Time to sell the farm

My family has owned a farm, property and mineral rights unsevered since the early 1900’s. The heirs are interested in selling it but have been told by the oil company leasing the property that they cannot sell. That the property is theirs. The company leasing the property is not drilling and has not drilled in many years. The lawyers are fighting. Our lawyer says there is no claim to the land, their lawyer says they do have a claim. Our lawyer is telling us they can make this drag on for years. Are they just trying to manipulate the land away from the heirs? I don’t understand how this could even happen.

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Ask for a copy of the contract starring ownership. A lease can be held by one hydrocarbon well. Have you researched title and deeds through the RRC

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How is the oil company claiming to own your land? Was there a deed signed to them? If I understand correctly, then perhaps it would be best to sever the minerals and sell them now (if able to), and then worry about the surface ownership issue separately. From a mineral acquisition perspective, most companies would be interested in only purchasing the minerals and not the surface anyway.

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This is my understanding. The mineral rights are dominant and overrides the surface rights. Those rights are transferred to the company or person who has taken the lease on the property. Texas RRC - Oil & Gas Exploration and Surface Ownership Has anyone had this issue before? It sounds like there is an exception that if the mineral rights are seperated from the property rights there may be some restrictions we can make to make the surface more saleable.

Just because they own an active oil and gas lease does not entitle them to surface ownership. Sure, they have the right to ingress/egress for the development and production of the mineral rights (think access roads, well pads, tank batteries, etc.), but that does not inherently convey the surface rights to the operator from an ownership perspective.

Well that is what we figured too but unless my mother got it wrong, that is not what the lawyers are saying. I will keep you posted. Thank you.

Ask your lawyer for copies of written and email communications with other party, deeds, leases, etc. you should create a file of information. Search county deed records for deeds into and out of the family.

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Did you contact this mineral auction co? How did it go?

I passed the information on to my Mother. Last I spoke with her they were still in talks with the Lawyers. Thank you to everyone for your input and suggestions.