by G. Wade Caldwell, Esq.
Gone are the dark ages where mineral owners were relegated to relying on hostile oil company employees, unhelpful deed clerks, and state regulatory employees speaking what sounded like a foreign language.
The Internet has revolutionized access to information important to mineral owners. Available Internet resources, if they can be found, can equip you with most of the information you need. Every day on these forums, people exchange helpful links to articles and information resources. This article attempts to accumulate some of these resources into one place.
Listed below are some of the resources available for mineral owners. Please use the comment box below if you see any broken links, or suggested additions, and I will update this article from time to time. As you can see, some states are missing and there are categories that could be fleshed out.
A. GENERAL HELP
1. Corporate Presentations
One of the best ways to follow drilling trends and results is to follow the companies that drill wells and build pipelines. Many publicly-traded companies do special presentations on their drilling activity to market their companies. See the presentation by Eagle Oil & Gas on the Southern Delaware Basin as an example.
In addition, quarterly earnings reports and conference call transcripts of public companies are a good way to follow drilling activity and results. Examples with Cimarex Energy are shown here.
Rather than list all of these companies, the best way is to set up a Google Alert for the companies you wish to follow. Some companies will allow you to sign up for email alerts when they issue new press releases and papers. Finally, you can sign up for email alerts through investor websites, such as Seeking Alpha.
2. Drilling Reports
Baker Hughes has an excellent interactive drilling map that shows the location of drilling rigs worldwide. The map can be accessed here, and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. The Texas Drilling Observer, and Well Database.com also contain drilling reports. Faithful members of this site also post drilling permits and completion reports in the Groups sections.
The industry sponsored website for issues regarding fracing, including information on specific wells, can be found at fracfocus.org.
All Experts.com is a resource for posting questions and, hopefully, getting answers or direction from experts in the field. The forums on this website serve a similar function and have far more traffic.
Geology.com is a good resource on the basics of geology, with a large section on oil and gas.
5. Google Alerts
Sign up for a Google alert to get e-mails sent to your desktop every time a news article is released on your topic of interest. The best way to follow activity in a particular area is to set up a Google alert for a particular oil and gas play, such as “Bakken” or “Delaware Basin”. If you are leased to a particular company, set up a Google alert for that company. Be forewarned, public companies are not big on gloomy news. Most corporate press releases have a relentless positive spin, such as reporting only the best wells.
6. Landman Organizations
The American Association of Professional Landmen has information on the landman industry, good articles and courses on the basics of locating and leasing minerals, and the code of ethics landmen are supposed to follow.
7. Lease Rates and Commodity Prices
One of the best sources of information for lease rates are the forums on this website. A detailed listing of oil and gas prices can be found here through Plains All American. The standards for damage payments for lease and surface damages as provided by the University of Texas is the UT Damage Schedule.
8. Legal Help And Glossaries
MineralWeb.com has substantial resources on mineral rights and legal materials. Schlumberger has a free glossary of oil field terms for those learning to speak the language.
An explanation of how to understand division orders and royalty percentages can be found here.
A measurement converter calculator can be found here.
9. Maps – General
Google Earth is found here. Pocket Surveyor is an Android app that may be helpful. Golden software's Map Viewer and Blue Marble's Global Mapper are two pay for use mapping services.
The U. S. Energy Information Service includes a map of energy resources . Tools available include natural gas summary statistics, state total energy rankings and reports on household energy use. http://www.eia.gov/state/maps.cfm?src=home-f3
10. Marketing Minerals
If you want to market your minerals for sale or lease, posting them under the “Listings” section of this website is a good place to start, as there are many landmen who are members of this site. EnergyNet.com is an online auction that also markets minerals. You can find a swath of mineral buyers by just doing a few Google searches.
11. Royalty Owner Organizations
The National Association of Royalty Owners has a good website with a lot of resources. Their message board is poorly trafficked, however. Linkedin.com also has a Mineral Rights & Royalty Owner group.
12. Royalty Owner Software
One of the most comprehensive royalty/industry resources is Drillinginfo.com. Basic subscriptions are $2,000/year and up. It pulls together information from many public sources into a single interface. The service also has mineral management features, and allows you to set up “areas of interest” where you are sent email alerts of any activity in the area.
For royalty owners, ShaleTrakOnline.com publishes a management program that allows the user to create reports for your production data to simplify records. You can organize your records to payments, deductions and adjustments and verify whether our payments are accurate.
I have also run across minerals management software published by Avatar Systems, Agelio Networks, WellDatabase.com and Landboss.com.
Another resource that I have found vauable is SoftwareOK.net. This website also has investor oil and gas software which assists interest owners in manually entering or processing electronic checks (CDEX) data, recording in a Lease History and creating account entries for their accounting system.
Oildex provides data to mineral owners so that they do not have to manually input check data into their account software. they have data from over 40 companies.
13. Specific Formation Forums
These websites have excellent discussion groups on specific formations, EaglefordForum.com, GoMarcellusShale.com, Shaleforum.com, and GoHaynesvilleShale.com.
14. Tax Issues.
These forums address severance taxes and deductions:
Death and Taxes on GoHaynesvilleShale.com
Greenstein, Rogoff, Olson & Co., LLP, CPA's
B. STATE-SPECIFIC RESOURCES
Many of the links in this article have been accumulated in a Texas Railroad Commission resource page that lists Internet resources for each state. In addition, there is a thread that accumulates internet resources related to the Utica and Marcellus Shale.
