Welcome

Congratulations on finding us!  If you’re like most of the people who find this website, you didn’t know you owned oil and gas rights until just a few days ago.  You probably didn’t even know what oil and gas rights were.

Then someone either called you out of the blue or sent you a letter explaining that your great-great grandpa owned minerals in West Virginia.  West Virginia?  Where’s that? you probably asked yourself.

That someone (called a landman, as I’m sure they explained to you) went on to explain that your great-great grandpa (or some other ancestor) lived in West Virginia at one point and owned West Virginia mineral rights when he passed away.  Those mineral rights passed down to his heirs, and you are one of his heirs.  You are now the proud, if a little confused, owner of mineral rights in West wherever-that-is Virginia.

To complicate things, the landman is asking you to sign a lease, and maybe an Affidavit of Heirship, and probably a couple other documents related to the lease.

What does this lease say? you’re wondering to yourself.  Am I getting myself into a liability issue?  Are they paying me what it’s worth?  Is fracking OK or am I messing up some poor West Virginian’s life?  Am I the new Jed Clampett?!?

So many questions….so few answers!  Until you found this web site…..

We’re here to help you understand what’s going on.  We’ll answer all those questions and quite a few you didn’t even know you had.

We’ll help you understand what a lease is and how it’s going to affect you.

We’ll help you fell confident that you are doing the right thing, whether that’s ignoring the landman completely or working with the landman to sign a lease and get the rest of your family to sign up, too.

We’ll help you have peace of mind, knowing that you haven’t taken too low a price or gotten yourself into a bad liability situation.

We’ll help you look into the future and predict whether you’re going to be able to retire on your new income or…just be able to buy a burger at McDonalds every once in a while.

We’ll help you decide whether the environmental issues are something for you to consider or not.

We’ll help you know whether to put your mineral rights into a family trust for protection.

We’ll give you some practical advice on how to negotiate with the landman if that’s all you need.

For that matter, we can do all the negotiating for you.  All you’ll ever have to do is sign the final document and mail it back to us.

Whatever it is you need help with, we will do.  We have the experience, the knowledge, the expertise, and the training to take care of all your oil and gas issues.

By the way, we don’t work for the oil and gas companies.  We keep ourselves out of that kind of work so that we don’t have conflicts of interest.

 

63 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Hi. I was contacted by Energy Corporation of America about leasing mineral rights on 20 acres in Greene Co PA I inherited. Their offer was $2000/acre and 12.5 percent royalties.
    Your thoughts on what I should counter offer?

    • I don’t keep track of prices in PA, unfortunately. I would guess you could get up around $4000/acre and 12.5% 18%. If you call our office (304-473-1403) Darla can put you in touch with a PA attorney who does the same thing we do here in WV. There are quite a few other things to think about when you have a 20 acre tract besides just the bonus and royalty amount.

  2. My sister and I inherited a mineral right from our father. Apparently this particular area has been divided among many mineral right owners probably due to passing down to many children. My sister is no longer interested in keeping it as the money earned is not worth keeping up with the taxes and paperwork. To her it’s a headache. To me it’s a reminder of my dad and family. I guess I’m sentimental. She now wants to sell her right to me for a dollar. I am not sure how to go about that. Also, the money paid on this right isn’t worth paying a lawyer to handle the transaction. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s worth looking into but I told my sister I would do some research. I don’t want to spend a lot of money for the sale of this mineral right when it’s not worth much. Any suggestions? Is there a simple way to do this transaction?

    • It’s going to take some money to get the transaction done right. You should have a deed drawn up. I’ve seen some deeds done by non-lawyers, and they’re rarely done right. In order to do a deed, my office would require a description of the property (found in the most recent deed) and a copy of the current tax ticket. Sometimes both can be hard or impossible to acquire. You can call the office to see if we can help you. 304-473-1403.

