People do no typically think of Mississippi as a large producer of oil and other minerals but, according to the Oil and Gas Mineral Services, the state has 16 major gas and oil fields. To qualify to monetary compensation for extracted oil and minerals, you must own the property rights for them. Often, when a person buys a piece of property, the seller keeps his mineral rights and only sells the surface rights to the buyer. Those interested in verifying the ownership of mineral rights must visit the county courthouse to review the ownership map in the local chancery clerk's office.
Analyze the property deed. In Mississippi, information regarding the deed specifies whether the seller of the property sold the mineral rights with the surface rights.
Call the chancery clerk's office and inform the clerk that you want to visit and inspect the deed books. This gives the clerk the opportunity to save time by making the deed books available before you visit the office.
Visit the local Mississippi chancery clerk's office. If you do not have access to the property deed, call the county clerk to arrange a time to inspect the county ownership records. In Mississippi, the chancery court clerk maintains property records for the county.
Hire an attorney to verify ownership if you are unable to determine who owns the mineral rights. If a previous owner has severed the surface and mineral rights to a property, it can take an attorney to verify all mineral rights owners. Inheritances can split the ownership of mineral rights among several owners. Mississippi Legal Services can help you find an attorney.
While hiring an attorney to investigate ownership can be expensive, an experienced attorney can expedite the verification process.
If you do not own the mineral rights for your property, you cannot benefit from the extraction of any oil or minerals.