Royalties Question

Hope this isn’t a foolish question. Just started reading the forum but haven’t seen anything like this. Appreciate any info. My family has recently been informed of their ownership of mineral and gas rights of property in Tyler. There is an active well or wells on the property that is producing well. From what I have been able to learn, it seems the property owner has been collecting all the royalties since there were no documented heirs. Would this be the way it would be handeled? Is it just assumed that the mineral and gas rights belong to the property owner until it is proven otherwise? And if this is the case are the past royalities just lost? I do understand that after 10 yrs, the royalties return to the drilling companies. Thnx

You will need to collect your title documents that prove that you are owners of the mineral rights. Then contact the operator of the well and see what you need to do to get into pay status with them. You will also need to file the title documents in the county as they could not find you on the division order title research. If owners cannot be found, then the royalties may inadvertently go to the surface owner in certain states. In many states unclaimed royalties are held on the operator’s books for a certain number of years and then turned over to the state. You might also try the unclaimed funds in the state treasurer’s office. Sometimes, you are contacted as potential owners, but subsequent title work shows that that is true or that acreage was sold a while back. Good luck!

Doesnt sound like a foolish question to me. Welcome, Jearley, to the wild wonderful wacky world of WV oil and mineral rights! What you describe sounds absolutely fishy, but I’m certainly no expert in the intricacies of mineral rights law. I hope someone who has some expertise responds to your post… Meantime, Welcome and Good luck!

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Thnx. We have filed the documents with Tyler county and have been in contact with the well operator. It seems (as expected) they are not very helpful or anxious to supply info. Have found a limited amount online, through research and helpful posts here. Still trying to find out more about the lease agreement the drilling is being done under

The operator should have a copy of the lease. They may or may not be friendly about sharing. If the well is producing, then sometimes you can politely ask for a copy of the paragraph of the Division Order title opinion regarding your described acreage. Be persistent and patient…Send anything in paper by certified mail return receipt and keep copies of the paperwork and the green return card.

Can the amounts of the royality payments be found online?

No, the Division Order title opinion is proprietary to the operator and is not posted. One reason is that they paid a lot of money to get it and another is that as heirs or new owners turn up it has to be revised constantly.

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Thnx. Thought that might enable me to find out more about the lease, if i knew more about the royalities. All new to me and just trying to find any option to gain more info. I appreciate your input hete

Let me clarify, the actual pay deck by the operator is not public knowledge. In some states, the leases with the royalty percentages are filed in the county courthouse. Not sure what WV does. Sometimes, there is a memorandum of lease which does state who leased and what their royalty is, just not the inclusive clauses of the lease. Maybe someone more familiar with WV can point you in the right direction. The operator does have a copy of that lease, otherwise they cannot pay you properly.

Thnx. Learning all the time here. Also hoping to gain more info specific to Tyler, Wv. About what is best to do to gain pertinent info. We live out of state, so it seems will need local support…possibly a lawyer there

If I were you, I would scan the West Virginia Minerals category and ready everything that is there over the last couple of years. There are some very helpful folks on that part of the forum. Copy and paste any links that they share into a spreadsheet so you can save them.

Look up the West Virginia Oil and Gas Commission or whatever it is called. Then you can find if they have documents that might be helpful to owners.

The National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) has an Appalachian Chapter which has quite knowledgeable mineral owners as their directors. Some of them are from WV. You can find their names online at the National website.

You can also look on the Directories tab at the top of the forum for professionals that have posted their services.

Check the county courthouse or your county and see if they are online.

Thnx again!several good options I had not used

To give you a better foothold. If you live in WV you need to get to the Tyler County Deed office and get copies of the land deed records, land sell transaction, Oil and Deeds and conveyances, and Copies of the Will. Did the Oil and Gas company ask for your families documented genealogy? If there is land owner and not related to any of your family then they he or she owns the surface rights not the below ground Mineral Rights unless its stated in a deed transaction.

Don’t live in West Va, but recently visited the Tyler Courthouse and did some research. The property is no longer owned by the family, but the mineral, oil and gas rights were retained when it was sold. We have given the gas company the family proof of heirship and wills as documentation. There are several groups of land involved, so still looking for the other pieces of land.

You also need to get ahold of the Tyler County Sheriffs Tax office who handles auction and sales to get a listing to make sure your claims are clear.

Had not thought of that. I appreciate any and all info. So much to learn about all of this

On the Tyler County Clerk’s website for looking up deeds. Search for the Unit’s name, example “Tygart Unit” you will see a Declaration of Pooling filed.

Tells you the Total Pool Acreage, the Leaseholders, the Net acreage used in each mineral lease. Only way to verify Decimal Interest on a Division Order.

Thanks. Could you post the link for that? I haven’t been able to find the deeds posted. And definitely not that info is the main site

The clerks site. It’s “Document Inquiry” at the bottom of the main site, also. Login as guest. To print use “Save Image” and credit card.

Can search old books, in the archive selection. It’s cumbersome at first. But easier than dragging large books around in the vault.

I have found some useful newer info there, but really struggle with the older things…deeds, wills, etc. It seems most of the time even though i have found the book and page # , can’t bring up the document. But Thnx, will keep trying