  3. Hello, I have just been recently involved in the sale of mineral rights on behalf on my mother that had received this by way of inheritance. Without knowing more than I do , the price – offer seemed adequate judging by what the annual taxes are. Is this not relevant to the value of any particular mineral holdings ? It surely kinda works in real estate in applying a proportionate formula.

    Richard , in ABQ , NM

    • I wouldn’t rely on the tax value to determine the value of mineral rights. Over the last five years I’ve watched the value of minerals rights skyrocket, plummet back to earth, and start to climb again. Eleven years ago you could have sold mineral rights for $50/acre and thought you were getting a good deal. Today if you’re selling for less than $6,000/acre in some counties you’re getting a bad deal. Other counties you’d have a hard time selling them for $500/acre. The value of the minerals really depends on where they are located, and on what the price of natural gas is.

  4. Hi Tony,

    Can someone with a life estate in minerals initiate the sale of the minerals and execute the deed without the remainderman? This is confusing.

    Thank you

    • The owner of a life estate can sell the life estate to another person without the approval of the remainderman. However, it will only be the life estate. The remainderman will still retain his/her rights. You can only convey what you own.

      Life estates and remainder interests get pretty complicated, and there’s some interesting law that’s been developed over the centuries in regards to the life estate/remainderman relationship. It’s actually pretty sensible once you get your mind wrapped around it, but it can take some time to grasp the concepts. Look up the Open Mines doctrine if you need something to put you to sleep some night. Good luck, and call if you feel like you need help with it.

  5. Hi Kyle,

    My wife has been getting paperwork for the last several months regarding a ~12 acre parcel which she’s about 0.23% share (1 members of ~140 on the parcel), which she had no idea she was a partial heir to a year ago.

    She had seen paperwork from Chevron several months ago, and had actually spoken with somebody, but she’s really against fracking in general so she held out. A few weeks ago she got a legal doc saying something about a quiet title/partition suit, and today she received a box with a ~6″ stack of papers… all the docs related to the suit.

    Seeing this box full of court papers, I’ve decided to get involved. After researching several hours tonight, I saw your name come of frequently, particularly for this region and thought I’d ask. She has 30 days to respond… What does this mean, and what are our options? Is it too late to get back to the bargaining table? I’m getting the impression that holding-out will in no way prevent drilling, is this true? Options moving forward?

    You seem extremely helpful, THANKS!
    Mike Dooling

    • Holding out will not stop drilling/fracking, but it will slow it down a bit. My general recommendation for people who are opposed to development for whatever reason is to negotiate hard with the company (slowing them down a bit) and take the money that you receive from the bonus/royalties and donate it to an organization that opposes development. There are more than one to choose from. This is more effective than letting it go at a partition sale because the partition sale usually results in the company owning the mineral rights and pocketing the profits.

      It’s not too late to negotiate, but it might be too late to negotiate hard. You’ll have to feel out the landman/lawyer that you end up talking with. Usually, if you contact them after a partition suit has been filed they will still work out an agreement with you.

  6. Mr. Nuttall,

    A family member’s mineral rights here in Tyler Co., WV were seized and sold in a partition suit. He lives in TX, and travels extensively for work, often outside of the US. Because of his schedule, he sometimes gets far behind in sorting/reading his mail, as happened in this case.

    As I live here in WV, he has asked me to track down the proceeds from the sale on his behalf. Over a year ago, I contacted the county clerk’s office regarding these funds. I was referred to the office of the prosecuting attorney, who gave me the names of two attorneys, one in Wheeling, the other in Moundsville. When I contacted them, one did not return my call, and the others’ office stated that it was in the hands of a judge in Wheeling, but offered no advice. I dropped it that point, in favor of more pressing issues of my own. It has now become pertinent again, as our mother is terminally ill, and the funds are needed for her care. My problem is, I don’t know where to begin, other than starting over at the beginning.

    Can you offer any suggestions?

    • The funds should be in an escrow account somewhere, either at the county or the state. Since you’ve checked with the county, it seems you’ll have to contact the state. If that doesn’t work for you, give the office call and we’ll see what we can do to help.

