Mineral rights have been an extensive part of the history of Texas. Mineral rights were granted even when Texas was a part of Mexico and Spain. According to Caddo Minerals, an owner can hold these rights or lease them out to a natural gas/oil company. If you own mineral rights on your property, you must be compensated by a natural gas or oil company if you decide to lease your mineral rights to an oil company.
Law Separates Mineral Estate From Property
Texas State Law separates the mineral estate from the surface estate. The mineral estate contains the natural resources held in the land, while the surface estate covers everything above ground. The mineral estate can be leased or owned by another company who has the right to drill wells and perform other tasks without the permission of the landowner.
Landmen Hired By Oil Companies To Obtain Mineral Rights
Mineral companies employ an individual commonly known as a landman. This person is responsible for locating land on which the oil and gas companies can drill. The landman’s performance is based on the amount of property that he or she can acquire. Many landmen can become quite aggressive in his or her search for property. Before the contract is signed is when all negotiations should happen.
Landowners Must Own Mineral Rights Before Transfer
A landowner must also legally own the mineral rights for a piece of property before they can be transferred. Essentially, a landowner can’t sell mineral rights on the property he or she doesn’t own. This provision also gives landowners the right to extract minerals from the land that they own. This provision prevents mineral rights from being sold twice.
Oil and Gas Companies Have The Right To Drill
The first thing to remember about owning mineral rights is the oil or gas company has the right to drill on your property if you lease your rights. Those who are not interested in having the oil company drill should not sign the lease. Sometimes, you might be tempted to sell your mineral rights without the expectation of the company drilling on your land. Time can pass without the company coming to drill, so many landowners are often surprised when they show up out of the blue.
Mineral rights are also recorded at the county clerk’s office, and you can look up the records for free. This is the location where all of the land records for the property you own are held. This will allow you to obtain a chain of title, which shows how mineral rights have changed hands. The only challenge with this is you need to know the legal description of the property to know where you should look to find your property.