How to Search for Mineral Rights Records | Mineral Rights Title Search | Pheasant Energy (2023)

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1. How to find mineral rights ownership and if you own them?

2. How to search for mineral rights records?

(Video) Important information about mineral rights and title searches | AFX

3. How much does a mineral search cost?

A mineral rights search involves looking beyond the current property owner to see if any mineral rights records exist. Mineral rights might not be owned by the landowner.

It is necessary to inform new owners about these rights as they are not automatically transferred through property ownership. While early oil and gas companies sold the ground property, they also retained the rights to mine for minerals at a later date.

Most of these factors have made it difficult to keep track of mineral deeds and the rights to minerals of a ground property. The ownership of land or properties is usually clear to many people, or at least the person who has authority to grant access to it.

But it is not always clear for other families, leading to arguments over who owns the land, who holds the rights to the minerals, or who is in charge of decisions regarding a large family property.

Below, we discuss how to identify the legal owner of mineral rights.

(Video) How to search for mineral rights on an property

How to find mineral rights ownership and if you own them?

Finding out who owns the mineral rights to a property can be challenging, but discovering the information on who owns the mineral rights to your land can be a rewarding experience full of surprises. When searching for mineral owners, a good place to start is with the property deed.

A property deed will provide the information to begin your search. It will also provide you with an example of the information you need to gather. Important information to look for includes:

  1. Type of deed Deeds have different names: title deed, real estate deed, quitclaim deed, royalty deed, or other terms. The type depends on the information in the deed’s description.
  2. Seller’s Information The seller is usually called the grantor. Look for information about the previous property owners, such as their name and address when they sold the property. When searching for mineral rights, gather information on all previous property owners. Doing so will establish a link to the owner of the mineral rights.
  3. Buyer’s information The name of the grantee (buyer) will be on the deed at the time of the sale.
  4. Transfer Details the term conveyance is used to describe this. It is the transfer of rights to the buyer. This section usually details how the rights to a property are transferred to the grantee as well as the grantee’s heirs or successors. It is often separated from the conveyance provision. You will also find any exceptions to conveyances of rights in this section.
  5. Property Description –In legal terms, this is the property description. In PLSS-compliant states, you will find the description of the township, section, and the property location range. Familiarize yourself with how PLSS descriptions are written. Some states, including Texas, use the old British metes and bounds system, which lists a property’s block and lot number and subdivision name.

Once you understand the deed, you know where to start looking for the mineral rights to your property.

How to search for mineral rights records?

When looking for mineral rights records, in addition to looking at who presently owns the land and pays the property taxes, you need to dig deeper. Let’s look at some of the things you need to examine.

1. County Records and Tax Assessor’s Office and Documents

Conduct a title deed search at the county records office to find the owner history in the title deed. Follow the history of the property through the chain of owners.

This can tell you whether the property or land was ever owned by an oil and gas company. It gives you a clear indication of the direction to search for mineral ownership rights. The deed contains the description of the property, rights-of-way, liens, mineral rights and easements.

Search deep into archives to find mineral rights covered in the current deed. Pay special attention to historical deeds from the 1900s and earlier, when the sale of mineral rights was common.

2. Loan Default History and Foreclosure

If a bank forecloses on a property that has mineral rights, it takes possession of those rights. In the event of an auction following the foreclosure, the bank may decide not to transfer the mineral rights. In other words, the bank still owns the minerals and will benefit from the oil and gas royalties.

3. Royalty deeds

There are also royalty deeds. In contrast to mineral rights deeds that give holders the right to explore and conduct drilling activity, royalty deeds grant the owner the right to receive a royalty if an oil company or other entity exploits the minerals.

(Video) How to locate your mineral rights on a map (and research oil and gas wells)

It means that mineral rights owners do all the work while royalty deed holders benefit financially via royalty checks. Royalties come from the production of minerals, such as oil-producing wells being established and producing oil, gas leases, or other oil and gas activity.

