Tuesday, January 21, 2014

airports and mineral rights

Rented a tractor for the week to clear some area to train and fly from.  Not a lot to clear but what is there is very prickly and very bad for a paraglider wing.  Smoothing out about an acre on my property and 3 acres across the road from me.  I contacted the land owner about buying their 5 acre tract.  The family bought the land in 1979 and the last time they came out here was 1985.  They said they don't plan on ever doing anything with the property but they don't want to sell it because of the mineral rights.  I suggested to them that perhaps if there were any minerals worth extracting that someone would probably have found them in the last 30 years.  No deal on a sale yet but they gave me written permission to clear the few pesky mesquite on the property.

When I first moved out here I was told that all the land owners out here had 50% of their mineral rights.  I asked someone who knows how to get to the bottom of these kinds of matters and this is what she found.  http://www.recenter.tamu.edu/pdf/2026.pdf
"An April 2013 article on mineral rights west of the pecos.  It appears that based on case law, rather than on statutes and chain of title, the state of Texas owns 100% of the mineral rights under interpretations of "The Relinquishment Act".  However, the state seems to assign "executive rights" to the owner of the surface estate to be able to enter leases and for leases entered after Sept 1, 1987 the surface owner has a right to 20% of all bonuses, rents and royalties from a mineral lease on the property which they execute and must register with the state's General Land Office.  Based on this article, it appears that the chain of title and deeds that attempt to transfer mineral rights have no effect.  The article says that "Executive Rights" are not separable from the surface estate."   Bottom line:  20% of nothing doesn't add up to much.  44,62,46,0,C


mini64 said...


Just wanted to thank you for your blog and site. I found it after learning there were people like you living off the grid in such a fantastic place. I've been reading a bit a week from the beginning.

On your web page there is mention on the h20 page go to the "stuff page" for more info - I cant find "stuff", did it dissapear?

John Wells said...

I stopped updating the website when I started the blog.

Don said...


Thanks. This explains a number of things.


Unknown said...

Not all land west of the Pecos is "relinquishment" land. It is certainly possible for a current owner to own 100% of the minerals in addition to the surface rights. You;d have to do an abstract of title (all the documents related to the current owner's title) to know for sure. All the way back to the spanish land grants. What would be crushing is to own the "land" but not own the "surface mineral rights". Then someone could come in and dig your place up to mine any mineral that can be extracted using surface mining methods (i.e. strip mining......) If you don't have a complete abstract of title (all the documents related to your tract of land) there's lots of lawyers in Midland that will do one for you and write up a title opinion, for a fee of course......