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Old 07-28-2008, 11:41 AM
 
20 posts, read 51,690 times
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Hi,

My wife and I are planning to retire to north Texas. After weeks of research (and thanks to info from folks on this board), we settled on a 40-acre farm just outside of Leonard in Fannin County. We are scheduled to close the purchase this week, but neither the title company nor the seller has been able to tell us conclusively if mineral rights are attached to the property; there is no mention of it one way or another on the deed. The title company advised that if we want to know for sure, we should hire a specialist to do this research for us.

Frankly my wife and I don't care about mineral rights, other than that we don't want some third party to come and put a well on the property after we've built our retirement home; that would ruin our retirement for sure

So our questions are as follows:

1. Are there known mineral deposits in Fannin County that are commercially viable so that something that this could happen in the future?

2. Do you think it's worthwhile to spend $$$ on such a search, and if so, how much would it cost to have a search like this done?

Thanks for your help,

Duke
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Old 07-28-2008, 11:54 AM
 
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We are just down the road from you. There are no known minerals. Wells have been bored down to 8000 feet and NOTHING was found.

The nearest water is 2000+ feet down as well.

Minerals will not cloud your title in any way and I would not worry about it.

If someone is interested in the minerals at some point in the future ( ie exploration firm), they will do the research for you. Let them spend their money.
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:04 PM
 
1,491 posts, read 3,344,997 times
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We've owned property off and on all over Fannin Co. for the past 50 years (my in-laws and my husband both) and there's not any minerals that we have ever known of. There is no history of exploration companies coming in and even leasing land that I can recall, but someone may know of something I don't.
The only 'mining' nearby has been gravel and rock and that's not right in Fannin Co., just nearby toward McKinney (that's as good as a gold mine, tho)....there's a family in Leonard that got quite wealthy with that.

I wouldn't waste my money on a search.....any oil/gas co. that wants to lease it for exploration would want to do their own anyhow (we've had that experience in West Texas with properties there). And if it's not already leased, they can't come in and do any exploration....that's your decision.

Welcome to Fannin Co.....I remember when you posted and were considering coming to this area. Hope that it works out well for you! It's a good place for retirement.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:07 PM
 
14,625 posts, read 27,678,561 times
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ok--this is my take--
no one thought the Barnett Shale leases were worth persuing until about 6 years ago and people thought land they bought did not have minerals that would interfere with their living arrangements--bought the land but not the minerals--now some of them are VERY disappointed...because the surface owners can't really control what the mineral owners do with their property--as long as it is within the law of the local community.

this link I found just doing a quick google for Fannin county and oil gas leasing
this company buys mineral interstes
it states they are looking for minerals in many counties and FANNIN is one of them--maybe it is just a list of every county in TX--I don't know but they are probably buying in some places on the come--betting that some time in the future there will be an interest and what they buy cheaply will be worth lots more

guess you could phone them as just ask (as if you own the land and minerals already) if they would be interrested...
We Buy Mineral Rights, Producing and Non-Producing, Leased or Un-Leased, Sell Mineral Rights, Sell Oil & Gas Royalties, Oil & Gas Royalty Purchasers, Oil and Gas Royalty Buyers, Selling Oil & Gas Royalties to | UniRoyalty LLC.

this map shows via the legend to the right--the types of locations--oil/gas wells have an icon and there are some in Fannin county...
http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/publications/reports/GroundWaterReports/GWReports/R269V2/Fannin.pdf (broken link)
that is from the Texas Water Development Board

and I found this excerp from info on site about OK drilling

Ardmore Basin: Interest and activity are picking up in the Ardmore Basin. At the Oklahoma oil and gas lease sale in November, 23 Bryan County leases covering 1,097.92 acres attracted bids totaling $928,912.46, an average of $846 per acre. Chesapeake Operating L.P., Antero Resources Corp and Energy Leasing Inc were among the companies submitting high bids for parcels in the county.

At least two operators are planning remote shale tests in the extreme eastern (non-producing) part of Bryan County Oklahoma within 3-10 miles north of the border with non-producing Fannin County, Texas. Additional companies have recently initiated E&D programs in the greater Ardmore Basin region.



I don't think you can discount the idea that in 10 years someone may have determined that something underneath your land has value

you can hire an attorney with mineral experience==you can hired a landman--
you might contact the AAPL headquarters in FTW
http://www.landman.org/
the problem is that most people who do independent land work are working for pretty high per diem for the Barnett Shale and Haynesville Shale plays in N Tex and LA and they would not want to do something like this...

technically this is probably not a difficult search if there has not been active mineral selling/leasing in that area and it could be over in 1-2 hours--problem is getting someoe who really knows what he or she is doing and will do it...

the sale document can be amended to show that the current owners do convey any and all mineral interests they own to you at close of sale
if the owners say they don't know--it can be worded to show that as well--
they can't sell what they don't own...but I find it difficult to believe that neither they nor the agent KNOW what they own...
how long have they had the land?

