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  • 10/18/2016 3:40 PM | Anonymous member

    Charlie West

    Charlie West

    October 13, 1942 - October 11, 2016

    Charlie West, age 73, died on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 in Clayton, New Mexico.

    Cremation has taken place and Rosary was recited at 9:00 A.M. on Monday, October 17, 2016 by Deacon P. Louis Montoya and Mass of Christian Burial followed at 10:00 AM at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Clayton, New Mexico with Fr. Joel Bugas as Celebrant. Burial of Cremains will take place at a later date. Arrangements were under the direction of Hass Funeral Directors of Clayton, New Mexico.

    Charles Franklin West was born on October 13, 1942 in San Angelo, Texas to the late William (Jimmie) and Mora Lee West. After graduating from Eldorado High School Charlie attended Angelo State College, Schreiner Institute, and Texas Tech University. Charlie was involved in numerous occupations to include ranching, banking, oil and gas, Land Title Insurance Agent, President and Founder of Clayton Title Services, Inc. serving the needs of the surface, mineral, and royalty owners. Charlie at one time was a Private Investigator, operated a Bail Bond Company and Auto Repossession Agency, owned and operated a bar/lounge, and lastly became a full-time Landman in the oil and gas industry and a licensed Land Title Agent and owner of Clayton Title Services, Inc. for over 30 years. Charlie put together the largest land acquisition consisting of 1,600,000 acres in Northeastern New Mexico known as the Bravo Dome Carbon Dioxide Gas Unit for Amoco Production Company. Charlie was proud of his heritage and family history. His father’s family was a pioneer ranch family who settled in Schleicher County. Charlie’s grandfather was the first postmaster of Verand before Eldorado became a town. His mother’s father Ben Meckel herded goats throughout the Sonora countryside. During the Depression Charlie’s grandparents bought a ranch and an adjoining farm in Schleicher County. Charlie was the great grandson of the late J.L. Davis, a noted early day Texas Ranger and Sonora sheriff. Charlie was a Life Member of the Former Texas Rangers Association and a Life Member of the National Association of Royalty Owners and National Association of Royalty Owners-Texas serving on the Advisory Board and as a Director-At-Large for 18 years and a Certified Professional Mineral Manager. He was also a member of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) - Advisory Board; Oklahoma Chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners; American Association Petroleum Landmen-Registered Professional Landman Degree; Permian Basin Landmen Association; New Mexico Landmen Association; American Land Title Association; and the New Mexico Land Title Association as a Licensed Land Title Agent for 32 years. His hobbies were working and collecting southwest Indian artifacts. Charlie was preceded in death by his parents and grandson Candiyn James West.


    He is survived by his soulmate and companion Loretta Vigil, one daughter Charetta West and three sons: Charles Shane West and his wife Stacey, Charlton Schel West and Cove Henderson West. Also five grandchildren: Ciyana and Cali Tucker, and Jayton, Hunter, and Mason West, one sister Barbara Clark and one brother Floyd West. Nieces and nephews: Shannon West Biondo and husband Teak, Vincent Dale Clark, Kenneth Lynn Clark, Jr. and wife Loretta, Dr. Charles Lee Clark and wife Heidi, William Kelly Clark and wife Lisa, Allyson Clark, Matthew Aragon and wife Sheridan, Andre Aragon, Candace Aragon, Mark Aragon and wife Cheyenna, Wilfred Vigil, James Martinez and wife LaJena, Stephen Vigil, Christian Vigil and Bradley Carter.

    Memorials: In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Former Texan Rangers Association or the COPD Foundation.

  • 09/08/2014 9:56 AM | Anonymous member

    Please use the following link to read the article and to see a copy of the Denton Chamber of Commerce news release:

  • 05/30/2014 11:40 AM | Anonymous member
    by Jim Malewitz May 30, 2014 

    LIVE OAK  At the front of a cramped classroom at the Alamo University Center, George Wilson, in a singsong voice, lectured about two dozen students on the finer points of the state’s laws on oil and gas royalties, spouting terms like “Mother Hubbard clause,” “habendum clause“ and “force majeure.”

    When an energy company representative inquires about leasing and throws one of these clauses out, you need to know how to respond, Wilson said. He then followed with one of his “No. 1” rules for royalty owners learning about their rights: “Everything in an oil and gas lease is negotiable.”

    Wilson, a Dallas-based consultant and instructor for the Texas Christian University Energy Institute’s Royalty Owner Program, had no trouble keeping the class’ attention. The students undefined some in their 30s, others twice that age and each with a different level of experience with drilling matters undefined knew they would eventually be tested, and their monthly royalty checks would serve as report cards. “Make the best deal you can, since you’re going to have to live with it,” Wilson said, “hopefully for up to 80 years.”

    For landowners and mineral owners in Texas’ hottest drilling plays, the state’s surge of oil and gas production means long-lasting windfalls undefined if those lessors know how to deal with companies looking to protect their bottom lines. That is not always simple in a state whose laws can seem to protect energy producers at the expense of property owners.

