What might happen if an exploration company is interested in leasing the mineral rights on my property?
Typically, a landman offers a per-acre amount to lease the mineral rights and a percentage of royalties from any production that is realized.

What are surface rights?
The term “surface rights” refers to the rights of use and enjoyment of property above ground, such as residential, agricultural, or commercial purposes.

What are mineral rights?
The term “mineral rights” generally refers to the right to explore and develop property for the production of oil, gas, and other minerals occurring naturally in liquid or gaseous form and to reduce them to possession and ownership. Ownership of land does not include ownership of such minerals, but the landowner or owner of a mineral servitude has the exclusive right to explore and develop the property for the production of minerals.” .

How do I know if I own the mineral rights on my property?
Owning land does not automatically mean you own the mineral rights to property. A search of your deed or property title at your parish clerk of court’s office can tell you whether you own your mineral rights. If your current deed does not specifically discuss minerals, you may need to contact a professional in title research. In Louisiana, mineral rights can only be reserved (held by the seller of surface property) for ten years, either from the date of sale or from the date of the last exploration activity or production of minerals from the land. If there is no mineral development on the property in that time period, the mineral rights then automatically transfer to the buyer.

What is unitization of wells?
Unitization of oil and gas reservoirs in the state is a critical activity achieved by industry and state government working together. It is important to mineral rights owners because of the economic gain once a well is produced. At the request of an applicant or operator, an oil or gas unit is established for a sand, a zone, or a shale or formation. Unitization allows maximal recovery of the resource, prevents drilling unnecessary wells, and protects the rights of the mineral owners.Learn more at http://dnr.louisiana.gov/assets/OC/geo_div/TPG_Kumar-Articles.pdf

What is forced pooling?
The size of development well units is 640 acres or about one square mile. All mineral ownership within the 640-acres unit is initially shared in the production of a single well located within that unit on a surface-acre basis. This means that your square is ‘pooled’ with others in the unit.

Where do I go to find information about my property and my land rights?
The Clerk of Court in your parish is the office to go to find legally recorded documents such as deeds and mortgages. Landowners with questions may also want to consult with an attorney for help with ownership issues.