Insights

Camille Nichols

Recent Posts

Due Diligence

At its most basic level, oil and gas title due diligence seeks to protect your investment by confirming that the represented interest in a given property as well as any valued potential upside are accurately portrayed. No two deals are the same, and similarly, due diligence should be tailored to meet the specific objectives of the management team. How you perform due diligence is as important as why you should conduct certain types of due diligence.

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Land Management

There are many reasons a company may choose to outsource land work, ranging from a lack of bandwidth to a new startup without a land department. Land management companies can plug into your existing company structure, or provided independent land oversight and management. Here are the top advantages of outsourcing your land work.

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Acquisitions & Divestitures, Land Management

The San Juan Basin offers many investment opportunities, as it contains the largest coal-bed methane field in the world and ranks second in total gas reserves. This spotlight provides geological facts, current activity and things to know beforehand.

Background

The first oil well in the San Juan Basin spud in 1911, and since then over 40,000 wells have been drilled. Drilling activity was steady from the 1990s until 2008. In 2007, there were over 40 active rigs. Then attention turned to the prolific Marcellus, where gas could be extracted less expensively. In the past 12 months, 135 wells were completed in the Basin. The leading players include BP America, Hilcorp Energy Company, Catamount Energy Partners, and Encana Oil & Gas. 

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Leasing

We understand the importance of accurately securing mineral rights. A sound development plan, includes verified ownership of the leased minerals. Most companies decide to: (1) either acquire the minerals outright (owned in fee simple) and let other operators lease and pool their minerals into their development programs, or (2) lease the minerals from the various owners in the locations and formations of interest. In either strategy, correctly identifying the mineral owners is key to the development process.

Below we’ve compiled the most common questions about the oil and gas leasing process.

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Insider, Land Management, Leasing

As veterans in the oil and gas industry, we know that learning the terminology is vital to navigating lease acquisitions and interpreting title research. Whether you are a newcomer or well-versed in the business, there is never a shortage of learning opportunities. At Cinco, we enjoy providing community and client education on the varied dimensions of land and title work.  We’ve compiled a selection of terms and brief definitions to conveniently help you refresh your knowledge.

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Land Management

When you are actively pursuing an opportunity in the oil and gas industry, whether it’s making an investment in an E&P company, buying minerals rights, or acquiring leases, having access to the right information and the right team to execute is critical from a value and timing perspective. While land management companies provide a multitude of benefits to the market, here are six greatest advantages they offer.

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Acquisitions & Divestitures, Mineral Buying

Title due diligence in certain transactions may seem like an onerous part of the deal, causing some to speed through it and overlook critical issues. Your due diligence process is the most effective insurance policy against title busts and loss of mineral value.  However, in our experience, we have seen some big mistakes made by mineral buyers that generate big regrets down the line.

Here are four big mistakes we see made all too often:

  1. Overlooking Location-Specific Risks
  2. Not Getting the Executive Rights or Other Rights to Lease
  3. Acquiring Partial Rights Only
  4. Skimping on the Diligence
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Land Management

Successful dealmakers and investors understand the value of getting the right information to evaluate a new opportunity. Likewise, in the oil and gas space, having a solid understanding of a prospective investment play will enhance the quality of the assumptions and help set realistic expectations. This is particularly true when it comes to mineral title, land title and other regional title issues. An informed buyer will always conduct an assessment of title complexity, potential ‘red-flag’ issues, and the length of time it will take to confirm title.

Questions that should be asked, for example, are:

  • How old is the title and what kind of access information will you have to work with during due diligence?
  • What are the costs associated with title due diligence and title curative?
  • How hard will it be to obtain fill-in acreage or hold on to your acreage post-acquisition?
The answers to these questions will vary widely and differ from state to state, or basin to basin, so obtaining the targeted information is important.  Our regionally-focused teams across the United States collaborate with clients to provide this kind of insight at the outset of a deal and throughout the asset management process. The following highlights a sample of common title characteristics of three of today’s most active regions.  
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