    Advocates for royalty owners hope to bolster their position with the help of new educational programs and easier access to information online. That includes the three-day Energy Institute program offered near drilling communities across Texas. Since January last year, more than 300 people have taken the program, including a few out-of-staters.

    “What we realized was that there are many programs offered out there for oil and gas professionals,” said John Baum, a principal at the CER Energy Institute, which developed the TCU curriculum. “But there were no programs for royalty owners, and we wanted to see if we could help level the playing field.”

    Representatives for oil companies and landmen, who negotiate mineral leases, said they encourage such efforts, and added that they are not out to fleece royalty owners.

    “Everybody’s got to learn to work together on this type of stuff,” said Martin Schardt, the executive vice president of the American Association of Professional Landmen, based in Fort Worth. Spurred by hydraulic fracturing, Texas has produced record amounts of oil this year. The state’s production has more than doubled in three years, and it accounts for more than a third of all domestic production, netting billions of dollars for Texas landowners and mineral owners. Plenty of Texans, however, struggle to navigate the state’s complex oil and gas laws.

    “I wish I would have known some of this before,” said Rob Bowers, who enrolled in the TCU program after taking over South Texas oil leases passed down by his grandfather. “I’m realizing I made some good decisions, and some bad decisions.”

    A royalty owner might get a poor deal for a variety of reasons. For instance, one might sign the first lease a company presents without investigating whether neighbors have agreed to higher bonuses, larger royalty percentages or other perks. Hidden in a poorly scrutinized lease could be clauses unfavorable to royalty owners. A “Mother Hubbard” clause, for example, gives an operator rights to later drill on “adjacent or contiguous property” not itemized in the agreement. In those cases, royalty owners cannot negotiate new leases for that land, ditching the possibility of earning another signing bonus.

    Texas mineral owners often do some homework before signing a lease, but they have traditionally studied privately undefined shuddering at the idea of sharing such information with neighbors, said John McFarland, an Austin lawyer who represents mineral owners. “Even relatives who hold interest in the same tract won’t be able to get together to negotiate,” he said.

    In the TCU class, Wilson, punctuating his sentences with fist pumps and “hallelujahs,” told his students that they should use the growing number of online message boards for mineral owners to exchange information. Some Texans do not mind sharing information. Mary Jane Young, a West Texas rancher, mentioned the names of two companies with whom she refuses to do business. But Young said most of her experiences have proved positive, with few deals falling through. “In West Texas, we shake on a deal, and that’s a deal,” she said.

    Signing a lease, however, is just part of the equation for royalty owners. The lessors are responsible for ensuring that energy companies honor leases and pay what they owe. It is not uncommon for an audit of production data and royalty checks to discover shorted payments undefined whether because of faulty equipment at a well site or a company’s miscalculations.

    In a typical example, an operator shaves off fractions of royalty payments undefined in some cases 25 percent or more undefined to cover the cost of marketing oil and gas once it is out of the ground. That includes gathering, treating and transporting the fuel. That practice is legal, but a well-drawn lease (from a royalty owner’s perspective) would forbid it. One alumnus of the TCU program recouped tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties after realizing his lease barred postproduction deductions. But some shorted royalty owners encounter more resistance.

    Dozens of mineral owners across North Texas have recently sued operators over such claims. In 1996, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that leases contained implied deductions even when certain language appears to forbid the practice. Courts have cited that ruling, Heritage Resources v. NationsBank, in recent decisions favoring drillers. That was far from the only time the high court sided with energy producers in disputes with royalty owners, oftentimes overturning a lower court’s decision, McFarland said. Other examples include allowing companies to enforce statutes of limitations (usually four years, but sometimes two) on challenges over shorted payments undefined even if the royalty owner did not discover the discrepancy until years later.

    In May, the Texas Supreme Court accepted a new case on the issue. Terry Retzloff, the president of the Texas chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners and a former oil company worker, said such hurdles should only motivate Texans to more closely scrutinize their leases.

    “It’s our own personal responsibility to take care of our own lives, own documents,” he said.

    As for Wilson, he said his view of the relationship between lessee and lessor had shifted over the decades undefined from adversarial roles to a wary partnership.

    “The operator can’t get along without the royalty owner,” he said, “and the royalty owner can’t get along without the operator.”
  • 03/07/2014 11:50 AM | Anonymous member


    In an unusually crowded primary election, Texans went to the polls on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, to nominate candidates to represent the Republican and Democratic Parties in the upcoming general election. This year, however, voters had more power at the ballot box as they selected several new leaders for statewide offices, due to the fact that many sitting officials decided to run for different statewide offices rather than seek re-election for their current position.