  7. My parents sold their Ritchie county – W. Va. property in 2004 but did not sell the mineral rights. The purchase agreement states that mineral rights were not included in the sale BUT when the lawyer who drew up the deed he did not state that the sale excluded the mineral rights. My father must not have notice that exclusion on the deed when he signed it. My parents paid the taxes on the mineral rights and the rights were willed to my siblings and I when they passed away. We have paid the taxes since 2011 and received some royalities from leasing. The people who purchased the property sold it to Antero last year and in their deed it states they keep the mineral rights. We were told by a company that purchased some of our other mineral rights that we don’t own the mineral rights on the property my parents owned. Even though we have been paying taxes on them all these years. We contacted the lawyer who drew up the deed but he told us he was unable to fix the error because he represented both parties when he did the deed for the real estate company. They lived in New Jersey my parents are the ones who listed the property. CAN YOU HELP US?

    • We’re actually working on a very similar case right now. It gets messy and the little details are important. We can try to help, but I can’t guarantee success. Give the office a call at 304-473-1403 to set up an appointment to talk with someone about the situation. Get copies of all the documents that you can, including the sales listing, the purchase and sales agreement, the deed, and the tax tickets.

  8. We have a copy of a right of way for Cranberry Pipeline Corporation:
    dated 16th day of December 1983
    Grantor (owner at that time) grants and conveys with general warranty to Cranberry a right of way and easement to lay, maintain, operate, protect, repair, replace, reduce or increase the size of and remove pipelines for transportation of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons; so on so forth.
    We purchased this piece of property in October 2013 with 100% mineral, timber, surface rights.
    The pipeline has not been maintained (covered by trees brush etc) and is out of date (about 100 years old) and unusable.
    We tried to contact cranberry pipeline corporation, which is now Cabot oil and gas about abandoning the pipeline but can’t get any good info.
    Is this right of way still valid? What law or governing rule says when a pipeline is no longer usable and must be abandoned.
    Also, if Cabot wanted to put in a new pipeline, would they still have the right to do so?
    What rights do we have regarding them tearing up our land for a new pipeline.
    What if another company wants to lease our land with potential to drill or put in pipeline?
    Confusing??? Hope you can help?

    • Excellent question. The document is going to control, so a close reading of the agreement from 1983 will answer most of the questions. If there isn’t an end date, or if there isn’t some language that provides for an end to the agreement based off something happening or something not happening, then the agreement is most likely permanent.

      Now, it might be possible to get the company to sign a release of that easement agreement. Since they’re not using it any more, they may find it cheaper to sign a document letting it go than to put up a fight. However, if the company has plans in your area they will want to hold on to that easement. Pipeline easement agreements start at $1/inch/foot and go up from there, so acquiring a new one can get expensive. You can always hope to get lucky.

      Which state is this in? West Virginia doesn’t have a law on the books that deals specifically with your situation, but some other states might. If you’re in another state, you’ll want to talk with an attorney from that state. Call the office at 304-473-1403 and we can point you in the right direction.

  9. I signed a contract for 32.80 acres. Divided among heirs at 3.41667 acres at 3500.00 per acre, lease option.. Received a bonus check worded as payment in full for the leased acres, but, the acreage was reduced to just 0.512. I am looking at the deed at the Wetzel county courthouse. The dead has 2 tracts. 1st tract is 34 4/5 acres and a second tract of 10 5/6. It appears the payment is for the second tract, though the check states “review of updated title indicates a decrease in the net amount to 0.512 acres from 3.41667

    • That’s typically because they did an initial search of the documents and genealogy and determined that you owned that much. Then they did some follow up research once they had signed agreements from you, and found new heirs that they hadn’t found the first time. If you can prove that they were right the first time your interest will go back up. That can take a lot of work, though, and it’s quite possible that they are right. Good luck.

