2016 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representatives Boyd, Bell (21st)
House Bill 912
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT MINERAL ESTATES SEPARATED FROM THE SURFACE ESTATE SHALL REVERT TO THE OWNER OF THE SURFACE ESTATE AFTER TWENTY YEARS OF NONPRODUCTION; TO DEFINE NONPRODUCTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Mineral estates separated from the surface estate prior to the passage of this act, shall revert to the owner of the surface estate if, after a twenty-year period, there is no bona fide attempt to drill for or produce minerals or no actual production of minerals. The twenty-year period may run continuously or be interrupted. If there is attempted or actual production, the period shall be interrupted and shall begin again on the day after the last day of actual production or the last day actual drilling or production operations are conducted on the property. For contracts providing for shut-in rental payments in lieu of production, the twenty-year period may be interrupted, but shall begin again at the end of the period for which the last rental payment was made if there is no production. The possibility of interruption is not limited to the instances stated in this section, but may extend to other circumstances as equity may demand. If the twenty-year period is interrupted and begins again with less than one hundred eighty (180) days remaining in the period, the period shall not expire less than one hundred eighty (180) days after the date on which the period begins again.
(2) If on July 1, 2016, the owner of the mineral estate interests is separate from that of the owner of the surface estate, and there has been twenty (20) years of nonproduction or no bona fide attempt to drill for or produce minerals or no actual production of minerals, the mineral interest shall immediately revert to the owner of the surface estate in accordance with this section.
(3) The surface estate owner to which the mineral estate shall revert by operation of this act is the holder of the surface estate at the time of the reversion.
(4) For purposes of this section, oil and gas are deemed not to be in production if: (a) in the case of oil production, the well is not located on the regular governmental quarter-quarter (1/4, 1/4) section of surface estate where the severed mineral estate lies; or (b) in the case of gas production, the gas well is not located in the regular governmental one-half (1/2) section in which the mineral interest lies.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.