S-15 T-23s R-28e should I hire a lawyer

I’ve had some great information and advice from this forum so now I’m interested in knowing if I should hire a lawyer. I recently found our my dad had mineral rights and since he deeded me 2 acres I had them also. So I’m dealing with two different oil companies on old wells where they never paid royalties and then another one on 3 new wells they just drilled for me and my dad’s estate. I realize it takes time for them to look into it but my worry is after 2 months I won’t know anymore then I already do. Trying to get in contact with a landman from these companies is almost impossible. So I’m thinking it’s going to take a lawyer. Me and my 4 siblings really can’t afford one but can we afford not to.

Try contacting the division order analyst for the operating companies first. Many companies do not have land men anymore. They contract them out to lease, but after a well is drilled, the division order analyst is the one who is responsible for royalties.

Ok i will give that a try. I just figured it was a landman that found our we had them so that would be who we needed to contact. Lol thanks

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If your father is James Isbell, I show him on an AFE that I have for the East half of Eddy s15 23 28. Chevron granted us ownership in the E half, but we have been trying to get them to grant it on the W half. It has been since Feb or March, and the answer I get is that their ‘agent’ is looking into it, but didn’t find evidence of our ownership originally. This is despite the fact that we still have working interest in another well in that half, and chose not to participate in 2 previous wells in that half. I see you courthousedirect.com that James Isbell conveyed and assigned minerals in s15 23s 28e several times so he might have gotten rid of it… check that out. If you need a copy of the afe showing James Isbell as a participant, let me know. Mollye Morris

My dad’s name was Gene Tarvin and mom Ruth Tarvin.

James Isbells name has come up as getting royalties but I don’t know who he is. My husband’s name is Alvin Isbell and it seems strange to me. I found where my dad had leased to a Ken E Moore for 5 years and why my dad didn’t know he had them is a mystery to me. Other then after he bought the land someone came and told him he didn’t have them. Thanks for the information

You have a couple of options to find things out.

They require that either you or some one you hire to physically look at the land title books at the Land Title company in Eddy County.

Our interests are in Lea county. It was a mystery to us. My Dad passed in 2015, after ‘passing the torch’ to me in 2013. I had all sorts of notes, but a lot of it was ‘jumbled’ as it were.

Now, six plus years since I started and three years since the wife finally retired and started helping me, we have made great progress.

We found that my family homesteaded 840 acres between 1913/1915. We found that there were seven children.

We are four to six weeks from the end of the quiet title suit that we had filed eight weeks or so ago. Hopefully get a ruling from the judge some time between now and Jan 2020.

You can do the same thing. A trip to Eddy county and find their land office that has the land title records. As I said, either you can go or pay someone to do the searching for you. We paid the Land Title company in Lea County (Eliot & Waldron) and had them do an abstract of our ownership of a given piece of property. BUT because we went and looked for ourselves after paying them to do the abstract is when we discovered all the ownership.

The reason was that once WE started searching the records, we could see my families names all over the Land Title books.

AFTER finding that out, we dug deeper. We have found every document that is associated with those pieces of property and we have WAY MORE than what most other researchers would have found because they were my direct relatives.

I do recommend YOU find out what you own. Because until YOU do, you will only have other peoples claims of what you own. NOW, maybe they are correct and they have found everything you own. OR maybe they don’t and you could lose a lot.

If we had not gone ourselves, I’m not sure we would have found out about it because we did not know that it was even there. Now we know.

Wow I’m glad your research was successful. I got lucky because the landman that called wanting to buy our mineral rights sent me all the deeds going back to 1919!! That helped a lot. It shows all owners and yep me and my dad as having the mineral rights. Now getting the oil field companies to look into why we wasn’t getting any royalties is the hard part. So far all of them seem to be looking into it. We have old wells new wells and then my dad’s and mine is what I’ve been dealing with. I’ve learned.so much since all this started and most of it came from this forum. I’m gonna give them a little time and if I haven’t heard from them I’m gonna have to something. Thanks for answering me I appeicate it.

My understanding is that IF there are wells that were drilled and you have money coming, by law they are required to keep it in escrow until you are found OR they prove you and all your relatives are dead (even then, they have to keep the money in escrow - at least I think they do). They will claim that they could not find you or your father.

As far as the rest of it is doing the research. I can’t address Eddy county, but in Lea County, they only go back to the early 1990’s (ie all records since 1990 are online, the rest have to be looked up in the Title books at the Title company in Eddy county. Not hard, you just have to go there.

Companies can only hold the income in suspense for so many years (depending on the state), after which they must send the funds to the state unclaimed funds - the state of the owners “last known address”. Remember - the “last known address” could be one from decades ago, not necessarily the last place that you know the person lived. Check every state unclaimed funds where they have ever lived. Also check Delaware, as a lot of oil companies are incorporated there. Check New Mexico also, since it’s being produced in that state. Missing money.org I think is a decent place to start, but it’s not comprehensive and has limited info compared to some individual state websites.

Thanks for the help. I will look into it.

Hello Val,

It looks like James Isbel was a landman or something as he pops up a lot in regards to oil and gas properties. I also assumed he was related to you.

