How do you determine who owns the mineral rights of a property?
This issue is becoming more and more prevalent as I see multiple listings for parcels of land, particularly in the areas of San Leon and Bacliff along Galveston Bay, with a disclaimer in the agent remarks “seller to retain mineral rights”. Increased drilling around our state has brought a heightened interest in mineral ownership. How many of us really know what this means and how to find out how it may affect your buyer or seller?
In an article recently published on February 10, 2015 by the Texas Association of REALTORS®, Charles Porter, a Texas real estate broker, Texas REALTORS® University instructor, and member of the Addendum for Reservation of Oil, Gas, and Other Minerals form task force, explains what you should know about determining who owns mineral rights:
“Get a landman. A buyer or seller can hire a representative of the oil and gas drilling company, generally known as a “landman” or “petroleum landman,” to attempt to identify all owners of the minerals and holders of the executive rights. An oil and gas attorney is another resource for this task.
Know it may not be easy. Thanks to a long history of severed mineral estates, many sellers have negotiated to keep the mineral rights for future income, even when they no longer own the surface of the land. And those ownership interests don’t always stop there. For example, when minerals become part of an inheritance, the route to finding the true owner can become more complicated.”
Read more about this issue, plus recent changes in the mineral addendum, how to use it properly, and the basics of mineral rights in Porter’s article, “What you need to know about mineral rights,” in the January/February 2015 issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.