Title Busting

From time to time, the Title Busters will descend upon a county, looking for vagrancies in title or looking for just plain bad land work so that they find open lands that the Lessee thought that he had leased and buy a lease on that open acreage.

That is a title bust. Where title fails to a portion of property that the lessee thought that he had.

Here is an example:

A description reads as follows:

The South 1/2 of the survey, less and except the East 1/2 of the SE 1/4, which is included in the XXX Gas Unit

The problem is that the East 1/2 of the SE 1/4 is not all in a producing unit. In this case, only the East 1/2 of the East 1/2 of the SE 1/4 is in the unit.

The oil companies broker thought that he had a good description of lands not in the unit, but he did not. He did not lease 40 acres that he could have leased.

A sharp landman saw this and took a lease on the 40 acres.

Is he wrong to do so?

Another case:

John and Mary had 5 children. One of the childred died, leaving two sons. John and Mary died without a will.

The 4 remaining children signed a mineral deed conveying 100% of the minerals under John and Mary’s farm.

The two grandchildren, who were infants, did not sign the mineral deed.

Years later, a well was drilled on the tract. Nobody ever bought a lease from the grandchildren. A sharp landman came and bought a lease from the grandchildren. He busted the title to the well.

Was he wrong to do so?

I do not believe so. In these two cases, leases were bought from the proper party, which is clearly what they wanted to do and were left out by the operator, through ineptness or whatever.

There are some who will disagree. It is my strong belief that a title buster does not “bust” title. It was already faulted. He simply disclosed the fault and put assets into the hands of the proper parties.

My mother owns mineral rights on 102 acres in mckenzie county ND. She signed a lease which states 102 gross acers and only .17 net acres so she received only $50 for her lease. How do i verify that the .17 net acers is acurate?

Here I am again, Buddy, I was reading your scenario about the title busters. I assume when the son, holding his quarter interest, died, he left his share to his children. Now there are six people owning the interest. Does that mean the deceased son's children, who signed the lease without other owners signing, are the only two receiving any monetary value?

If I may, in other words, if there are multiple owners and only one owner can be located, so he signs a lease with Dry Hole Oil...then the other owners, a year or so later, get wind of this deal, go to DHO and insist on being included, since they share ownership...would they be included or excluded?