What are Mineral Rights?

Mineral rights typically refers to specific type of ownership. For every parcel of real estate, there are a bundle of rights associated with the ownership. This bundle of rights includes most of the commonly known rights, such as the surface rights, and structures on the property. An owner of real estate may also own the minerals, oil, and gas underneath the surface unless these are severed under a previous deed or agreement. However, the ownership of these resources, and the rights to extract them, are frequently owned by a company other than the property owner. This ownership can be sold and transferred away by a prior property owner, separate from the “fee simple” property ownership.

How is the Current Ownership of Mineral Rights Discovered?

Determining the status of ownership of mineral rights begins with a special type of title search appropriately called a Mineral Rights Search. This specialized title search involves researching the historical ownership of the property, to locate any separation of the oil, gas, or mineral rights from the property ownership. This separation of mineral rights normally occurs as a transfer which is not part of a full property ownership transfer. In most cases, the mineral rights status does not appear on the current property deed.

How Can I find out about the Minerals I think I own?

Mineral rights transfers are not attached to a property file in the county or municipal records. The document which transfers the mineral rights is normally only indexed to the name of the person who owned the property at the time the mineral rights were transferred.

What will it cost me? How long will it take?

That depends on which landman or lawyer you hire, and their availability. It may take from a week to a month.