4. Use a title company to conduct a search

You may save time by hiring a title company to do specialized mineral rights research on the property. Even though title companies charge for this search, they are better qualified to find detailed records concerning mineral rights. The title company may come across something you would overlook.

The search for the chain of title and locating the minerals rights records can take even experienced specialists a week or more to complete. Save money by doing as much work as you can. But there are still costs for searches and copies of deeds payable to thecounty clerk’s office.

5. Online records search company

Instead of searching through the courthouse’s records and books, you could try an online records search service. Records from hundreds of counties are digitized and made available online using mineral management software (MMS). For a minimal fee, you can access the largest online repository. This search option for county records, done by you or a title company, can save time and is convenient.

How much does a mineral search cost?

Getting an online records search company to search for you is not cheap.

The cost typically ranges from $200 to $5000 per 640 acres and depends on the results of the research.

The search includes reviewing and curing title defects or other title risks associated with ownership of minerals through research of private and public records and establishing the owners of minerals through the review of private and public records.

The search company sets the price for each report. Factors such as proximity to active exploration, the complexity of the legal description of mineral interests, and completion date can also influence the cost.

How to locate your mineral rights?

To locate your mineral rights records, begin at the county recorder’s office. The legal description of the property should be in county deed books. You can specifically search the book and page where the property is located if you have a take-off.

(Video) How to locate mineral rights on a property

Otherwise, start with the legal property description or any other data from your deed. If you don’t have a copy of your deed, start by looking for the title to the property, and work backwards from there.

You should build a chain of ownership starting from the new property owners and working backwards to discover who last possessed the mineral rights. Several people or companies may own the mineral rights, so you have to be aware of the original land grant.

Consider using a GIS viewer

Regulatory agencies in each state have slightly different Graphical Information Systems (GIS) viewers.

You can find the public GIS viewer in your state by searching “[your state] oil and gas GIS”.

All Oil and Gas GIS Viewers work similarly. The county and information from your legal description should be searchable. The system is known as the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) in many states.

Identifying who owns what mineral rights may be challenging, so be determined and it might be a rewarding and interesting experience.


The ownership chain may occasionally have gaps. For example, if a bank claims ownership of a property due to a lapsed mortgage, or a previous owner transferred ownership through divorce decree rather than sale.

In some cases, a mineral rights owner may misfile deeds in the wrong place while trying to convey mineral rights as part of a surface estate settlement. Be aware of these factors when searching for your property mineral rights records.

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(Video) Title searching for mineral and oil rights on a property | AFX


How do you find the basis of mineral rights? ›

Determining Cost Basis for Inherited Land

The cost basis for inherited mineral rights is “fair value.” It's simply the book value of what you receive on the day you acquire it. If you sell your rights afterward, you'll have to pay capital gains tax on the difference between your cost basis and the sale price.

What is a mineral search? ›

Searching for mineral rights records means going beyond just looking at who owns the property today. The landowner is not necessarily the owner of mineral rights. These rights, if known, must be stated to new property owners – otherwise they are automatically transferred to new owners.

How do I find out if I have mineral rights records in Louisiana? ›

Go to the Courthouse to Search Mineral Ownership Records

As a surface owner, you are paying property taxes and they can assist you with your property description. It's best if you have the deed that was signed when you or a relative purchased the property.

What is the difference between property rights and mineral rights? ›

Surface rights are what you own on the surface of the property. These include the space, the buildings and the landscaping. Mineral rights, on the other hand, cover the specific resources beneath the surface.

What are the four criteria for determining a mineral? ›

Minerals are natural: These substances that form without any human help. Minerals are solid: They don't droop or melt or evaporate. Minerals are inorganic: They aren't carbon compounds like those found in living things. Minerals are crystalline: They have a distinct recipe and arrangement of atoms.

How much are mineral rights royalties? ›

If you have a property that does not currently produce royalty income and you do not have an active lease, the value is nearly always under $1,000/acre. The average price per acre for mineral rights that are not leased is between $0 and $250/acre.

Which property can be detected just by looking at a mineral? ›

Hardness. The ability to resist being scratched—or hardness—is one of the most useful properties for identifying minerals.

