What Areas Of Oil, Gas, And Mineral Law Does Your Firm Handle?
The Law Office of Seth K. Bell represents mineral interest owners throughout the State of Texas. You may own mineral rights throughout the State of Texas even if you do not own the surface. Do not just accept the Oil, Gas, and Mineral Lease presented to you by the operator or their landman. The operator’s form lease is extremely favorable to them and can cost you substantially in the signing bonus and expenses against your royalty. The Law Office of Seth K. Bell will stand on your side to negotiate the most favorable lease terms possible on your Oil, Gas, and Mineral Lease.
The Law Office of Seth K. Bell can also review and confirm the accuracy of division orders, ratifications, and other documents received from the operator for mineral owners, royalty owners, overriding royalty interest owners, non-participating royalty interest owners, and working interest owners. The Law Office of Seth K. Bell also assists individuals and families with the transfer or assignment of mineral rights received by gift or inheritance.
If I Have Mineral Rights, Do I Hold The Rights To The Oil, Gas, And Other Minerals Below?
Yes, but very few mineral owners have the ability or finances to extract those resources from the ground, which is why there are typically leases for the drilling and production of those minerals.
Do Oil And Gas Companies Own The Land They Drill On?
Sometimes, but rarely. Most often, oil and gas companies enter into leases with the mineral owner for the drilling and production of those minerals.
What Is The Process Of Selling Mineral Rights?
The sale of mineral rights is a real estate transaction, just like selling a house. Mineral rights can be bought, sold, mortgaged, and assigned.
Can I Sell The Mineral Rights Myself?
A mineral owner is typically contacted by a prospective buyer. Sometimes the mineral owner does not even realize they own any mineral rights. The prospective buyer usually has much more information about mineral values, and as such will often attempt to buy the mineral rights for much less than what they are worth. A mineral owner must be fully informed of the value of mineral rights before selling those mineral rights.
What Are Some Mistakes People Make With Their Mineral Rights?
The single biggest mistake is not knowing the value of their mineral rights.
How Do I Know If My Property Has Valuable Mineral Rights?
In Texas, the surface above and minerals below are separate estates. Owning the surface above does not mean you own the minerals below, and owning the minerals below does not mean you own the surface above. In large acreage transactions in rural areas prone to oil and gas exploration, the mineral estate can be more valuable than the surface estate. In buying or selling real estate, especially in a rural area, make sure you know how many mineral acres you are buying or selling. When selling surface land, the mineral estate must be specifically reserved to the seller in the deed or the mineral estate conveys with the surface to the buyer.
How Do Preference Claims Impact The Oil & Gas Industry In The Recent Round Of Bankruptcies?
Over the years, I have represented numerous oil and gas service companies in collection matters. Service companies are required to sign a Master Service Agreement with the oil and gas operator to perform the services they provide. The Master Service Agreement may permit the operator from 60 – 120 days to pay the service company’s invoices, which makes cash flow difficult for the service provider. The reward, however, is that the work can be plentiful and profitable to the service provider.
Unfortunately, oil and gas industry operators are notorious for slow paying, or not paying service providers at all sometimes. If the oil and gas operator seeks the protection of bankruptcy from its creditors, the money owed service providers is a low priority claim which often results in little or no payment to the service provider. That is the risk of providing service in the oil and gas industry.
How Do You See Oil, Gas, and Mineral Laws Evolving In The Future?
Texas has a long history with the oil and gas industry. It can be hot and cold. Technology in the industry has virtually eliminated the drilling of a dry hole. The oil and gas industry will always be vitally important to the Texas economy. The price of oil and gas fluctuates, which drives the amount of exploration activity and has a significant impact on the economy of many Texas communities.
In South Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale has been the dominant source of activity over the past ten years. Most of the area has been leased and is in active production. Currently, the most active area in Texas is the Permian Basin in West Texas. Active leasing and drilling operations are ongoing across several formations.
There are Texans who own mineral rights under land that has not been owned by their family for generations. Sometimes people do not even know they own mineral rights until they are contacted by the oil and gas operator or their landman, in regard to a potential lease. The lease presented will always be very favorable to the operator. It is important to seek the assistance of a lawyer to negotiate the oil and gas lease on your behalf.
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