September 2013 Michigan State University Extension Oil and Gas Newsletter
The September 2013 MSU Extension Oil and Gas Newsletter discusses mineral coalitions, mineral rights and how to find lease information on your property.
Information in this Issue:
- Northern Michigan minerals owners form coalition
- Compendium of Oil and Gas Leasing and Mineral Rights Topics
- How to determine if an oil and gas lease is recorded for your property
- Follow up educational survey released
The Northern Michigan Mineral Owners Coalition (NMMOC) was created in early 2013 following two oil and gas industry informational meetings in Montmorency County, each drawing more than 200 people. At the first meeting, I presented “Understanding and Negotiating the Oil & Gas Lease” to help attendees understand how items like compulsory poling works. Following these meetings, a group of mineral rights owners led by Fred Miller III, Tom Young and Jack Miller founded NMMOC. It follows a model made popular across the nation in areas impacted by hydrocarbon development. In every state that has such development, mineral owners are joining together to level the playing field. “When mineral owners are approached to lease their rights, the petroleum industry is highly skilled in leasing, and individual owners are at an extreme disadvantage,” NNMOC said in the September 2013 MSU Extension Oil and Gas Newsletter. “Leveling the playing field is the basic goal of the Northern Michigan Mineral Owners Coalition (NMMOC).”
Since October of 2010, Michigan State University Extension, in cooperation with industry, educators and legal experts has written the Oil and Gas Newsletter. The document “Compendium of Oil and Gas Newsletter Oil and Gas Leasing and Mineral Rights Topics” lists each newsletter topic by publication date so that it is easy to find information on your topic of interest.
How do you determine if your property is already subject to a recorded oil and gas lease? A search of the public records at the county register of deeds office is necessary. When you purchased your property, it is likely that the title company that provided your title insurance did not include any information regarding existing oil and gas leases. The reason for this is that mineral rights are an exception to title insurance, and therefore, the title company does not look for them in the public records. Some properties may not be covered under title insurance so these properties would normally have an abstract which is a series of deeds that tracks the historical ownership of a property. Because of these exceptions, a property could be purchased with an existing oil and gas lease and the buyer not be aware of it. This article discusses the methodology of a records search and the costs to obtain the documents.
All of the articles can be found at http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/oil_and_gas.