What property can be used to identify a mineral? ›

Minerals can be identified by their color, luster, streak, cleavage, hardness, and even by their chemical composition. Using these properties is one way a Geologist defines and identifies what kind of mineral a specimen is.

Should you ever sell mineral rights? ›

When it comes to mineral rights, the standard admonition has long been consistent and emphatic: Avoid selling them. After all, simply owning mineral rights costs you nothing. There are no liability risks, and in most cases, taxes are assessed only on properties that are actively producing oil or gas.

Do mineral rights expire in Louisiana? ›

How long can you keep mineral rights in Louisiana? The lessee of mineral rights can only keep those rights for 10 years before they revert to the owner. This is according to the law in Louisiana.

How long can a seller retain mineral rights in Louisiana? ›

Louisiana Mineral Rights are somewhat unique. Unlike other states, Louisiana mineral rights revert back to the original owner after 10 years from the date of sale or from the date of last production.

Are there any minerals or mineral rights reserved in the title deeds? ›

Nowadays, mines and minerals are commonly referred to as manorial rights having previously been classed as overriding Interests. Since 12 October 2013 the Land Registry, under the Land Registration Act 2002, requires that such rights are protected by noting them on the title deeds.

Who owns mineral rights? ›

Generally minerals are held in private ownership, and information on mineral rights, where available, is held by the Land Registry together with details of land surface ownership.

What are the three types of property rights? ›

What are the types of property rights? The main types of property rights include private property, common property, and public property.

Does a landowner own the minerals under the surface? ›

While the government grants mineral rights to a company to explore for and produce oil and natural gas, mineral rights do not include access to the surface land – surface access is granted by the landowner.

What are the 7 easily identifiable properties of minerals? ›

Minerals can be identified using a number of properties. These include physical and chemical properties such as hardness, density, cleavage and colour, crystallography, electrical conductivity, magnetism, radioactivity and fluorescence.

How do you identify unknown minerals? ›

Minerals can be identified based on a number of properties. The properties most commonly used in identification of a mineral are colour, streak, lustre, hardness, crystal shape, cleavage, specific gravity and habit. Most of these can be assessed relatively easily even when a geologist is out in the field.

What are the 5 characteristics a mineral must have? ›

A mineral has 5 characteristics, naturally occurring, solid, inorganic, crystalline structure, and the same chemical composition throughout So repeat after me A mineral is Naturally occurring-naturally occurring Inorganic solid-inorganic solid Crystalline structure The same chemical composition throughout.

Can you get rich off mineral rights? ›

Mineral rights can be a very valuable – and profitable – property interest if you know how to utilize them. Mineral rights can refer to oil and gas, but can include other valuable substances like gold, silver, coal, and even sand, gravel and clays.

Do mineral rights ever expire? ›

Every mineral rights agreement is different. However, most mineral rights agreements can last anywhere from 2 to 20 years. There is typically a primary, and sometimes a secondary, term for mineral rights leases that determines mineral rights expiring, depending on if any drilling has occurred.

When should you sell mineral rights? ›

If your mineral rights make up more than 5% of your net worth you should consider selling. After selling mineral rights, you can invest in a total stock market ETF that will give you diversification AND give you a dividend payment every quarter.

What is the most unreliable property to identify a mineral? ›

The color test is the least reliable test because many different minerals have similar colors. A similar test to color is the streak test. The streak test matches the color of the mineral's powder. Interestingly, the mineral color and the streak color are often different.

What is the most useful clue to the identity of a mineral? ›

Hardness: A mineral's hardness is one of the most useful identification tools. The hardness scale looks like this: Shape: A mineral's shape (also called “habit”) can be a useful clue to a mineral's identity.

What is the least useful property in identifying minerals? ›

Answer: -Streak is the least useful property for identification, as the same mineral type can be found with several different colors of streak due to impurities in the mineral.

Which two properties of a mineral must be tested in order to be observed? ›

Hardness is one of the most useful property for identifying minerals. Luster test is easy way to find the property of mineral. Color is obvious property of mineral.

