Original, Drilling, Division Order, and Wellbore Title Examination


  • OTO's cover lands that have not previously been developed for production of oil, gas and minerals.  Such examinations depend wholly on the county records dating back to the sovereign ownership.  Some of our clients have landmen gather the pertinent documents from the county courthouse and provide those materials to us for our examination.  We also have clients that request a stand-up examination which requires our attorney’s to visit the courthouse and examine the necessary documents.  Many of our title attorneys have prior experience working as landmen and are proficient in providing stand-up examinations.


  • A DTO seeks to meet all the federal, state, and local regulations surrounding the actual spudding of a well for production. Drilling Title Opinions are sometimes referred to as Original Title Opinions. Drilling Title Opinions identify the rightful mineral owners and determine which mineral owners have been properly lease or remain unleased.


  • DOTO's examine issues that may infringe on the disbursement of revenues to rightful mineral and leasehold owners.  Division Order Title Opinions are usually based on the Drilling Title Opinion/Original Title Opinion with an updated review of newly filed instruments in the county records.  Accurate Division Order Title Opinions can prevent drawn out litigation for wrongful or inadequate payments of the proceeds of a producing well.  Working interest owners are generally required by federal, state, or local regulations to make disbursements of revenues in a very specific and timely manner.  Division Order Title Opinions assist the working interest owners in making accurate disbursements.  In addition to a DOTO, our firm prepares DDOTO's (Drilling & Division Order Title Opinions), which includes research and opinions related to rights to drill, necessary easements, and land use restrictions.


  • Wellbore Title Opinions provide detailed ownership information regarding a specific, existing well.  Wellbore ownership can be different than the surrounding mineral and leasehold ownership.  Property law treats each right separately, allowing for conveyancing very specific interests.  A mineral owner can convey away his or her rights to royalties from a specific well while retaining their interest in the lease that serves as the basis for that same well.  The same is true for working interest owners and other leasehold owners.

Our attorneys look forward to discussing your title needs and will provide thorough, efficient, and accurate work product tailored to your requests.  At Kearney, McWilliams & Davis, we understand the time sensitive nature involved with producing oil and gas properties.  We're staffed and ready to get to work.