For over 14 years, Peissel Law Firm has provided meticulously comprehensive oil and gas title opinions to exploration and production companies in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and North Dakota. We understand that accurate and complete title opinions are critical to exposing litigation risks, weighing business risks, avoiding disputes, and ultimately completing successful and profitable projects.
Our oil and gas title opinions will clearly and accurately identify stakeholders, owners and their respective ownership rights and burdens, and title defects and the steps necessary to clear them. Our goal is always to provide our clients with the most accurate and actionable information as quickly as possible, to allow them to move forward with projects while avoiding delays and disputes.
In order to meet these goals, it is important that our title attorneys understand what your company’s needs and objectives are. We work with you to obtain the information needed to begin title examinations, such as proposed drilling boundaries, target formations, depth limitations, and any prior title opinions or Landman’s Ownership Reports. This information is critical to title searches, title examinations, and ultimately, thorough title opinions.
Oil and Gas Title Examination
A thorough title examination must commence prior to the creation of any title opinion. At Peissel Law Firm, we focus on managing and analyzing large datasets, often involving hundreds of people and entities, in some of the most active counties across the state. Our attorneys regularly examine documents found during title searches that are hundreds of pages long in order to determine ownership rights, even in complex chain of title matters. Once examination is complete, a number of types of opinions can be rendered dependent upon the stage of exploration or production, with the two most common types being a Drilling Title Opinion and a Division Order Opinion.
Oil and Gas Title Opinions
Drilling Title Opinion
Exploration and drilling companies are well advised to seek an experienced oil and gas title attorney to produce their Drilling Title Opinion. At Peissel Law Firm, we expediently produce our drilling title opinions, while also ensuring every opinion provides the clarity needed to determine if drilling on the proposed tract is advisable.
Our attorneys regularly investigate complex mineral titles that may have tens or even hundreds of mineral owners. We are experienced in identifying unleased interests, as well as any defects in the mineral title that could cause costly disputes and lengthy delays. Our opinion and recommendations for correcting any title defects will be made with a thorough contemplation and examination of all caselaw and relevant federal, state, and local regulations that impact your project.
Division Order Title Opinions
If the drillsite has proven successful, the next step for most exploration and production companies is to pursue division orders outlining the ownership proportions of all the mineral rights owners and their proportionate share of funds from the sale of their oil, gas, or other minerals. However, before the division of interest can be prepared, a proper Division Order Title Opinion should be obtained from a qualified oil and gas title attorney in order identify potential mineral title defects and avoid royalty disputes.
Before issuing a Division Order Title Opinion, Peissel Law Firm’s oil and gas attorneys will engage in a comprehensive review of the mineral titles and leases for the related mineral estate as well as the drilling title opinion. The purpose is to highlight defects and irregularities to ensure revenue is distributed correctly and litigation risks are mitigated as much as possible. Any ambiguous language, liens, unreleased leases, etc., will be identified and curative measures will be recommended if title defects or gaps are found, or reasoning provided as to why those defects are now immaterial.
Other Mineral Title Opinions
While Drilling Title Opinions and Division Order Opinions may be the most common, there are a variety of other opinions that oil and gas companies may require. Our firm understands the wide range of needs different entities in the industry have and we aim to work closely with clients to develop opinions that are tailored to their specific interests. Some examples of the other types of opinions we have rendered include:
- Supplemental Title Opinions
- Acquisition Title Opinions
- Wellbore Title Opinions
- Lending Title Opinions
Mineral Title Opinion
As any mineral title attorney or landman knows, establishing who the rightful mineral owners are for a proposed project can be an enormous task. In Texas, mineral rights are often conveyed numerous times and there are frequently gaps in the chain of title. Further complicating matters for exploration and production companies seeking to extract minerals, are titles with defects and inaccurate information that may expose a company to litigation risks. Indeed, the Texas courts have historically had to deal with numerous disputes involving mineral rights owners and oil and gas companies, showcasing why selecting an attorney with the appropriate skills and experience is so critical.
With almost two decades producing high quality oil and gas title opinions, we have found that the key to providing the most value for our clients is to have a precise understanding of their project’s objectives. This allows our mineral title attorneys to focus the scope and purpose of each opinion on what is essential, while also excluding any extraneous analysis or data review driving up unnecessary costs. We invite you to contact us to discuss your projects and how we may be able to assist you.