Does your property have surface rights or mineral rights? If so, it's important that you understand the difference between the two. Surface rights mean that you have the right to the enjoyment and use of property above ground. Mineral rights are the right to explore the property for the existence of gas, oil and other naturally occurring minerals in a gaseous or liquid form. If located, the property can be developed in order to produce the minerals.
Just because you own the land does not mean that you have mineral rights on your property. In order to determine if you have mineral rights, you will need to do a property title or deed search at the clerk of court's office in your parish. If your deed doesn't specify who has mineral rights, you may need to hire a title researcher.
In Louisiana, the mineral rights to a piece a property can only be held onto by the seller for 10 years. If there is no development for the production of minerals on the property at the end of that time, then the buyer of the property automatically gets the mineral rights transferred to him or her.
Understanding mineral rights can be difficult, especially if you aren't familiar with your property's deed or title. One way to make sure that you can determine if you have mineral rights on your own property is through an experienced oil and gas attorney. He or she can help you with any property ownership issues you may have, as well.
At Veazey Felder & Renegar LLC, we have the experience and knowledge needed to address any issue you may have with mineral rights. You can read more about mineral rights, forced pooling and more on our web pages.