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Certified Title Opinions

Bowles Rice understands that determination of real property ownership, including both surface and mineral rights, is the cornerstone of exploration and production. Our Oil and Gas Title Practice Group brings a full range of skill and experience to the complex, detail-driven process of securing the proper documentation of ownership to oil and gas properties.

Rendering oil and gas title opinions in the unconventional shale plays often requires delving into complicated documents stretching back decades, sometimes to sovereignty. Our experienced title attorneys carefully navigate the often complex chains of surface, mineral, and leasehold title and report accurate ownership names and numbers. We also provide logical, practical, and appropriate curative measures and advice for resolving title clouds and issues.

We also regularly conduct title examinations for specific purposes, such as due diligence, financing or asset acquisition.

The firm's title capabilities include:

  • Original drilling opinions, supplemental opinions, acquisition opinions, division order title opinions, leasehold title opinions, and banking title opinions
  • Drafting of pooling and unitization agreements
  • Advising clients on community lease issues
  • Advising clients on undivided mineral ownership
  • Advising clients on strips and gores issues
  • Drafting of curative instruments
  • Drafting of oil and gas leases, amendments, assignments, and ratifications

Bowles Rice attorneys have authored thousands of certified title opinions for energy clients in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky and the surrounding region.

In addition to more than 20 attorneys practicing in this area, our support staff includes 11 title opinion drafters and 31 title abstractors. We also have long-term relationships with a number of independent contractors who perform title abstracting.

  • Bowles Rice has completed title examinations on thousands of mineral titles and provided title opinions in the tier one Marcellus counties in West Virginia.
  • Represented five of the largest developers of the Marcellus Shale formation in West Virginia and Pennsylvania in recent acquisitions.
  • Teamed with a large international New York law firm and performed all mineral related due diligence on behalf of an operating company regarding a major transaction involving the potential acquisition of another operating company.
  • Bowles Rice is currently working on several title projects and rendering title opinions in several major acquisitions in north-central West Virginia, southwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.
  • The Bowles Rice oil and gas team is assisting several clients, representing nearly 500,000 acres, in mapping the acreage and creating horizontal Marcellus units to maximize production.
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