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Always watching from afar
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As some of you know I have been trying to buy a place with some land. Recently I can across a place with 47 acres and a house for sale in my price range. So we immediatly started to investigate.

Turns out the mineral right have already been sold on this land. So I was wondering if one was to buy this property what would it mean for the land owner? Where I live there are alot of natural gas pockets. So I was thinking about tapping one to heat my home and garage during the winter and use for cooking. Would I be allowed to do this.

I have decided against buying this property but I would still like to know what all this means. Thanks
 

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I believe that if you tap the gas on the land you are exposing yourself to a lawsuit. The minerals under the land all belong to someone else and use of such minerals constitute theft. I also believe that if the holder of those mineral rights decides to exploit them you have no recourse, (i.e. you could wake up one morning with a drilling crew raising a derrick near your house.) Always try to get mineral and water rights whenever you buy a piece of land.
 

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In some parts of the coutry, mineral rights are non-existent. Most of the land was sold without mineral rights decades ago, and those wanting mineral rights are out of luck as the current owners don't have them.

States differ on what the owner of the mineral rights can do. I wouldn't let that deter you from buying land, there may not be much else available.
 

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You also need to find out what mineral rights have been sold. I believe some states break them out quite specifically, as in, you can sell the mineral rights to coal, but keep gas/oil, there are also surface rights, timber rights, etc. And to make it even more confusing, you may not own specific mineral rights on your property but you may own the mineral rights on a nearby property. You need to research that to make sure(or get someone to research that for you).

But if you don't own the mineral rights to something and you take it, it's stealing.
 

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Basically everything above is true more or less.

However, the mineral right owner cant just come onto your property and do what they please one morning in order to obtain the minerals they have the rights to.

Go to the court house and research the mineral lease for your property, it will tell you exactly what they got and for how long. If your lost in this area, get a clerk to help you, its what they are there to do even though now and then some act as if it isnt.

That is your first step. Once you obtain the document, if you do not totally understand it, you should take it to someone who understands legalize. Lawyer or friend, makes no difference, be sure you understand exactly what it means, the terms and how long they have ownership for the minerals and when they must release the rights to them once the term expires. Generally in my experience as a right of way agent who negotiated oil and gas leases, the leases are for 3 to 5 years in 99% of the cases down in the south.

Also understand your states leasing laws. Some states have a 10 year limit to how long someone other than the land owner can own mineral rights if they have not attemtped to harvest them, such as here in Louisiana. I know other states such as Mississippi and Alabama when I worked there people ownede the mineral rights from almost 100 years ago on land that has been out of their family for 2 or 3 generations.

Also be aware that more than one entity may opwn your mineral rights, it could be divided up between 2 or more "groups" each owning a percent. This is a very common occurence.

Also, water rights are generally not included in mineral leases, so you most likely would have no problem there. However tapping into a natural gas pocket would be a big no - no if you were discovered if you do not own those rights.

There is alot of different things to consider, if you are really wanting this property the easiest thing Id suggest to do if you have no court house/ record searching & understanding experience is to get you a land lawyer and hire him to do an abstract search on the property back however far is needed for your state (could be 30 years could be 100 years). It will probably cost in the neighborhood of $350 or more. But it will let you know exactly what the deal is, and than if you do purchase the property, you already have had the title run and wont have to pay for it than, so really you wouldnt be losing any money if you do buy.
 
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