Where to search for wells I may not know about

We inherited mineral rights in 17 counties OK, usually a few tracts in each county. We are reading up and learning all about how to handle these and transferring over the KNOWN leases that have active wells with several of them, known since Jan 2019. We only know this through royalty checks that had been coming in. Some others may still have active leases - we have thick files to sort through as it seems all leases and other records were kept.
*Where can I find current active leases for each property? *I was advised there may be wells we don’t know about at this point and we need to find out, that may have started during the year of probate. Would the companies not get notified of new ownership and where to send division orders/royalties? Do we need to also contact all leasing companies to transfer the leases? *Where to even search for wells we don’t know about?

Thank you!

Welcome back to the forum!

Some suggestions for getting started-not the only way, but this works for our family.

1-sort all the files into County and then Township, Range and then Section so that they are geographically in order. (Don’t sort by section first at this time as you want to order by the township) In each file, put the oldest documents at the back and work toward the front so you can understand the history of each tract. If you have more than one tract in each section, separate them out by description.

2- There is a set of maps for most of the OK counties posted on the forum. I will hunt for the location.

3-get to know the Oklahoma Corporation website. It is free and has most of what you need. http://www.occeweb.com Home Page. The Conducting Business-Imaged Documents tab, Divisions Tab, Conducting Business Unlocated Mineral Owners and Dockets tab are your friends.
a. http://imaging.occeweb.com has the data bases. You will be using the case files and the well records mostly. b.The OAP cases tab - OAP documents the OCC court cases. Best place to start. Case Processing Online Use the section township range order to search. Example 0105N06W. Use leading zero if needed. Find the cases that go with your sections and follow them by case number and date. You can save digital copies.

b. Using the section-township-range order with section order, use the well records site to hunt for wells. Test. They will be located by surface location. Old vertical wells most likely in your section, but any new horizontal wells may have surface locations several sections away.

c. The OK tax site. Gross Production For some strange reason, the wells are usually posted by their bottom hole location here, but not always. So I start with the bottom hole and work up the hole by section until I find it. You can also search by name of the well.

d. Your probate will have to be filed in each county where you have minerals. Hence the sorting order of part a.

e. You will need to contact each operator for the royalty checks that you get right now and notify them of the change in title. They will probably require a copy of the probate documents.

Each heir will need to file their own documents at the county and contact each operator.

Start with these actions and then come back with questions.
Did the executor get a fair market evaluation done for the probate? Several point to discuss on that in a different post.

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Thanks for the info! Files are all sorted by county and oldest to newest order very well kept documents which is good. Hard to tell which leases are still in affect though.
Probate finished yes all transferred over just one sole heir my husband, all transferred over, deeds and royalties from operators etc. Some still in process, just seem to be taking the max d120 days they are allowed to get us to pay status. It has been a year since death so just not sure if NEW activity started anywhere and perhaps they didn’t know who to contact for division orders or royalties.
No market value was not determined by executor before deeds were transferred over not sure why that would be helpful? Thank you - this forum is great!

Use the Case docket search to look for any new OCC cases on the tracts that are not currently getting royalties. Also search on the ones that do have royalties to see if you have any increased density hearings.

For the economic part. It is so much easier to have an evaluation done within a year of the date of death instead of having to reconstruct it 20 years later. If your husband ever sells, he will need the original value for capital gains purposes. If you cannot prove the original value as of the date of death, the IRS may tax any profit with a basis of zero. For example, if the property is 10 acres and he sells for 1000/ac, then the amount received is $10,000. The IRS may tax the entire amount for capital gains purposes. If he can prove that the property was worth $900/ac when he inherited it, then he might only be taxes on $1000.

In addition to what Martha has suggested, you might check on unclaimed property in Oklahoma, and the state where the decedent lived. If there was a well, and the operator could not deliver the check to the owner, because he/she could be deceased, or unlocatable, then they would transfer the money into unclaimed property.

You can check several places. One is on the OCC MOEA area: MOEA Search

Another is the Treasurer’s office for OK and wherever the decedent lived. Don’t use a firm, go straight to the state sites. Also check Delaware, since some operators are domiciled there.

Probably check three places for unclaimed property from Oklahoma wells:

Oklahoma Unclaimed Property Search

Multi-State Unclaimed Search

Mineral Interest Escrow Account Search In addition to Delaware, check the state where the decedent lived.

Also, if unclaimed property in Oklahoma exceeds $10,000, the treasure’s office will likely require a probate.

If you use the magnifying glass search icon in the upper right corner and type in MAPS, I have posted many of the county maps (with Section, Township and Range) in the various OK counties. You can download them and mark your tracts on them.

Thank you. All that info is very overwhelming but we are clicking on the links and trying to figure it out. Records are in files and very organized, but where do I search for current leases that have been issued/signed previously on each tract? I have all documents - all lease history. She kept everything. I do not know which ones are expired as I know drilling negates the exp date. We have several properties already with division orders and royalties transferred over because we knew about those. I want to find out if there is activity we do not know about. I am assuming just contact the current leasing companies?

We are searching for wells on the OCC site. Can you please clarify - on the list of wells by section, township, range, in addition is the SE/NW4 etc when we find the list of wells. If our deed says NW/4 SE/4 or just NE/4 for example, if a well has that within the description, does that mean we are owed royalties? Or does it needs to JUST state what is on our deed as some have additional “SE/EE” etc. If our deed says NE/4 for example and the well is at WSENE4ESE (probably doesn’t make sense but a lot are very long like that!) does this not apply to us? Also I am assuming if we aren’t sure and it says “dry hole” anyway, then it doesn’t matter? Thank you!

Have you tried www.okcountyrecords.com? Use the name of the relative and search for leases there. All leases are filed for the counties they track. You have quite a few to begin with. You may discover others.

Then go to the OTC tax site to see if there are producing wells. You can search by the section or quarter section. You are owed royalties if your description is within the spacing unit of the well.

You can find the spacing orders using the http://www.occeweb.com/caseprocessingonline/default.aspx