Suspense funds - need help because company i sold rights to states it belongs to them!

I sold my mineral rights to a company in Oklahoma. I received a letter from them asking me to sign a letter they typed up that will go to the Oklahoma State Treasurer. The company states that the State Treasurer is holding funds for (name of company). Regardless of the amount, I claim no interest in such suspense funds and I request that you pay those funds immediately to (name of company). Further, I do not wish to be involved in any litigation with the State of Oklahoma or (name of company) over these funds. The second letter they typed up and want me to sign, is to them. It states that the mineral interest which I sold them was subject to a pooling order and unpaid production proceeds. I acknowlege receipt from (name of company) of the sum of $1,200.00 and in consideration of that sum do hereby ratify and confirm all of the terms and provisions of those deeds and disclaim to (name of company) all interest in the mineral rights conveyed and the proceeds therefrom. The letter they sent to me states that there may be unpaid productions funds from the minteral interest subject to a Pooling Order. They state they are entitled to those funds but are required to furnish me notice. They want to propose that I sign the two above letters because they believe that they will expedite this claim. In return they will remit to me 25% for the funds they think they will receive from the state of Oklahoma that accrued prior to my selling them the mineral rights. They state they don’t know how much money is being held, but will pay me $1,250.00. They state that they belive that the funds that are being held are in excess of $5,000.00. I don’t understand!!! What is this? How can that company claim that this money being held rightfully belongs to them since it’s from before I sold them the rights? WHAT DO I DO???

Dear Ms. Swarthing,

This is very interesting and I cannot comment on the law of Oklahoma (or anyplace else for that matter), but I have an opinion (no big surprise there).

First, the transfer agreement should have an effective date. I would not think that any suspended or escheated funds for production after the effective date of transfer could be claimed by you.

Second, did the transfer agreement provide for what do to do, if anything, about funds in suspense?

Third, I do think that we have stepped out of ownership of the mineral estate once the production reached the surface and was captured. At that point, the oil and gas and the revenues therefrom becomes personal property.

At the end, I would suggest you contact an attorney.

I would think that unless specific provision was made for suspended funds, or words that would include language such that a bill of sale would entail, the person you sold the minerals to, has not much claim to the funds.

I have purchased minerals before and when I know the lands are in production, or have ever been in production, I place the effective date of the transfer as of the date of first production and include words transferring to me any suspended funds (either suspended and is held by the operator or escheated to the state).