What can we do if we discover a well has been built without a lease from us?

We are a group of heirs to 40 acres in Section 5 in Loving. Our parents leased the rights in the 1990s, so there was clear title then. We have heard there is a well on the land without a lease from us. Any idea what we can do? Some information was available because we have heard from a "landman" wanting to buy the rights and he knew some (but not all) of the heirs.

Is there a well that was drilled on your land in the early 90's that has been producing since that time? Or are there no older wells on your block?

If your acreage is located in a production unit for a new well and you have not been leased, I would recommend contacting the operator and asking "what's up?" and offering to lease to them - but you are in a position to get some pretty good terms (or you could lease to another company if they are interested in getting into this well)

I would check the Tx RRC site and find your land and the well that is supposed to have been drilled on it. Just to make sure your block in their unit. I suggest this since it sounds like you have only heard that there is a well on your land - need to confirm this before contacting operator (plus the Tx RRC research will tell you who the operator is as well as how good the well is)

Thanks so much for your reply. To my knowledge, the 1990's lease resulted in no production. Everyone that signed that lease is now dead and there are many heirs. We only heard from a "landman" that there was already a rig on the land. One of the other heirs was thinking along the lines you suggested. You have made some excellent recommendations. I'll let you know what happens!

I looked at the TxRRC site. I may not have identified the property correctly; it is Section 5, block 2 but I guess "Block 2" is the important identifier? I am having trouble getting my bearings on the map to find the area of interest. Any hints?

Block or Township / range are the big location factors. Then Section to get zero'd into location.

Best one to have is an abstract number.

I just looked and found that there have been 16 permits in Section 5's in Loving County over past 1000 days

Attached is PDF showing all the Section 5 permits in Loving County over past 1000 days (blue dots). In what part of the county is your acreage located?

474-Section5permitsinLovingCountypast1000days.pdf (1.03 MB)

Thanks so much for the information you have provided. Here is some additional information I found on the area that may held narrow it down:
Lots 33-26, 61-68, and 93-96, being a portion of Tract 4, in 1925 (7/352 DR and 58/586 DR)

473-Section5Block2Plat.pdf (108 KB)

Section 5, Block 2, W&NW RR Co. Survey, Loving County is in Magpie Unit operated by Apache Corporation. The yellow lots on your map correspond to Tract 5 in the unit. The Magpie Unit includes 714.244 acres in total. You can find this on RRC website if you pull permit information for Magpie Unit #112H well; API 42-301-33128. Apache has drilled multiple wells on this unit. First well began producing in September 2015 and oil production of 284,275 bbl and 1,180,880 mcf through December 2016. Only 2 wells are currently producing so there are several wells waiting for frac. RRC lease id 08-47094. Note that the permit will show the wells are being drilled from locations in Section 4, but when you print the plat, you will see that the horizontal wellbores are in Section 5.

There is a Certificate of Service regarding Rule 37 0302768. It lists quite a few people who are "no address" or "lost". Jean Capps; Glenn Meyer; Gail Anastasi; Beverly Stalker; Estate of W.O. Schott and all heirs (many named); various Mumme family members. Contact listed: Apache Corp., Attn: Casey Cadenhead; 17802 IH 10 West, Suite 300, San Antonio, TX 78256. No one should sell without determining how much money is in suspense and your monthly income. Lease should be 25% royalty. Join together to get a better lease form, preferably with cost-free royalties.

You are right on with your info. You see my name (Jean Capps) among the people they couldn't fiind. All of the Schotts and Mumme's mentioned there are deceased, and the company lists them as "lost" but I found them in 10 minutes of internet search. They are all buried in New Orleans. There are also heirs they don't seem to know about related to Louis Hufft. There was a permit problem when a letter addressed to Helen Hufft Thompson in Rison, Ark. "came back". Well, that wasn't her name (it was Helen Hufft Hopson) and she had died around three weeks before. So, we are hunting everyone down and will band together. Well #111H has been started but is not yet producing (probably for the reasons you gave. Seems Apache told RRC they couldn't "find" us and went ahead but on the Certificate of Leasing authority lists a {person} et al not on any list and nobody knows with a check next to unleashed. I tried to contact Casey Cadenhead this afternoon, but Apache closes at 11:30 am on Fridays. I'll try again on Monday.

One lesson learned: document any holdings you have and tell people who is who and share the details with the family. Apparently, Apache's permit went ahead went they posted a public notice in the Peco newspaper looking for the heirs, most of whom live hundreds of miles away in other states! This 40 acres in Tract 5 were bought in 1921 by my Great Grandfather and a business partner. BTW, we are not planning to sell and will take our time granting a lease. We have received a few offers but after reading this site, they are clearly too low to even consider. Thanks again for the good information!