Undivided acreage

If I own one-half of the land and another person owns one-fourth of the land and someone wants to make a lease of some kind, or maybe a ROW or a PAD and we, the people that owns three-fourths of the land doesn't want to agree and sign a lease. Can the people that owns one-fourth agree to the lease and force we, the three-fourth owners to the lease if we do not sign it? Can they make a lease with out our signatures? I am very curious about a situation that could possibly come up with all the rules and regulations that I am not aware of.

Thank you in advance for any and all assistance.


If I understand correctly, you and others have an undivided mineral interest in a tract of land. If that is true, each mineral interest owner is entitled to negotiate and lease their undivided interest, independent of the other mineral owners. Or, a mineral interest owner may choose not to lease at all.

Hi, Louise!

If it is surface operations, such as a Drill Site or a Storage Facility or something like that that you do not want on your land, you can add a "No Surface Operations" Clause to your lease.

Hope this helps -

Charles Emery Tooke III

Certified Professional Landman

Fort Worth, Texas

The rights of surface co-tenants can be complex. One certainty is that a pipeline company cannot get an underground easement from only one owner, but must get agreements from all surface owners. However, for on-surface use - such as grazing lease, roads, etc., it seems that any one surface owner can grant a surface-use agreement. If that owner receives 100% of the value, then he must account to other owners. However, he could agree to surface use in exchange for payment of only his proportionate interest. See article from Texas Lawyer in July 2013 called "Unscrambling the Puzzle of Surface Co-Tenants' Rights" You may want to ask your attorney about what would apply in your situation and whether the majority owners can act to prevent the minority owner from agreeing to surface usage. I will try to attach, but you can search on internet.

391-Unscrambling_the_Puzzle_of_Surface_CoTenants_Rights1.pdf (1.18 MB)

It is an undivided state classified land. The one-fourth owner and I communicate frequently. Thank you for the help you all have giving me....it is appreciated.


Louise, what is your legal description? I want to look something up.

Under the Relinquishment Act, the surface owner acts as Agent for the State. If your lands are Mineral Classified, you and the others do not share undivided mineral interests unless you all own undivided interests in the same, identical, lands (surface). If you each own different tracts within the same Survey, it is still Mineral Classified, but you each only act as Agent for your separate lands.


that was as interesting read. Thank you for the link. What if I don't know who the co-tenets are?

Charles Every Tooke III,

we all own an undivided interest in the land. It is State Classified. I own 1/2 of the undivided state classified. Really would like to not be connected to anyone else. Decisions are hard dealing with others when you really don't know the 1/4 owner...




would the company go ahead and lay a pipeline or pad without all persons signing to the contract/lease. The land is leased and our lease expires in 2018...

Thanks for your input. It is appreciated.


There are 2 ways to find your co-tenants. First, surface is taxed and you can look at the Reeves County tax assessors or appraisal district records. Second, for mineral classified land, if you are all under lease, then you can use the GLO website, usually thru GIS viewer, to find the Mineral File for the leases. All of the leases will be scanned and available to you. You activate the energy records on the GIS viewer and search by county and abstract #. It takes a little practice, but you can find any pooling agreements, and other records as well. You can also go through the historic records and may find original files for your tract. Some of the historic records are scanned and others are not, so a little hit or miss. But it has original survey reports, etc.


I thank you so much for this valuable information. I am so glad that you responded to me for this fabulous information. I will try to go to GLO website and try to learn the process. May be time consuming but will be worth the effort. I am so thankful for so many people on this forum that helps people like me.

Once again, thank you.....

You can ask them to partition the land, so you have yours and they have theirs.

Really don't won't to do that. They may just be the companies that bought the 1/4 th and have plans to drill the land. And we don't have all that much land to begin with so need all the acreage for drilling. They may really be good people and an asset to us. Just haven't met them and feel improper for me to call up and say " Hello, I am Louise and would like to get to know you people" LOL....I wanted to partition the land years ago, but, was concerned about what area the judge would give to each of us. I know where all the good stuff is and it is fabulous...thanks you for all you do...Louise

From what I have seen in the public records, a Judge will appoint one or two people to evaluate the land to be partitioned and come back with what they propose to be shares of equal (economic) value.

Depending upon whether different parts of the land are under cultivation, in timber, grazing land, has surface water, all kinds of things used to appraise the value of it, your 1/2 might end up being in two or more pieces or shaped unusually.

If you want me to look the new owners up for you, send me your legal description(s) and whatever you know about them.


Maybe later,

as we are leased until Aug 2018 and the company we are leased to seems like a good company. Maybe after that I might consider it. I would have wanted to do that years ago when I first bought the land. Just wished the niece had sold the land to her Aunt as she is a good person and is always so agreeable. Just a really sweet person. But, thanks for the offer anyway.


I don't know the terms of your lease, but when/if either of the companies commences operations, ask them to let you have final say on where their roads are built: Straight down the center or along one boundary line, that sort of thing. Maybe ask one company to build their road in one place and the other in another.

If so, you can help design the layout(s) / route(s) of the road(s) to facilitate eventual development of the surface.

And don't forget to insist that they install culverts and/or bridges so as to not negatively effect the natural drainage or you can end up with a useless mud pit or even a swamp, ruining all or a part of your lands for almost anything - grazing, timber, crops.

There will be Fencing, Gate and possibly Cattleguard issues to address.

Most companies will want to install "Push Gates" so their Drivers don't have to get out and unlock / re-lock locks when making their Runs. Time is Money.

That's fine, but if you use your land for grazing, insist that they install Cattleguards under their Push Gates: Not all cattle are as stupid as people think.

There are other issues that should be addressed, depending upon what you use your lands for: Damages for any Timber cut over a certain value, lost income from loss of Timber Land, Crop Land, Grazing Land; Water Wells, Surface Water use... the list goes on.

People should think of these things when they negotiate their leases, but most don't.

my land is in the Delaware Basin, all sand and tumble weeds. Lol. I have heard there are aquifers underneath. The problem we had concerned with the Pad on the land is now over and we won't be concerned with that. They went elsewhere.

The only thing we are looking forward to is the drilling of a well, whenever that should happen.

We leased to one company and was flipped to another and then another and then another. We were are waiting to see what happens. It is a good area with drilling all around and everywhere. But, if they don't drill at least we are looking at lease money once again.

Thanks for your help, may call on you if we need to lease again.