Strips and Gores Doctrine, Texas

Greetings, My family owned a 30 acre tract of land in Howard County, Texas. In 1960, they sold 2.7 acres to the State for construction of a highway and reserved 100% mineral interest. In 1969, they sold the remaining 27.3 acres to an individual and reserved an undivided 50% mineral interest. I have a 50% interest in the smaller tract and a 25% interest in the larger. I have leased both tracts and was paid for 8.205 NMA, 1.34 NMA for the 2.7 acres and 6.865 NMA for the 27.3 acres. These tracts have now been pooled in a 999 acre tract that is being drilled.

The division orders I received from the Oil Company listed the decimal as .00188 which is lower than the .00205 I had calculated. The leasing landman stated this was due to the oil company title attorney’s application of the Strips and Gores Doctrine, which reduced my 50% interest in the smaller tract by 25% with the other 25% going to the owner of the 27.3 acre tract. In other words, what they appear to be saying is, under the Doctrine, the owner of the 27.3 acre tract has a right to 1/2 of the minerals under the smaller tract that was sold to the State years earlier with that deed stating my family reserved 100% interest in the 2.7 acre tract. This is confusing to me and does not seem reasonable. Also, based on my calculations it could result in the loss of considerable revenue during the first year of production. Thanks for any comments/advise, Raleigh

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