I'll try make this as uncomplicated as I can. We have a mineral lease in Weld County with a major operator who just came into the picture having bought our original lease. It was determined that another major operator had drilled a deeper well 156 feet from our old non-producing well, produced and sold oil/gas but never notified any of the original mineral owners. The operator who drilled and discovered oil says the issue of executive rights is at question and in order to pay royalties they need old probate documents, etc. This land has been leased many times over the years and royalties paid until it was abandoned.
Meanwhile the operator who recently purchased the lease has been notified of the proximity of the adjacent well. They, their Attorneys I should say, are looking into it. These are two big companies and this issue is peanuts to them I am sure. However just for the sake of conversation,...assuming that the probate becomes a non issue the question is:
At the end of the day, who would be on the hook to pay royalties? The owner of our lease or the operator who obtained a lease from the holder of executive rights, (still an unsettled question)?