Surface Ownership vs. Mineral Ownership

My name is Randy Hancock. I am new to the web site and discussion arena. Recently, I inherited a small mineral interest in Culberson County, TX. Apparently, it came with an ownership in surface land. The Culberson County tax authorities have told me that I must pay annual real estate taxes for the surface land in order to retain my ownership in the minerals in case of future exploration.

Is this true? Am I forced to own surface rights to land on PSL just to retain minerals? The property is in AB 1636, BLK 97, SEC 6.

Yes, this is mineral classified land, under the relinquishment act of 1931, the State owns the minerals under those lands, but the surface owner has the right to lease those lands and receives one-half of the bonus, royalty and other consideration payable by the lessee. The lease must be on a form approved by the General Land Office of the State and must be filed with and approved by the General Land Office. So you actually inherited surface acreage only, with the right to act as agent for the state because of the classification of the land, and if you convey any of the surface acreage, the rights to half of the minerals go with. Hope this helped you out, I have some mineral classified land northwest of you under lease right now, so I've done some research on this.