Many people in this country have bought property at one point in their lives or another. Some of those people own the minerals beneath their property. Others of them do not. “How would I know if I owned my minerals?” You may be asking. That answer can be found on the face of your deed, and if you don't have it or know where it is, you can find it at your county courthouse in the deed record office. If you read the words “grantor has reserved the right to all oil, gas, and other minerals in the property” on your deed, this post is not for you. You are what's known as a “surface owner.” You have control over what happens to the surface of your property, but nothing more. If you deed doesn't feature this language or something similar, please keep reading.
Mineral owners have a bundle of rights that are very important to understand. Texas is a mineral rich state with many counties having multiple drilling operations in place. If you are a mineral owner, you should invest in knowing your rights before you sign an oil, gas, and mineral lease, an easement, a right-of-way or any other agreement concerning your property. As a mineral owner, you have the right to produce, sell, and market the minerals beneath the surface of your property. For most people, it is prohibitively expensive to purchase the equipment and labor required to launch a full-scale oil and gas exploration project in their back yards, but it's important to remember that as the mineral owner, that is technically your right. You also have what is known as the “executive right” which is the right to sell, lease, gift, or bequest the right to drill for oil, gas, and minerals beneath your property.
When you sign a lease or a purchase and sale agreement, you are handing that right over to someone else. A lease can expire on its own terms. A deed is a permanent transfer. If you're considering leasing your minerals or selling your property and are a mineral owner, please give us a call. We'd like to guide you through the process of reviewing that lease or sale agreement. This firm has years of experience drafting and negotiating these types of documents and knows what steps to take to protect your interest and provide you peace of mind.