Strange thing is that I do not see a Tarvin in the Division of Interest for the Yarbro Well and I do see the other families who owned minerals counted. That would also depend on when the land with minerals was purchased. Back in 1981 there were a couple of brothers last name Kiehne ( James and Gary ) who leased up a lot of mineral rights in the area then flipped them to Cities Service Corp before the Yarbro Well was drilled.

The Eddy County Basin land records online only goes back to the late 1970s as far as I have seen.

The Lease you described should show ownership and a description for where the minerals are located. Do you have a date for that lease with Ken Moore ?

Our division Order for the Yarbro Well is dated as of Dec 1984. In theory any time frame after that should not be possible for a lease to happen as those minerals should have been tied up by the Offset operator and held by production.

It is still possible that the Oil Companies you contacted are looking at your information. They do take a long time. Chevron has been paying us royalties since 2012 and when I contacted them I got the same runaround when I went to change the payees of the payments after my father passed away.

Did you not have any luck with the State of NM ?

We found out it was the Witt #1 and marathon owns it now. I have been in touch with them and they are looking into it. Also believe Oxy has a old well we should have gotten royalties on the yarbro i think. I still haven’t gotten through to them Chevron just drilled 3 new wells and they are looking into it also. I just hope we don’t have to wait 3 months then find out they haven’t even started. Thanks for your help

Unless you have sent them all the information that was given to you by the landman they may not be looking into it. I have had the experience where I contacted the land admin and got an email response and then a month or two later get a " sorry we don’t have information that shows what you are saying is true " .

In order to get them to look into your case, you will have to spoon feed them the information, in my opinion they do not seem willing to spend the time or resources to help mineral holders if they don’t have to.

Hopefully you were able to scan all your documents to PDF or had them already in PDF to send to each oil company showing where the mineral rights existed. Getting a mineral deed goes a long way to securing your rights also. That would be the first thing I would use a lawyer for.

The Witt #1 well was drilled by Birdcreek Resources, then changed operators to Harken Exploration Company, then changed again to Mid-Continent Energy they sold to Wynn Crosby Energy then Petrohawk Operating, then Merit Energy Company who sold to Black Mountain Operating LLC and finally to Marathon.

This well should have been named " Hot Potato # 1 ".

You might try Bird Creek Resources as they were the ones who pooled that 40 acres originally for Witt #1. They are just a legal entity of lawyers now, but they may have records and they are co-located maybe owned by Continental Oil and Gas.

Marathon sent me a email saying they didn’t have all the records going back that far and asked me to send them anything I had. I sent them the deeds and flow chart the landman sent me. I have to admit they have been very nice and have acted like they was trying to help. Chevron is another matter. They refuse to tell me anything that I don’t already know. The information this forum has helped me.with has been so helpful. Thanks for the information. I appeicate any help I can get.

I would send the same information to Chevron that you sent to Marathon. With Marathon you are trying to secure payment on missed royalties. They should know who they have been paying and it should all add up to 100% in the end, usually with the unknown going to the state of NM.

With Chevron you are trying to secure future payments on 3 new wells so you really want to get that completed before they set up the division of interest. Once again, that should add up to 640 acres worth of royalties or 100%.

Currently on the new Chevron wells, they have not “Completed/Fracked” the wells. They have 12 miles of wellbore to Frac and have not started, maybe they will next month/year. Until that is done we may not see division orders from them. I know I have not seen anything from them on these wells.

I will definitely keep after them. Thanks

My wife and I have inherited two acres with mineral rights in Section 15-Township-23 South Range 28East. some ten years ago, and received small royalty payments from Chevron Oil Company for what we thought was one vertical well. Does anyone know how many wells that have been drilled on this section. My Mother bought this property with mineral rights over 30 years ago from Mr. Siebert in Eddy County.

If I understood correctly, Val Isabell had mentioned that there were 12 other wells on Section 15. If this is so we didn’t participate and wondering if there is suspense money due us. Can anyone help with information in all of my questions.

We just received an offer for the mineral rights and the land. We then did research and found that three wells have been drilled last year. The production should begin first quarter of 2020. We haven’t heard anything from Chevron to date regarding the last three wells.

We are a land and mineral owner in this section. Have been dealing with Chevron Oil Company for about 10 years. Would be interested in visiting with you regarding steps we need to take as well. If you feel comfortable giving your telephone # Let me know! Lee

Lee, Chevron has now drilled 6 wells in Sec 15/22 since late 2018. This is Chevron, they are slow as heck so be patient.

Here are the wells.


The three in the West were spud in July 2018, have all been fracked and tested. They started selling oil in Oct 2019. I would guess royalty owners would probably start getting paid in Jan or Feb 2020 (dating back to first prod). The three in East were spud in Aug 2019, one would guess that it will be a similar 18 months or something before one is getting checks on those. Basically I would doubt that anyone has gotten paid anything on any of those wells yet.

Assuming you are leased and getting royalties on vertical wells, there is no option to “participate” in the horizontal wells. You should have an NRI in them and should get a division order from Chevron.