A deed does not necessarily tell you if it is conveying the oil, gas and/or mineral rights or excepting the same - if your land is in PA, at least. The oil, gas and mineral rights may have been severed from the surface title 100 years ago and there is no guarantee your deed will reflect as much.
Unless you have explicit and/or "sworn to" knowledge as to whether or not you own the rights to the minerals under your land, you either have to pay a lot of money to find out who owns them or wait for a landman to show up at your door offering to lease said oil, gas and/or minerals (as they would have already paid a lot of money to find out who owns them).
Hi...just saw this forum discussion and I had just posted this about mineral rights, etc. Thought it might help a little to post it here also. Also the link at the bottom of this reply is very helpful. To find out if you own your mineral rights or not...you can contact the county courthouse and speak with some one about your deed.....also if you are leasing those rights to an oil company then most likely you do if your lease went thru.
As far as mineral rights, gas/oil, etc. It is good to determine whether you would ever pay someone of your own to mine for minerals, etc. If you intend to do that yourself then you most likely would not want to turn over that in a lease to the oil/gas company. but if you know that you would most likely never be mining for gold (example) nor would know how to process it and retail it...then consider putting it into the lease for the oil/gas company would know what to do with it. That also should be a consideration in how long the lease should be for when giving out those rights also for a leaseholder. I haven't heard anyone mention thus far about 'wind mill' leases on top of oil/gas leases...so there is also 'wind' rights as well as mineral rights. Gas and oil are not necessarily considered minerals and some leases only refer to the 'soft' minerals not the 'hard'. My lease excludes coal or hard minerals under the leasing clause. http://geology.com/articles/mineral-rights.shtml
I guess we all could get even more specific (but not sure we can think of all these things to write into a lease contract)...but the question is, "if the oil company drills/digs and finds dinosaur bones then who gets the pay for that?..is it under mineral rights?....I asked the landman and besides the good chuckle he had...he said they haven't come across that issue yet!...how about artifacts, etc.? I tell you I would be the first to seek out a camera if they told me they found remains of a dinosaur! That must be quite an experience for those people who have lands in which musuem artifacts/discoveries have been found! But the drilling though deep is not that wide as in digging for artifacts...though I am sure that a few drilling teams have quite some stories to share of what they have found while seeking natural gas.
Hi Vicky. Having worked construction for many years I can tell you for sure that if anykind of archeological artifacts were discovered during the drilling or any other process, that process would be shut down immediately and remain shut down until the area was exhausted for finds. I have worked on 3 major construction projects (one of the Northside of Pittsburgh on the East Street Expressway) where everthing was brought to a screeching hault when such sites were found, excavated and the finds retrieved before work could continue. So I guess if you find a dinosaur, the best thing to do would be to rebury it and say it was just a bone the dog found...LOL.
Thanks Mary...I would think the dinosaur would have been worth more than the oil...(of course without the dinosaurs, etc. we wouldn't have fossil fuels).
It actually has been a concern of mine since I do not live on the site of the area leased...so it would be up to who is drilling to determine whether they found a dog bone or not!
I did discover that the drilling process isn't the size of hole that I first anticipated when I first learned of all of this...so I can see that it isn't that usual to discover artifacts on these sites (unless I am wrong about that). And of course the gas pipeline people do dig larger holes but not as deep.
You can do your own title search at the court house. Its not that difficult. Just follow the chain of title back maybe 100 years or more. make copies of all the deeds you looked at and some reading and some legal jargon look-up you can fiqure it out..I did. Once you have copies of the document you still see an attorney for some advice. Good luck...Mike
The process of determining if your mineral or gas and oil rights have been severed away from the surface ownership is not all that complicated or mysterious. It does require one to spend some hours in the county recorder's office looking through files and getting copies made of all the deeds for your property. You start with the current deed and then look up each prior deed, using the seller's (grantor) name. The grantor on one deed will be the grantee on the prior deed. Follow the chain of title (deeds) back to before any rights were severed away (if any) from the property. If any mineral rights were severed from the surface ownership, one of the deeds will show such. For any grantor, there may be multiple deeds if coal or other minerals were sold off. If you are unwilling or unable to spend a day in the recorder's office, hire a good oil and gas attorney to do the title work for you. Let them know you are specifically interested in minerals/oil and gas. They will likely send a paralegal to the recorder's office to do this research for you. This will cost you anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on how complicated the chain of title is and whether you need any curative work done. A title company can also do this but may miss some of the complexities of minerals/oil and gas ownership.
Not so. In PA, I believe oil and gas are not considered minerals and are specifically named when they are reserved away from the surface owner. In SE Ohio, much of the coal rights were sold away years and years ago and were done so on deeds that named specific coal veins. Many of those coal deeds also specifically reserved the right of the surface owner to explore for oil and gas. The ONLY way to know what applies to a particular piece of property is to have an abstract of title done which gives you a history of all legal actions involving that piece of property. If you have the time and patience, you can do this yourself. If not, hire someone competent to do this for you. It is a deductible expense against oil and gas lease income so it really won't cost you anything in the long run if you are going to lease the property.
Although natural gas is not technically considered a mineral in the geological sense, it IS included with mineral rights. Owning the mineral rights gives the owner rights to any gas and oil beneath the surface as well.
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