I thought I would put this up for discussion as I have a difference of opinion among 3 landmen and an attorney.
Lease covers 2000 acres in Texas originally executed in the 80’s. A few producing wells drilled and units total about 300 acres. Lease renewed multiple times covering total acreage in case new wells drilled at a greater depth or to different zones.
One of the mineral owners falls on hard times and does not pay the taxes on the producing wells as assessed by the County. County sells for back taxes and new owner begins to collect the royalties. Old Owner” is now deceased.
Existing producer is selling the company, lease is expiring this summer and new company wants to enter into a new lease. Wells are still producing. Two landmen say the “ older owner” lost everything and has no rights. Third landman says the rights lost were only in the units producing as that was all that was being taxed and all that the County could offer for sale. The outside counsel is of the opinion that this latter position may be correct but without researching it further has decided to let the new company deal with the ownership issue of non-held minerals.
So, who owns the 1700 acres on non-held production? I have not reviewed the lease to see if the producing wells cover only to the zones producing or, if it is silent as to any inclusion of other zones. Bonus for the interest in question would be about $4,000.
Anyone care to venture an opinion?