  10. A landman contacted me back in May and offered a little over a hundred dollars for the mineral rights I apparently own on a tiny portion of land in Doddridge County. I told the guy I wasn’t interested, that it would be more trouble than it was worth just getting the paperwork notarized, etc. Two days ago I received a letter from a different landman (landwoman?) stating that if I didn’t get in touch with her within ten days and accept the offer, the company she represented (EQT) would file a partition suit seeking to have a court force me to sell. My question is this: What’s the worst that can happen if I don’t agree to sell–other than the court eventually forcing me to sell, thus causing me to receive a lower (or no) amount? In other words, is it even remotely possible that I could be fined or forced to pay for court costs or compelled to travel or something equally unpleasant? I know of course that I should simply agree to the offer and get the whole business over with, and I’m aware that by refusing to do so I may be holding up the deal for some of my fellow lease holders. But her letter rankled me. I want to ignore it. You know, just to be stubborn.
    Thanks

    • If you let it go to partition suit, the worst that will happen is that you’ll be served papers during the proceedings. You shouldn’t end up owing anything, at least, not the way it’s done right now. I’m sure some enterprising company will figure out a way of making people pay for the partition suit costs someday. You’re safe for now, though.

      I do generally agree with you, it’s usually worth it to agree with them at some point. Instead of $100, ask them for $1000 and see what they say. If they laugh at you then you know you’ve probably got a little tiny interest and you probably can’t do much. If they agree to a significant bump up in price, give us a call and we can help you get a little better terms. Maybe not a lot more money, but definitely some important terms like limiting your liability and limiting the company’s control to a little less than everything.

  11. Hi, Kyle-We originally had a lease with Chesapeake in 2011, which then was bought by Chevron. Our Chesapeake lease was $3500/acre, and we had addendums added which were relative to Hold Harmless, No Storage Rights, Royalty changed to 18%, Gross Proceeds and Warranty of Title. Our lease is up now and Chevron is offering $3000/acre, 12.5% royalty, and firm on the offer . . we asked about/requested addendums similar to our original lease with Chesapeake, and they will not add them. Chevron said that Chesapeake had no plans of drilling. At first Chevron said they had plans for our minerals, and I think we have drug our feet long enough on signing, that now they say the plans have “stalled”. The mineral rights are in District of Webster, Marshall County. Chevron said that no one is knocking down our doors offering to lease, so I think it is take it or leave it. Have you run across this, and should we continue to try to hold off? Is there something better out there?

    • Right now it seems that waiting and saying no is a good negotiating tactic. The price of gas has been going up and will probably continue to go up. At very least, it seems that it will stay at or above $3.00/MCF for the rest of the year. With higher gas prices and fewer drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) the companies are going to be more motivated to take new leases and develop new property. With higher gas prices, there will also be more investment capital flowing into the industry. It also looks like the industry will be more stable for the time being, which encourages investment. With time, there should be more money flowing, and companies should be able to offer better prices and terms than they have recently.

      However, you have to keep a close eye on this stuff. The industry can turn quickly for the worse, and if you hold out too long you will find offers being rescinded and changed. It can be a delicate balancing act.

      That part about Chesapeake not having plans for drilling, that’s not true. While CHK often bought property with the idea of flipping it to another company, they also did quite a lot of development in the Marshall and Wetzel County area. If you have a large percentage of ownership in a large tract, you should be able to get as good or better terms than you got previously.

  12. I need a Lawyer to read my Lease to see if states if I get a sign-on bonus if it is extended pass the 5 years.It is producing.

    • If it’s producing there usually won’t be any extension of the primary term. Most leases will move into the secondary term when production starts. As long as there’s production and royalty payments are being made, it stays in the secondary term. Once production ceases and payments cease, the lease will expire.

