My son received a letter from the oil company who holds his lease. It say the Drilling and Division order attorney has determined the intent in the conveyances was unclear and ambiguous.
Without trying to make things too complicated but provide enough so that someone can give some type of educated answer, his minerals were distributed in a final decree back in 1957 to 7 children, one of which was my son's grandmother. She then conveyed her interest to her four grandchildren of which he was one of.
The problem arises in the NE4 of one of the sections. In it 7/8th of the minerals were conveyed in 1957. (The other 1/8) goes to the person who purchased the land. However since the state owned around 80 acres, more or less, the original owner (his great-grandfather) had only 53.234375% of the minerals (85.175/160acres). As a result he could not convey an undivided 7/8 mineral interest, as appears in the final decree of distributiion. The transfers to the grantees in those documents must, therefore, be apportioned from the 85.175 mineral acres owned by the estate in the NE1/4.
Tha apparent intent of the estate was to divide the interests of the estate into 1/8 and 7/8 parcels, a division which would result in each 1/8 interst equaling 10.646875 acres. However the administrator's deed to the buyers of the land approximately a year and a half prior to the final decree of distribution, conveys a 1/8 interest in and to all of the minerals uner NE1/4, and not just the minerals owned by the estate. As a result, on its face, that deed conveys 20 mineral acres to the grantes.
Under this interpretation of the deed, the estate retained 65.175 mineral acrs for the distribution to the heirs and the deed which purports to convey an undivided 7/8 mineral interest in the NE 1/4 conveyed a 40.734375% mineral interest, or the 65.175 acres. Eahc of the heirs named in the final decree of distribution received the 9.310714 mineral acres, and not the 20 mineral acrres as provided for on the face of the final decree.
So.....if anyone can read through all this and understand it all..great. My son is supposed to sign the Stipulation and return to the company. Question: what else can he do? Their intrepation is possibly correct. To hire an attorney to review it would not be practical as far as the cost/benefit. However even though the number of acres is small, if eventually there was a monster well it could mean the difference of several thousand $'s.
Thanks for any ideas.