which we are supposed to own the rights to—I thought 100% of the mineral ownership rights on this 27.5 acre parcel. I'd like to find out if this 27.5 acre figure is correct, and exactly what our % of mineral ownership is if these things can be ascertained online. I hope the question of whether the operator has kept the 1/5 royalty agreement could answered to our satisfaction if I can determine the correct figures.

Guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks,


This is mostly in county deed records. The RRC may have information on any units and who has how much of the unit, but unless all your acreage is within that unit, you have to go to deed records.

You need to find out if you own an undivided 25% of 110 acres or 100% of 27.5 acres.

I think the calculator yields the same DI whether I use 100% of 27.5, or 25% of 110 acres. Guess I'll find out what one does to access Panola County deed records. Some of our checks refer to the "May Unit," others to "David Dunham #2" (no mention of "unit" in these). The Division Order itself refers only to the David Dunham #2 property and under "Legal Description" refers to "698.595 acres of land, more or less, out of the J.R. Haley Survey, A-273 and the Chas. Q. Haley Survey, A-274 of Panola County, Texas." Thanks for the help Wade.

So I downloaded a copy of the deed, and it's written thus:

"...by these presents does GIVE, GRANT, and CONVEY unto the following undivided percentage interests:"

Below that my Aunt and Father are named respectively in a column labeled "Grantee's Name" and for each of them there is to the right of their names in a column labeled "Undivided Percentage Interest" a separate "Twenty-five percent (25%)" figure. The area of land to which these rights are attached is then delineated with various landmarks and bearings and described as "...containing one hundred acres more or less." A later survey conducted in 2010 determined that the area was closer to 110 acres. The Division Order (again) refers to a 698.595 acre Property named "David Dunham #2" numbered "128051." So I filled out the calclulator fields this way:

Size of your property pooled into a production unit: 27.5 acres

Size of entire production unit: 698.595 acres

Percentage of mineral ownership within your property: 100%

Royalty percentage from your gas lease: 20% (1/5)

The calculator comes up with a decimal interest of .00787294

Does this seem right, or would you think I've carried out the calculation incorrectly?

Looks correct.

If it is correct, the operator may have used something close to a 1/10th royalty percentage rather than 1/5th in the division order, so that we're receiving somewhat less than half of the royalties we should be. This was their justification for the decimal interest on the DO:

"Please be advised that the original interest was divided equally between [my father's] trust and [my aunt]. This means that the original calculation was divided equally by 2, with [your father's Trust] and [your aunt] each receiving their portion..."

This is how they claim to have arrived at their .000340691 decimal interest which is somewhat less than half of the .00787292 I come up with. The reference to the "original interest" being divided "equally" seems to suggest they overlook the fact that before carrying out my calculation I divided the land area shared by my father and aunt (55 acres) by two and used only our 27.5 acre portion of the area which was dad's in the formula, not the entire 55 acre area.

We have a letter from Ashlor Land Co., LLC stating that we would "receive 1/5 royalty," but the division order that my mother signed uses the more mysterious DI number which she and my sister must have assumed reflected the 1/5 percentage they'd already settled on with the Ashlor agent. If my calculation turns out to be the correct royalty percentage and their smaller DI number is wrong, the signed DO would seem to be the relevant document which they might claim to be the determining factor in settling the matter. That certainly seems to be their assertion in the communications I've received from the Sr. Division Order Analyst with Memorial Resource Development Corp. who has twice mentioned the signed division order in her defense of their position. There seems to be quite a gallery of affiliated entities involved in the transactions, a third company, Classic Operating Co. LLC actually operates the facility in Panola and sends the checks.

Thanks for your help Wade, I appreciate your advice and expertise.

I don't know if it's relevant, but I believe the 3-year "primary term" on the lease has expired. I don't have a copy of the lease handy but I'm trying to get one so that I can attempt to better understand the terms. Also we've recently received two separate packets from Classic Operating Company containing production sharing agreements for wells crossing the David Dunham Gas Unit, and another which pertains to wells crossing the May Unit (this unit is not mentioned in the DO I have, but we receive checks apparently for gas from four May Unit wells (May units 2H through 5H). We are instructed to sign and return these PSA's, but haven't done so as yet.