  13. I recently inherited 100 acres in Upshur county/with O/G rights. 1 existing well, 3 untapped wells. Several questions I have.
    -Do I need to get a hold of each of the 2 companies for transfer of lease or identification of new ownership?
    -How do I get a copy of the lease(s) for viewing?
    -The area around the tapped well is in bad shape, and even blocks access to part of the land. What can I do about this?
    -There is a well on the adjacent farm, which its pad sits partially on my property. I know my father made an easement agreement with this company, that partly contains road maintenance to this pad. The road has not been maintained. How can I get the info regarding this easement, as it is the only way into this pad.

    • First, congratulations! Owning minerals can be lucrative and fun. There’s a steep learning curve, but it’s worth it.

      You can find copies of the leases and the easement at the courthouse. It may take some work to do, but they’ll be there. If they’re not, then they technically don’t exist. We can help you with the research, or do it for you.

      You should contact each of the companies that hold leases on the property. They’ll want some information from you in order to change their records and start making payments to you.

      When you say “untapped” wells, I assume that means they are no longer producing. If so, they should be plugged or reworked. You can report that information to the DEP. An inspector will probably come out to look at them in pretty short order. The inspector will be able to give you some advice about the surface issues, too.

  14. we are selling our property of 21 acres in monongalia county, our mineral rights are split50/50 with another person. The potential buyer want to buy our mineral rights to protect himself from any potential drilling. We are willing to give them half of our ownership so we maintain some control of the rights because we too do not want any drilling under our property. So my question is, if a drilling company approached us and wanted to put a pad on the property, would all of the mineral owners have to agree, or could the surface owner allow it to happen if they only own 25% of the mineral rights?

    • That’s a more complicated question than you might think. The surface owner technically can’t refuse to let the surface be used for oil and gas development. The oil and gas owners have to be able to use the surface to develop the oil and gas, otherwise the oil and gas rights are useless. So the oil and gas owners have the right to use the surface for oil and gas purposes. They are limited to only doing what is “fairly necessary”. The company will usually work out an agreement with the surface owner as well, however.

      The oil and gas owners do have to agree; the company can’t develop the oil and gas without a lease from every owner. However, if someone is unreasonable the other owners (usually the company will buy one acre from a cooperating owner, making the company an owner) can use a partition suit to force development.

  15. i have a oil and gas lease agreement with Antero Resources in Wetzel County that i have not yet signed. I had previously tried to get the post production costs section removed and requested that the oil and gas be valued at the point of sale to an unaffiliated third party. My question is do Oil and Gas Companies still negotiate Gross rather than Net Agreements or am i stuck with a post production costs clause with Antero. What about the problem that Antero sells its oil and gas to Antero Midstream.

    • Antero has two post-production clauses they usually offer people. One is the Market Enhancement clause, and the other is the Gross Proceeds at the Wellhead clause. I favor the Gross Proceeds at the Wellhead clause. If you ever see the Market Enhancement clause, you’ll understand why. I haven’t usually had too much trouble getting Antero to agree to the Gross Proceeds at the Wellhead clause. Sometimes the landman won’t be familiar with it and you’ll have to ask them for it specifically, but Antero has it and uses it. Just keep asking.

      • Kyle, how should the value of the gas at the wellhead be determined? I have a proposal that it is the value of gas based on MMBTU but no details in the clause exists on how that value is determined.

        • I hesitate to get into this subject too deeply here. There are a lot of details that need to be covered. The long and short of it is that West Virginia law only allows a producer to deduct costs if they’re detailed in the lease, along with a method for calculating the costs. Since that’s the case, the price should be set where the gas is sold to a non-affiliated third party. There could be a lot more that goes into it, though. Good luck negotiating!

    • There are a number of companies buying up mineral rights and they all pay different amounts. I would say that if you were selling for less than $4000/acre you were getting ripped off, but it’s going to depend a lot on how big your interest is and how hot the market is. If you have an actual offer in hand, then you can judge the market at that time.

