New to all of this, got 2 certified letters about a company wanting to do drilling…the letter was for my late father or his heirs of the estate… We know of no such land and when we called the company sending the letter they as well had no information for us…where do we start?
Someone for the company has run a preliminary title opinion that seems to indicate your ancestor might have had the mineral rights in the section(s). The person you talked to may not have had that information. Leasing title opinions are not always as rigorous as the Division Order title opinions for payout. They just want to get the land leased and move to drilling. If your ancestor had a common name, then that could cause confusion as to the correct family.
It might be useful for you to check a couple of places to see if you can find more information.
First of all, respond back to the sender of the letters as they had some reason to generate them. Ask them where they got your dad’s name and for a copy of the title opinion paragraph that listed him. The company sending the letters may be a leasing company and not the operating company.
Second, check the most recent few years of OCC documents for those sections and see if you see his name on the respondents lists. OAP
The recent cases are 2017007370-I do see quite a few Reeves on that list. See if any belong to you.
Check 202000241 especially since it is the current pooling order and there are many Reeves on it. If your dad’s name is there, then the letter wants to lease, but the pooling is coming very soon. At this point, I would just answer the pooling instead. Casillas is anting to drill a horizontal well .
If you do find the correct name, come back and I can walk you through the steps.
Third, check www.okcountyrecords.com and see if you find his name there. The records only go back so far online, but might give you a clue as to where to go next.
Fourth, I never sign those letters, but do keep them for reference. I either negotiate with the landman directly or wait for pooling.
Fifth, should have been first, condolences on the passing of your father. Has all the probate work been finished? In order to get paid royalties and even the leasing or pooling bonus, you may have some legal work to finish.
Assuming your father’s last name is also Reeves, this may assist you in locating information: Results for "Name: reeves, Section: 10, Township: 4N, Range: 4W" in Garvin | OKCountyRecords.com | County Clerk Public Land Records for Oklahoma
Expect different title requirements for signing a lease and getting paid royalties. If the property was not in a trust, you will likely need a probate.
In October 2019 I received a letter from Casillas resource partners stating they are drilling a single-unit horizontal well that my deceased grandmother Mary Frances Williams “may own an interest in” in Garvin County: Section 10-04N-04W- Well Proposal- Culebra 1-10-15-MXH. I was never aware of our family having mineral rights in Garvin County and didn’t respond. This week, I got another lease offer from Osage Oil and Gas Properties for the same section, 10-04N-04W Lots 1 and 2, Block 44. Apparently, the preliminary title opinion thinks my grandmother owned the mineral rights- how can I research and confirm if that is the case?
Obviously , two different groups have come up with title information that indicates so. Since Osage is the most recent, ask them where they found your title information. The first place you can look is on www.okcountyrecords.com. Use the advanced search as it will filte a bit better. Leave all counties on in order to find any other missing minerals. Also look under her husband’s name. Her name may be rather common, so you might have to narrow down a bit. I just looked up that name and found quite a few references.
Casillas does have a Mary Frances Williams from Atlanta listed on a pooling order for section 10-4N-4W so they have good enough title information to list her. Is the address correct? I see other Williams as well. Look up case 202000241 on the OCC OAP site. Do you need the link? Contact their attorney.
The Mary Frances Williams Atlanta is correct as is the address. I contacted the law firm about title info and they sent me to a contact at Casillas who did the title search- waiting for a reply. The lease offer is for $ 4,000 per acre and a 1/8 royalty in the event of production. It looks like paperwork was recently submitted for pooling? would it make sense to wait for pooling to happen rather than signing the lease? Thanks for your help
Personally, I would never go for 1/8th if I could possibly help it. Ask what they are offering for 3/16ths, 1/5 and 1/4th. Times are a bit tough right now, but 1/8th is too low of a royalty.
The draft lease that they are putting in front of you will most likely need some changes. It is all in the operator favor and not in yours. You have time to negotiate it for better terms. The pooling is also fine, but may be delayed for a few more weeks as the OCC is doing business by internet and firms are slowing down their court cases. If you decide to lease, then do not hand over a lease without getting paid at that very moment. Given the current situation, you do not want a lease filed at the courthouse and you not being paid. There are ways to arrange for that if you are not in the city of the lessee.
Excellent advice from M. as usual! 1/8th is what our ancestors were taking at the time the drilling in this area first started and what many of us are stuck with because it is held by production from those old wells. I would never take 1/8 these days if I had a choice. Our bargaining power is not as strong as it was a couple of years ago but you can surely do better than that. Best Wishes!
I did get in touch with Casillas Resource Partners and it turns out it was a different Mary Frances Williams… I have another question- we created a LLC for heirs of my grandmother and submitted paperwork for transfer of mineral interests 8 months ago to Territory Resources for active wells in Stephens county. They still haven’t sent the division orders and there is more than a year of production revenue that has not paid out- seems like Territory is taking their time. Is there anything I can do to speed them up or is this how they operate?
Send them a certified letter and request revenue and statutory interest. Did you record the conveyance from the heirs to the LLC at the county court house and send a copy to Territory?
Also, make sure that the company has a W-9 (tax id information). In Oklahoma, they must pay even if you refuse to return a division order.
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