Last edited by loves2read; 07-28-2008 at 01:18 PM..
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:18 PM
 
15,998 posts, read 25,932,547 times
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OK when I was a landman we went to the title company to search...we also went to the county courthouse. You should have the mineral rights unless they were sold off (seems unlikely in Fannin Co) or reserved or 'held' by a prior owner of the property.

When I would go search 'the chain-of-title' in oil-rich East Texas counties, there would always be a shyster lawyer coming through town (usually during or soon after the Depression) 'buying' mineral rights on the cheap.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:50 PM
 
20 posts, read 51,690 times
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Thank you all for the info.

Between the title search and the assessment information, I was able to establish the following:
  • The property has changed hands 3 times since 2000 (March 2000, Dec 2001, and Nov 2005). Before then, the property was held for a long time by an owner, who granted an oil and gas lease to another party way back in 1975. This lease is unreleased but has expired, and there has not been any production on the property. We assume from this that at that time, the mineral rights were attached to the property.
  • The present owner purchased the property in Nov 2005. He does not know if he owns the mineral rights (he thinks he does but is not sure); in the sale document, he is not reserving any interests, which means he is conveying any and all rights he owns to us.
Supposing for a moment that the mineral rights are indeed owned by someone else, and supposing they discovered some huge oil and gas deposits beneath the surface. Can a third party with these rights then just come to our property one day, set up shop, and start exploring and drilling without compensating us for the right to use the property, etc? What would be my rights as the surface lot owner in terms of controlling or granting access to to my property?

I will do as Love2Read suggests and follow up with the oil gas leasing company for more info.

Thanks again,

Duke
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Old 07-28-2008, 07:07 PM
 
14,625 posts, read 27,678,561 times
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yes--the law of TX says that a person or company that own outright or has leased those rights in order to drill DOES have the right to come on your property and drill--IF their drill site does not violate any local or TRRC rules

there is a contract you sign as surface owner and they must pay for any damage to the surface owner's property--terms are negotiable and damages are not considered income and are exempt from taxes usually
there could be significant damages depending on how close to a road the drill site is--what type of well it would be--
you would just want to make sure that the contract has the company returning the land to the original condition--reseed it--replant any trees that are damaged---which means the toip soil should be saved and returned to the top if htey are grading the site--not just graded off and scattered who knows how...
without top soil, grass does not
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:21 PM
 
435 posts, read 1,016,282 times
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just my 2 cents... if at all possible, I would try to get the mineral rights. as mentioned before, nobody really knew the barnett shale was there, but it was. it would be a shame to be sitting on something like that and not get any of the proceeds. If I was going to buy that large of a piece of land, I'd demand the mineral rights as well.

Also food for thought, is there a lot of wind in Fannin county? Wind tubines are becoming big, and there are ridiculous amounts of $$ being given for leasing land for that as well. Just ask the folks in west texas. not sure if that decision would be for the person who owns the mineral rights or the land (the people I know who have done it owned both).
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:49 PM
 
227 posts, read 643,689 times
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Thank you all for the info.

Between the title search and the assessment information, I was able to establish the following:
  • The property has changed hands 3 times since 2000 (March 2000, Dec 2001, and Nov 2005). Before then, the property was held for a long time by an owner, who granted an oil and gas lease to another party way back in 1975. This lease is unreleased but has expired, and there has not been any production on the property. We assume from this that at that time, the mineral rights were attached to the property. This is a good indication that the owner at that time also owned the mineral rights. The production company would have had a mineral title opinion done to determine ownership at this point.
  • The present owner purchased the property in Nov 2005. He does not know if he owns the mineral rights (he thinks he does but is not sure); in the sale document, he is not reserving any interests, which means he is conveying any and all rights he owns to us. Correct.
Supposing for a moment that the mineral rights are indeed owned by someone else, and supposing they discovered some huge oil and gas deposits beneath the surface. Can a third party with these rights then just come to our property one day, set up shop, and start exploring and drilling without compensating us for the right to use the property, etc? What would be my rights as the surface lot owner in terms of controlling or granting access to to my property? It looks like you would own the minerals to the property, if for some reason you don't, the mineral owners right to access the minerals trumps yours. There are only a few limitations placed on their ability to use the land. They do not have to sign a contract for surface damages, or pay anything at all. They also get the right to use water from the land, pond or well to conduct drilling activity. For the most part, operator try to be good neighbors and will negotiate these payments anyway.

I will do as Love2Read suggests and follow up with the oil gas leasing company for more info.

Thanks again,

Duke
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Old 07-29-2008, 01:06 PM
 
14,625 posts, read 27,678,561 times
Reputation: 5089
I did not say to follow up with oil/gas leasing co...
I think that was another poster
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