  16. Kyle,

    When my ex wife sold her farm in Monongalia county back in 2007, I suggested we separate the remaining mineral rights. The coal rights had already been sold.
    The property was acquired by her prior to our marriage. Since I had put her name on my house title she felt it fair to put my name on the mineral rights on the farm. The farm was about 23 acres. The attorney who did the closing and drew up the new deed for the new surface owners showed the properety being transferred from my wife and myself, “a married couple”.. My name was not on any previous deed.
    A landsman recently contacted both of us and made an offer on the mineral rights to either lease or buy. Since we have been divorced a few years , he sent us separate lease agreements to sign.
    My ex is now contending that my name on the deed to the surface owners does not
    give me any claim to the mineral rights.
    My name is clearly on file in the county clerk office in the “deeds” section.
    She is now asserting that she never intended to share the mineral rights and intends to tell the landsman that those rights should be in her name only..
    What do you think, do I have any rights here. ???

    • That’s a really good question. I spoke with an attorney who does a lot of family law and probate work, and they said that you probably do own an interest in the minerals. That’s an off-the-cuff opinion, without any real research, so it could be wrong. If you want to hire someone to dig into it, we can do it or I can point you towards the other attorney. Call the office at 304-473-1403.

    • The fact that you joined the deed of sale as a grantor does not necessarily mean that you had any vested interest in the property. It is common for a spouse to join in the sale and conveyance of property to release any marital interest they might have in property that was separately owned by the other spouse (such as inherited property and property acquired prior to the marriage). The issue is whether you were entitled to a marital interest. Talk to the lawyer that handled your divorce.

  17. My grandfather has a lease for oil rights in Marshall County, WV. He gets a check for a whopping $19 per year. He passed away December 2014 and the actual lease was never put into the trust that he had. It was a California trust and he was a California resident. We have changed over 2 of the leases to his heirs (my mom and uncle) with CNX Gas Company with no problem, we only had to submit an Heirship Affidavit and death certificate. We even recorded the Heirship Affidavit for any future issues. This one lease with Columbia Pipeline Group is giving us problems and is saying that we have to file a probate in WV to get it changed. Am I crazy to believe that that is completely unncessary for something like this, especially when another company changed it over no problem?

    • Columbia Pipeline Group is mostly involved with building and operating pipelines, so maybe they’re asking for the probate to be filed because they’re dealing with a surface interest instead of a mineral interest. It’s hard for me to say for sure without knowing a lot more about the situation.

  18. Can a gas company drill without ratification of lease for polling on track of gas and oil of a old 1920 lease I own 1/6 of 75 acres

    • I think that I just answered this same question in the last comment. If not, call the office at 304-473-1403 and we can talk about your situation.

  19. looking for answers radification of lease for pooling 1/6 interest signature required yes or no? has well on held by production 1920 lease

    • Yes, signature required, unless you’re in the 2nd Circuit (Wetzel, Tyler, Marshall counties), then there’s a very recent decision that says a modification isn’t necessary for pooling. Supreme Court hasn’t looked at that decision yet, and it could be overturned. The reasoning is solid, but there is solid reasoning the other way too.

  20. Antero Resources is wanting to lease my portion of the Thomas Madison Shuttlesworth. 6-7 areas in Wetzel, Dodridge, Tyler, Ritchie Co of W.V. I need help. I dont trust them.

    • You should have some good negotiating leverage if your interests are large. We can definitely put together a better lease for you. The standard offer that they will present to you is always in the company’s favor, but they are willing to make changes. Once you have paperwork from Antero, give the office a call and we’ll see what we can do to protect you. 304-473-1403.

  21. My brother and I own land in Cabell County. We were contacted last you to grant access for an environmental study. We agreed.
    Tuesday, a man called stated he wants to meet with us. He has a check “for several thousand dollars, but it’s negotiable”
    He wants to meet with us on Monday 11th. Not much notice, huh?
    IDK. I was tempted to ask for an email to see if it had a Nigerian IP address

    • Probably the Mountaineer Xpress pipline. I don’t know of anything else happening out that direction. Cabot has been drilling an experimental well in Putnam County, the Cabot 50, to the Rogersville Shale. The Rogersville won’t get developed until gas prices get around $5/MCF or maybe higher for an extended length of time. I don’t see that happening for several years at least. So it must be the pipeline. Call if you want some help with that. 304-473-1403. Negotiating leases and pipeline easements is what we do around here.