Why do people sell mineral rights? ›

People sell their mineral rights for a variety of reasons. Some need immediate cash, while others are seeking to improve the quality of their lives. Most want to sell while their minerals still have value and to avoid burdening their heirs with the learning curve and management duties.

What is the benefit of selling mineral rights? ›

What are the Advantages of Selling Your Mineral Rights and Royalties? Receive a quick, lump sum cash payment for the value of your mineral assets. The cash can be used to pay off debt, finance college, save for your retirement, invest – however you want to use it.

Are mineral rights and royalties the same thing? ›

Unlike a mineral interest owner, a royalty interest owner does not possess executive rights. In addition, a royalty interest owner does not possess the right to receive lease bonuses, delay rental payments, or shut-in payments.

What is Article 22 of the Louisiana mineral Code? ›

TITLE 31 — Mineral code. RS 31:22 — Certain rights and obligations of mineral servitude owner. The owner of a mineral servitude is under no obligation to exercise it. If he does, he is entitled to use only so much of the land as is reasonably necessary to conduct his operations.

What is Louisiana mineral Code Title 31? ›

Effective January 1, 1975, the Louisiana Legislature enacted the Mineral Code as Title 31 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes. A. The Mineral Servitude. The mineral servitude is the vehicle by which the right to explore for and reduce minerals to possession is separated from the ownership of the surface of the land.

How long will mineral resources last? ›

The reserves of some rare earth minerals used in electronics, medical equipment and renewable energy could run out in less than 100 years. Rare earth minerals are naturally occurring resources, which cannot be recreated or replaced. Some are present in only very small quantities in the Earth's crust.

How long does something have to be on your property before it becomes yours in Louisiana? ›

Adverse Possession Laws in General

Under Louisiana law, an individual must occupy property for at least 10 years before the possibility of ownership.

Are mineral rights considered an asset? ›

Oil and gas mineral rights are an asset. The value of an asset will change over time due to a number of different factors. Well production, commodity price, development activity and increased accessibility to the minerals through new technology, will impact oil and gas mineral value.

How much is an acre of mineral rights worth in Oklahoma? ›

While determining a precise value may be difficult, ballpark estimates can be used to determine if selling your mineral rights is a good fit for your unique needs. On average, a single acre's mineral rights can range from as low as $200 to over $10,000+ on the high end.

Who has mineral rights on land? ›

The Supreme Court, in 2013, conferred rights to mineral wealth on owners of surface rights rather than vesting them in the state. The Supreme Court, however, is yet to rule on certain aspects of ownership of minerals such as the liability of private owners to pay royalties to the state.

Does most land come with mineral rights? ›

Mineral rights are automatically included as a part of the land in a property conveyance, unless and until the ownership gets separated at some point by an owner/seller. An owner can separate the mineral rights from land by: Conveying (selling or otherwise transferring) the land but retaining the mineral rights.

Do most people own the mineral rights of their property? ›

In the United States, landowners possess both surface and mineral rights unless they choose to sell the mineral rights to someone else.

What are mineral rights called? ›

What Are Mineral Rights? Mineral rights are ownership rights that allow the owner the right to exploit minerals from underneath a property. The rights refer to solid and liquid minerals, such as gold and oil. Mineral rights can be separate from surface rights and are not always possessed by the property owner.

What are the different types of mineral rights? ›

There are 6 types of mineral rights, including mineral interest (MI), royalty interest (RI), overriding royalty interest (ORRI), working Interest (WI), non-operated working interest, and net profits interest.

Does the US government own all mineral rights? ›

The federal government holds the mineral rights for almost all federal lands, with the exception of 4 million acres of acquired lands.

What are the four private property rights? ›

The term “bundle of rights” describes the set of legal rights associated with ownership of real property. The “bundle” is made up of five different rights: the right of possession, the right of control, the right of exclusion, the right of enjoyment and the right of disposition.

What does Article 17 right to own property mean? ›

The protection of property is included in Article 17 UDHR: 'Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.

