Title check for leasing vs Div Order Title Opinion after drilling

The will states Undivided 2/5ths interest in NE 1/4 SW 1/4 SE 1/4 and SE 1/4 SE 1/4 of Section 17, Township 2 South, Range 3 West, containing 50 acres, more or less.

Undivided 1/18th interest in S 1/2 SE 1/4 NW 1/4 and SW 1/4 NW 1/4 ans SW 1/4 NW 1/4 NW 1/4 of Section 20, Township 2 South, Range 2 West containing 70 acres, more or less.

So how do I know the mineral interest of these parcels land. I was told this is just surface and the mineral interest is figured different. My understand of what I was being told is that mineral interest is figured different from that because it is underground.

Can someone explain that to me?

Thank you, Fran Whitmeyer

Theoretically, you would take the fraction of interest and multiply by the gross acreage.

17-02S-03W = 50 acres x 2/5ths interest = 20 NMA 20-02S-02W = 70 acres x 1/18th interest = 3.8888 NMA

This is how it works in theory. There very well could have been previous conveyances or retention of the minerals by a seller in the title chain that the attorney who drew up the will was unaware of. The only way to know for sure is a title examination performed by a reputable landman. Preferably someone who is a member of the AAPL.

Thank you James for your reply.
So if the leasing company mistakenly figures the mineral interest I own, would that mistake would carry through to my royalty interest if drilling happens and a well starts producing? That is what I am thinking.

Would you be able to point me in the direction of a reputable, AAPL landman. Thank you for any input you may have. Fran Whitmeyer

Most wells are paid out based on a Title Opinion which is rendered by an attorney and not the same report that was done by a landman for leasing purposes.

shouldn’t that be the same?

R_Heston is absolutely correct. If the leasing company mistakenly figures your interest, that mistake would most likely be picked up by the attorney writing the final Title Opinion. Any “missed” acreage not covered by the lands described on the lease will likely end up pooled, but you will receive royalty and potentially some form of bonus payment for those lands.

If the lease is incorrect and then not corrected wouldn’t that mistake continue on to the next lease if they decide not to drill? Thank you for your replies. Fran Whitmeyer

A title landman usually does the title research for leasing purposes. If a company decides to spend $10-$15 million to drill a well, they will ask an attorney for their title opinion and anything done incorrectly during the lease process will be fixed by an in-house landman with the drilling company.


Chances are the title for the next lease will be done by a different title landman and would say a lot if he came up with the same numbers as before.

Thank you both with your patience with me over this occurrence. I have quite a few properties to figure out as I go. This helps a lot. I am thinking of going back to the leasing company and asking them to explain exactly where the difference is in the will and what they offered. The line of succession is only 2 and from early on it was drilled into my head never sell or adjust.
Thanks again, Fran Whitmeyer

If the surface acres were not severed from the mineral acres, the net acres will be the same and would follow the wills of the owners through time. If they were severed, then a title chain has to be run to see who bought the mineral acres and if the description changed.
The other factor that might come into play is if there is a river that moves. That can take away acreage of add it according to the rules of the lease.


Not sure that you can get royalties if a well is not producing. There would not be any money to give. Wells decline over time. You can look up the name of the well on the OCC Well Records site and see if it has been plugged or sold to someone else. Linn has merged into a company called Roan now. Test

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Go to the court house if possible and do your homework regarding exactly what section, plot, etc belongs to you. Sometimes other family members may be part owners and they are responsible unless a single family has all info and can assist with ensuring all is notified. If all family members are not contacted they will set up accounts and eventually take the money if never claimed.

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