  22. I have minerals in Ritchie county and Noble energy stated a well on the land of my minerals rights .But pull out in February of 2014 They drill two other well and stated on my then left. Will they be coming back to Ritchie county anytime soon

    • I was out in Ritchie County yesterday, and could see two drilling rigs from Route 50. Drilling isn’t going crazy in Ritchie, but there’s still work going on there. It’s impossible to say when Noble will get back to work on yours though. The best you can do is continue to call them and see what info you can get out of them.

  23. Do i have time to file a clay heirs excemption. And i was notified about. historic rights ,bit i need help

    • I’ll need a lot more detail. Is this a tax issue or something else? When were you notified? What were you notified about? This is the kind of thing that may have a statute of limitations, so you should probably call the office quick. 304-473-1403.

  24. Kyle I own 33 1/3 mineral rights that’s leased by Antero Resources . My lease is up in 15 months, and It’s in Tyler Co. WV. The question I have is the land man from Tyler co sent me a modification for pooling with 84 people in and around our unit. They are supposed to only have one well and it doesn’t seem like a very good deal. Could you please give me advice. I would really appreciate some advice.

    • I’ll need a little more detail. Is it an Antero lease that they want to modify, or an older lease that Antero bought from another company? Have they already drilled a well, or is this a situation where they were saying they would only drill one well when the started and are now saying that they want to drill more when they get started?

  25. Hi Kyle, It seems there is some activity in Richie County these days. Do you see this moving into Wirt County anytime soon? My siblings and I own a fairly significant amount of mineral acreage there.

    Thanks, Gary

    • It’s probably not moving in to Wirt County. Wirt doesn’t seem to be a big place for oil and gas development yet. Wirt does have the Mountaineer Xpress pipeline coming through, but that will only affect the surface owners right along the pipeline path.

  26. My sister and I were contacted in September 2015 in regards to our heir to family rights. This process has been in affect for almost a year now. The only documents we have signed are the affidavit. I have made several phone calls with months in between to our landman. I am getting the same response every time I call which is the title work is not finished yet. I know nothing really about the process but somehow feel that it should be finished by now. Is this a normal situation?

    • Doing the research at the courthouse record room doesn’t take long. Finding all the heirs can and does. It can take a long time to find info on one line of the family. They have to assume that there are heirs, until they can prove there aren’t. If they’re still in the process of researching the heirs they won’t be able to make a determination regarding how much each line of the family owns. That’s probably what’s taking a long time. Oh, and they don’t have nearly as many landmen working for them now so they could be waiting on somebody to do the courthouse record room research. It’s hard to tell, honestly.

  27. hi, we own mineral rights on a small 4 acre parcel right in the middle of many acres NNE plans to horizontally drill. we were trying to negotiate fees, percentage, post production costs etc, when all the sudden the landman said the co isn’t interested in negotiations anymore! He had said something previously about donut holing, going around ours with a map that showed 5″lakes”? some of family signed their lease. How can we make sure the don’t steal our gas? It’s in clay district and there is acerage all around ours. Since we asked for more, they dropped us! what about those who did sign the lease? we can’t afford a lawyer to handle it, and don’t even know how to find our 4acres! what can we do? thank you!

    • It’s time for you to get familiar with the WV DEP’s Office of Oil and Gas website. Keep an eye out on Northeast Natural Energy’s filings and look for your property. Also, keep in touch with the part of the family that did sign leases. They’ll be able to let you know if they receive royalty payments. If they put a well under or within 300 feet of your property they should owe you some money.

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