I am new to this blog and really have very little knowledge as a mineral owner. I am a small mineral owner; one half acre net acre on 320 gross acres (.5/320), one half net acres on 731.1 gross acres (.5/721.1) and one half net acres on eighty gross acres (.5/80). The first two sites are in Sheridan Montana and Richland Montana and the last site is in Manistee Michigan. These mineral acres all go back to 1979 and 1980. I had pretty much forgotten these deeds as they had not produced any activity since the mid 1980’s, it wasn’t until I received an offer to lease the Sheridan location from Spectrum Land Services on behalf of Samson Resources Company that I even remembered the deeds.
Now for my questions: After having realized that I did indeed still have the mineral deeds I began to do some research and discovered this web site. I also discovered that on the Richland site it appears that there are two operating oil wells. These wells appear to have been put into production in 2006 and I was never contacted. If in fact these existing wells are truly on the 731.1 gross acre plot of land identified in my mineral deed, what recourse or action do I need to take?
I have verified with the Montana Department of Revenue that I have no unclaimed property and as suggested by them, with Michigan for lost property, as that was the state of my address, shown on the original deeds, again no royalty payments or unclaimed money was discovered in Michigan under my name. Do the oil companies have to attempt to contact me as a mineral owner before drilling on the overall 731.1 gross acre site (with me only owning a half net acre), and if unable to find/contact me, am I excluded from the royalty earnings from the existing wells and their past production? If I am entitled to royalty payments, how would the royalty percentage be determined?
Likewise, if I do not accept or sign the new lease on the Sheridan Montana site, can they obtain acceptance from the other mineral owners and exclude me from future royalties if a successful well is ultimately drilled on the 320 gross acres. What is the risk of not accepting their offer (besides the paid up lease value)? Their initial offer was a paid up lease of $500 per net mineral acre for three years with an additional $500.00 per net mineral acre for an additional two year extension. The royalty offered was three sixteenths (18.75%).
I recognize that the ultimate value of these deeds will be very small considering that I only own one-half net acres on each site. However, every little bit helps. Any help in explaining how this works when you are a small owner of net acres would be appreciated.