North Hills
   Mineral Owners Coalition


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How To Research Your Mineral
Rights

We are often asked: "How do I know whether I own the minerals under my property?" or "How can I find out who the mineral owner is?"

The short answer to that question is, if no previous owner has reserved the mineral rights, they belong to the surface owner. That would be YOU if you have purchased your property (as opposed to renting it).

So how do you find out whether a previous owner has reserved the minerals?

You need to check the Warranty Deed and your title policy that you received when you purchased your property. But that still may not tell you the full story. If the person you purchased the property from DID NOT own the minerals, then they would not have "reserved" them in the deed. So you need to look a bit further back to see whether someone earlier in the "chain of title" reserved the minerals.

Here are some pointers on how to research who the current mineral owner is on your property.


Go to the following website:

http://www.tarrantcounty.com/egov/site/default.asp

In the middle of the page, under “Upcoming County Events”, change the “drop down menu” to “Real Property Search” and click on “Go”.

This will bring up a page entitled “Official Public Records – Search”. In the “Grantee” box, type in your last name and the first initial of your first name. In the “Document Type” box, change the drop down to “Warranty Deed”. Click on “Search”.

You are looking for “Document Type” to be “Warranty Deed”.

If it has an icon in the “Image” column on the far right hand side of the page, then your warranty deed is available online and you can view it online.

(If it does not have an icon, you will have to go downtown to the basement of the main Courthouse to view your warranty deed. Be sure to write down your Instrument Number, Book and Page that were shown on the internet to facilitate your trip to the court house.)

Click on the PDF link and it will pull up the warranty deed.

If the above PDF link does not work for you, then follow these instructions instead:

Click on the light blue margin on the left hand side of the page on the line that your warranty deed is shown on and you will get a “right arrow”.

Go to “Actions” and drop down to “Download Image(s)” and click. (Sometimes it takes it a while to load up, so be patient.)

Click on the “PDF” link and it will pull up your warranty deed (assuming you have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer.) If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, then select the “TIF” link, then selection “Open”.

Look through the warranty deed to see if there are any reservations regarding mineral rights.

If there is nothing stated in the reservations regarding your mineral rights, then you probably do have 100% of your mineral rights.

However, a title company actually goes back to when the property was originally purchased from the Government of Texas in 1879 (when they first started keeping records.) You have to keep going back to the previous owners warranty deed to see if there were any reservations on the mineral rights.

If you have been sent a letter from a gas leasing company, they have probably already done a preliminary title search on your property, but they do not do the full title search until they have a signed lease on the property because of the costs associated with researching title work all the way back to its inception.

All records have not been scanned and made available on the internet yet. Those that are not available online must be researched at the Courthouse.

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