How to determine who owns mineral rights

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Rural land with flowers in the foregroud and a tilled field in the background, separated by a barbed wire fence.

02/10/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

The increase in oil and gas drilling around the state brings with it a heightened interest in mineral ownership among your buyers and sellers. Charles Porter, a Texas real estate broker, Texas REALTORS® University instructor, and member of the Addendum for Reservation of Oil, Gas, and Other Minerals form task force, explains what you should know about determining who owns mineral rights.

Get a landman. A buyer or seller can hire a representative of the oil and gas drilling company, generally known as a “landman” or “petroleum landman,” to attempt to identify all owners of the minerals and holders of the executive rights. An oil and gas attorney is another resource for this task.

Know it may not be easy. Thanks to a long history of severed mineral estates, many sellers have negotiated to keep the mineral rights for future income, even when they no longer own the surface of the land. And those ownership interests don’t always stop there. For example, when minerals become part of an inheritance, the route to finding the true owner can become more complicated.

Read more about this issue, plus recent changes in the mineral addendum, how to use it properly, and the basics of mineral rights in Porter’s article, “What you need to know about mineral rights,” in the January/February 2015 issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.

Categories: Business tips
Tags: mineral rights, farm and ranch, texas realtor magazine


Simon Brooks on 01/27/2017

Thanks for the great advice, I had no idea that a “landman” had the authority to determine who owns the mineral rights of a property. I imagine that that can be very helpful since it basically tells you who can get the money from leasing the minerals. However, I do like that you also warn your readers that it won’t be easy, especially considering how long and complicated the history of mineral rights has been.

Marie Watson on 09/19/2016

Thanks for offering some tips for determining who owns mineral rights.  I didn’t realize that many have negotiated to keep mineral rights for future income even though they sold their land.  It makes sense that this can make determining the rights tricky.  I would think that it is important to work closely with a professional who can help represent you.

Ron Wilson on 03/08/2016

Is a Mineral Rights Search, Report or Mineral Ownership Report required by a broker in Texas before property can be listed for sale?

Uni Royalties on 02/04/2016

I appreciate the author’s concern towards this subject. Really interesting article. You can find the similar useful stuff at

Editorial Staff on 02/12/2015

@Keith: The icons at the end of the blog post allow you to share this post via email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and many other social media channels. 

To share the full magazine article, click on “What you need to know about mineral rights” in the last sentence. That will load the digital version of the article. In the black menu bar at the top of the resulting webpage, click on the icon that looks like connected dots (to the right of the folder). That will enable you to share the full magazine article via email and all manner of social channels.

Keith on 02/12/2015

Too bad we can’t share these articles with the public.  A Facebook share from the icon above includes the member welcome and comments.

Is there a way to just share an article - am I missing something?

Robert Crain on 02/12/2015

The AAPL American Association of Petroleum Landmen can guide you to a Landman. I am one as well as a Realtor.  One way to check the drilling activity in an area and ask open questions and maybe find a local landman is to join  under the county of interest. It’s free.

Morris Whitis on 02/12/2015

Gloria, find a land broker , like myself that has extensive experience in creating Mineral Ownship Reports.  Then, have the Mineral Ownership Report looked overby a title attorney who is experienced in mineral ownership.  Having a Mineral Ownership Report completed can be expensive since the process is labor intensive.

Cameron on 02/12/2015

I would ask an escrow agent at your local title company for a recommendation.

Gloria on 02/12/2015

Where does one hire a landman? I have 7.8 acres in gonna list and the owner wants info on what to sell rights for, or to keep them, etc., I am unfamiliar with this subject.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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