Statue of Limitations (re: wells drilled but we aren't paid on)

I suspect that there have been wells drilled on leases that we have an interest on, and were not notified nor paid. We have OR interests in some large leases, dating back to 1995. This is complicated by the fact that some wells have changed operators more than once, so it may have been a prior operator that drilled it, and did not put us on their books. Our interest is in the public records but I know that old documents (going back to the '70’s) can be hard to sort through and find overrides. Nonetheless…we are due this. Is there a statue of limitations regarding ‘going after’ the current operator for back funds? Does it make a difference whether they drilled the well or acquired it from another operator? Thank you!

In Texas, statute of limitations is usually 4 years. There are some exceptions that an attorney would have to investigate to see if they apply.

True, even if I did not know about it? Especially in the case of a well drilled miles away from any I have an interest in. I would have to keep up with all wells drilled by any operator in 2000+ acres. Is the law really requiring that of overriding royalty owners?

It all depends on the law in the particular state(s) where minerals are located. Generally in Texas, it is your responsibility as a overriding royalty owner to keep track of activity in your area. It is much easier today where you can use the RRC GIS viewer to look at maps and follow permits, completions and production. You can start by making a list of the acreage and legal description in each lease in which you own an OR, and then a list of the wells drilled, adding API number and in Texas the RRC Lease Number. You need to follow the production under each lease to see if the production ceased and the lease may have expired, as you will not have an OR in new leases. (This differs from an NPRI in which you have a continuing interest in the minerals.) Most operators track the ownership of lease and overrides or other burdens. However, if title was not updated after the original grantee died or addresses were lost when OR owners moved, the interests could be in suspense. Like any other real property interest, it is the responsibility of the owners to take care of their property. It takes time to get organized, but once the data set up and you get comfortable with watching for activity on a regular basis, it will just become part of your routine. Hopefully you can divide the labor up with other family owners.

1 Like

Yes, it is up to an owner to keep up with their own property, mineral or otherwise , You can do that very effectively using the TRRC website GIS system and other queries.

This topic was automatically closed after 90 days. New replies are no longer allowed.