Oil companies most commonly obtain title opinions prior to beginning drilling operations. They rely on those opinions to obtain leases, cure any title defects, and, once production begins, make payments. However, title opinions can serve many other functions. Companies often acquire more limited opinions, such as acquisition title opinions, as part of their due diligence before purchasing assets. These opinions are more focused on the working interests affecting the property or may be limited to particular mineral/royalty interests for mineral buyers. Title opinions may also be used by lenders to confirm the ownership and value of assets before granting loans to a company, as well as investigating any encumbrances already in existence.
As renewable energy sources increase in popularity, title to the surface estate will become more of a concern. Renewables such as wind and solar require more surface infrastructure than oil and gas development, particularly since the advent of horizontal wellbores. In areas where there’s already significant drilling activity, there is a potential for competing use of the surface. Renewable energy companies can utilize title opinions to determine surface tract ownership, existing easements and rights-of-way, and current oil and gas activity that may impact the location of renewable infrastructure. Based on your circumstances, you may wish to tailor a title opinion for particular uses, and our team can customize a project for your specific needs.
Contact RR&A now for assistance managing all your title opinion matters.
Disclaimer: The information and material on this website is general information about our practice and firm. This information does not offer specific legal advice and the use of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship with RR&A or any of its attorneys. The information on this website should not be used for legal advice, and persons should not act upon the information on this website without engaging professional legal counsel.