What is the difference between property and property rights? ›

Property rights define the theoretical and legal ownership of resources and how they can be used. Property can be owned by individuals, businesses, and governments. These rights define the benefits associated with ownership of the property.

How many royalty acres are in a mineral acre? ›

The net royalty acre is a term that explains the mineral royalty interest in one-eighth of 8/8 in one acre of land. Simply put, this is the number of mineral acres if leased at a 12.5% royalty. Calculating the net royalty acre is critical since it helps compare different tracts of land within an area.

Can I claim land as mine? ›

To claim Adverse Possession you must show that:

You have actual physical possession of the land. (Fencing off the land is strong evidence of physical possession) You have the intention to possess the land. (Using the land as if it is your own to the exclusion of others.)

How are mineral royalties calculated? ›

Royalties are calculated as a percentage of the revenue from the minerals extracted from your property. For example, if oil is selling for $60 per barrel and the you negotiated a 1/16th royalty, you would receive $3.75 for every barrel of oil recovered from your land.

On what basis minerals has been classified? ›

There are 3 main ways to classify minerals: Chemical Composition. Mineral Properties. Crystal Systems and Silicate Structures.

How are mineral classified on the basis of their or composition? ›

On the basis of composition, minerals are classified into metallic and non metallic minerals.

How do you determine the value of a mineral? ›

The value of mineral rights depends on various factors, including the mineral, the location, whether the right is producing, and more. The rule of thumb is widely accepted as a multiple of three to five times the income the right is currently producing, which doesn't apply to non-producing rights.

What is the difference between mineral rights and royalties? ›

In simple terms, a mineral interest refers to a real property interest, which can be received when minerals are severed from a land's surface. On the other hand, royalty interests ensure that their holders enjoy a fraction of the generated production revenue.

How do I collect my royalties? ›

The Four Steps to Collect All Your Royalties
  1. Step 1: Select a Music Distributor For Recording Revenue. ...
  2. Step 2: Affiliate Yourself With a Collection Society For Performance Royalties. ...
  3. Step 3: Associate With a Publisher to Collect All Your Global Publishing Royalties.
Aug 25, 2021

What are the 7 types of minerals? ›

Silicates, oxides, sulfates, sulfides, carbonates, native elements, and halides are all major mineral groups.

What are the 7 classification of minerals? ›

The broadest divisions of the classification used in the present discussion are (1) native elements, (2) sulfides, (3) sulfosalts, (4) oxides and hydroxides, (5) halides, (6) carbonates, (7) nitrates, (8) borates, (9) sulfates, (10) phosphates, and (11) silicates.

What properties can be used to identify minerals? ›

Minerals can be identified by their color, luster, streak, cleavage, hardness, and even by their chemical composition. Using these properties is one way a Geologist defines and identifies what kind of mineral a specimen is.

What is one thing that must be true of a substance for it to be considered a mineral? ›

To be classified as a "true" mineral, a substance must be a solid and have a crystal structure. It must also be an inorganic, naturally-occurring, homogeneous substance with a defined chemical composition.

What are the two ways to classify minerals? ›

They are also classified on the basis of their hardness and their cleavage or fracture. If you can identify several of these physical properties, you can identify the mineral. A simple lesson on how to identify minerals is seen in this video.

What are 10 characteristics of minerals? ›

What are the 10 properties of minerals? Some of the properties of minerals are as follows: color, streak, hardness, luster, diaphaneity, specific gravity, cleavage, fracture, magnetism, solubility, and many more. These physical properties are useful for identifying minerals.

What are the 5 ways to identify minerals? ›

The most common physical properties are crystal form, color, hardness, cleavage, and specific gravity. One of the best ways to identify a mineral is by examining its crystal form (external shape). A crystal is defined as a homogenous solid possessing a three-dimensional internal order defined by the lattice structure.

What is the most valuable mineral? ›

Rhodium is easily one of the most expensive minerals, and if current trends continue to follow the same route they are now, it would not be a surprise to see its prices soar even higher in the future.


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