There are several multi-state portals for information. Record retrieval sites for multiple states are here, and at courthousedirect.com. A portal for counties across the United States is at the home page for the National Association of Counties. A multi-state portal for unclaimed property is Unclaimed.org. Finally, for California, Oklahoma, and Texas, Earthpoint.us uses Google Earth to zoom in on tracts by abstract and section searches.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports – Production and drilling reports for Alabama can be found here.
Land Maps - ALS has a GIS-type map that is good for locating lands and wells here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Arkansas drilling and production information is here.
Land Maps - Arkansas’ version of the GIS land map is here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - California’s online production and well records search forms are located here. See the button on the left side.
Land Maps - California’s GIS map is located here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Colorado permits and production information are here.
Land Maps - Colorado’s GIS maps are here.
Drilling Permits - Idaho’s permits and other information are located here.
Land Maps - Idaho oil and gas maps can be found here.
Production Reports - Idaho’s historical production reports are located here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Instructions on how to access Illinois oil and gas resources data are located here.
Land Maps - Illinois’ GIS map is located here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Kansas’ drilling and production information is found here.
Land Maps - Kansas online maps are found here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Kentucky’s oil and gas records database is here.
Land Maps - Kentucky’s online publications and maps catalog is here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Louisiana’s drilling permits and production reports can be found here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Permits and Well data are at the top of this page.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Here is the portal for Montana's oil and gas records.
Land Maps - Montana’s GIS maps are here.
Other - The Montana Board of Oil and Gas has a wealth of information online here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Nebraska’s drilling and production information can be found here.
Land Maps - Nebraska’s GIS maps may be found here.
13. New Mexico
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - New Mexico’s drilling permit and production information can be found here.
Land Maps - New Mexico’s GIS Maps are found here.
14. New York
Permits and Production - New York permitting and production information is located here.
15. North Dakota
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - North Dakota’s drilling permit and production report data can be found here and here.
Land Maps - North Dakota’s land maps are located here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Ohio’s drilling permit and production reports may be found here.
Land Maps - Ohio’s GIS maps are located here. The USDA's National Resources Conservation Service has GIS maps which can be accessed for Oklahoma (and other states) here.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Information about Oklahoma’s drilling permits and production reports may be found here.
Land Maps - County and section line maps for the State of Oklahoma may be viewed here. Oklahoma's geological survey information is also available online.
Newspaper Reports - Drilling reports are available from The Oklahoman and via the Business Section in the Tulsa World.
Oil and Gas Lease Auctions - Information about oil and gas lease auctions in Oklahoma is available online here. Lease offer information about the Haynesville Shale can be viewed by clicking the "More" tab at this site.
Miscellaneous Oklahoma Resources - Oklahoma's Unclaimed Property Index is a good resource. Oklahoma's online corporation records are here. Search Oklahoma land records by county starting here
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Pennsylvania drilling and production information is here.
Land Maps - Pennsylvania land maps are located here.
19. South Dakota
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - South Dakota drilling and production information is located here.
Land Maps - South Dakota’s land maps are here.
Appraisal Districts - Appraisal District searches can be done here.
Drilling Permits and Leases -Drilling permits are found on the Texas Railroad Commission website. There is a video tutorial on the home page of this website that explains how to navigate the clumsy RRC website. Texas Wells has an App Store application for Texas drilling locations.
Leases can be found by searching court deed records, but school districts, who own substantial minerals, usually have to publish terms of the leases they sign, and the prices the State of Texas receives from its mineral lease auctions can be found here.
Land Maps - The Texas General Land Office has an excellent, interactive GLO map that is good for locating the block and section on land, as well as providing a general idea where land is located. More data is being moved on this map on a regular basis. There is also information on land grants and leases on state mineral-classified land. Geology of the Permian Basin, with maps, is described in this paper.
Newspaper Reports - The Abilene Reporter News, Odessa American, and Midland newspapers publish reports once a week on oil and gas activity.
Production Reports - The Railroad Commission website has a wealth of information. You can locate wells, find permits, get production reports, and much more. Review the video tutorial by Kreg Harrison on the home page of this website first before attempting to navigate this clumsy website. Information about the Delaware and Midland Basins can be found here.
The Railroad Commission is updating these maps to a GIS format, similar to the GLO website. Migration of all the data from the traditional map will take some time.
Public Records - Texas File.com has free registration, cheap records, and good county coverage. Not all counties are covered, however.
Unclaimed Property - An easy search for unclaimed property can be done at ClaimitTexas.org.
Drilling Permits and Production Reports - Utah drilling permit and production reports are here.
Land Maps - Utah’s land maps may be found here.
23. West Virginia
Drilling Permits and Production Data - West Virginia’s drilling and production data are located here.
Land Maps - West Virginia’s land maps are located here.
Drilling Permits and Production Data - Wyoming’s drilling reports and production data are located here.
Land Maps - Wyoming’s land maps are located here.
G. Wade Caldwell
The managing member of Barton, East & Caldwell, P.L.L.C., a San Antonio-based firm which represents mineral owners and provides a wide variety of legal services.
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