Midland, TX asked in Energy, Oil and Gas for Oklahoma

Q: Is there any lawyer of merit who can tell Okla Corp Comm to follow and not break O.S. Title 52, #52-552?

My deceased relative was force pooled on Day 0. This triggers this OK Statute for the holder, the mineral owner's heir and the State of OK. The holder is supposed to try and find the heir for 365 days. OK butts out except to require reports and an escrow account for funds due the owner. In my case, the holder remitted the pooled funds to OK months before Day 365. Then after that remittance, but before Day 365, the holder found the heir. OK won't give the funds back. There is no provision in the statute for the holder or OK to fool with the mineral owner's funds until Day 365. Except, the holder can only distribute the funds during the 365 days, by following PARAGRAPH B. After 365 days, PARAGRAPH E kicks in and everything changes. The problem is a simple one. Under PARAGRAPH B, the holder from Texas only requires a WILL, but OK requires a PROBATED WILL. It is not OK's business until after 365, per PARAGRAPH E.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James Tack Jr
James Tack Jr
  • Energy, Oil & Gas Law Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: Interests in oil and gas are interest in real property. The transfer of real property is governed by the laws of the state in which it is located, not where the deceased or owner is located. Regardless of whether the monies are held by the company pooling the interest, the Corporation Commission, or the Treasurer of the State of Oklahoma, you will still have to resolve the estate issue, most likely by having an estate proceeding. Fighting with the Corporation Commission to prove a point will expend more money than doing the estate proceeding which will have to be done in any event. If the interest is small enough, you may be able to convince someone to take an affidavit of heirship rather than an estate proceeding.

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