    Attorney General Greg Abbott easily gained the Republican nomination for Governor of Texas, picking up more than 91 percent of his party’s votes. Similarly, Texas Senator Wendy Davis trounced her competition by collecting close to 80 percent of her party’s vote. Meanwhile, in the Republican Lieutenant Governor’s race, a runoff election will be held May 27 between incumbent David Dewhurst and challenger state Senator Dan Patrick. Texas Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio won the Democratic nomination for the state office position. A runoff election will also be necessary between Ken Paxton and Dan Branch for the Republican nomination for attorney general.  Sam Houston was selected as the Democratic nominee in the race.

    Former state Representative Wayne Christian will face off against oil and gas engineer Ryan Sitton in the May 27 runoff election for the Republican nomination for Texas Railroad Commissioner. Christian picked up 42.7 percent of the party’s votes, while Sitton had 30.5 percent of the vote. The four-way race also included geologist Becky Berger and Dallas businessman Malachi Boyuls. Democrat Steve Brown scored his party’s nomination for the open seat at the state regulatory agency.

    George P. Bush won the Republican nomination for Texas Land Commissioner with 73 percent of his party’s vote. Bush will face off against Democratic candidate John Cook in the November general election.

    In the race for House District 60, Texas Representative Jim Keffer secured a win in his race for the 2014 Republican Primary. Representative Keffer currently serves as the chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over the production, regulation, transportation and development of oil, gas and other energy resources; energy efficiency and the development of alternative energy sources; and oversight of pipelines, pipeline companies and all others operating as common carriers in the state.  “I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to all the voters, volunteers and supporters in House District 60 and around the state,” commented Representative Keffer following his victory on Tuesday. “Your help is what carried me across the finish line in this race, and I’ll forever appreciate the kindness you have shown me and my family. God bless you, and God bless Texas.”

    Notably, two members of the House Energy Resources Committee were defeated in this year’s primary election, meaning there will be at least two open seats on the committee during the next legislative session in Texas. Democratic Representative Lon Burnam, who currently serves Texas House District 90 - which encompasses downtown Fort Worth and parts of the surrounding area - was defeated by his primary opponent Ramon Romero Jr. In addition, state Representative Ralph Sheffield lost the Republican Party nomination for House District 55 to Molly S. White.

    Tea party challenger Don Huffines narrowly beat longtime state Senator John Carona in the race for the Republican nomination to represent District 16. First elected to the Texas House in 1990, Carona’s primary loss brings his 24-year Texas legislative career to an end, blocking the senator’s hopes for a seventh term serving in the Texas Senate. In 2013, Caronia participated in seven legislative committees, including the Senate Business and Commerce committee.

    Texas Senator Kel Seliger, representing District 31 in the Panhandle and the Permian Basin, defeated his opponent former Midland Mayor Mike Canon in Tuesday’s Republican primary election. Seliger currently serves on the Senate Natural Resources Committee, amongst others legislative committees. Although there is no democratic opponent in his race for District 31, Senator Seliger will face Libertarian Party of Texas candidate Steven Gibson in the November 4 general election.


    The March 4 primary races for the Texas Supreme Court secured the nomination of four Republican incumbents to run in the November 2014 general election.  Chief Justice Nathan Hecht won with a significant margin, receiving over 60 percent of the vote. Hecht was appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2013. During his tenure on the Court, he has offered more than 350 opinions and is currently the longest serving appellate judge in Texas. Justice Jeff Brown also easily held on to the Republican Party’s nomination with over 70 percent of the vote. Brown was also appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Rick Perry in 2013. Previously Brown served on the Houston 14th Court of Appeals. In addition, Brown has served as Judge of the 55th District Court in Houston.

    Justice Steve Johnson pulled nearly 65 percent of the vote in the primary election, again demonstrating a distinctive margin in the Republican Party’s elected candidate. Johnson was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2005, and previously served as the Chief Justice of the Seventh Court of Appeals. Chief Justice Jeffery Boyd was unopposed in this year’s primary election.

    Of the four incumbents, Boyd, Brown and Hecht will face Democratic opponents next November. It is likely the Republicans will maintain an advantage throughout the general election, providing yet again for fair and conservative leadership for Texas’ civil justice system. 

  • 01/20/2011 2:25 PM | Anonymous

    Posted:  December 31, 2010: GONZALES INQUIRER

    By Daniel Elizondo


    Sitting quietly in and around Gonzales County is a gold mine waiting to exhale.


    It may not be as simple as shootin' at the ground and up comes a bubblin' crude. But the idea is certainly there.


    In just the past year, thousands of oil leases erupted in Gonzales County sparking a trail of money around the City of Gonzales and paving way for a new age "oil boom".


    EOG Resources, Inc., one of the largest oil and natural gas companies in the United States, has already acquired over 700 leases in Gonzales County dating from January 2010 to today. And that number could grow. EOG holds mineral rights leases for approximately 580,000 net acres across six counties including Gonzales County in the Eagle Ford Shale, the prolific new horizontal play in South Texas.


    The Eagle Ford Shale stretches across South Texas from deep in the Valley to north of Gonzales County. It is found at depths between 4,000 and 12,000 feet and is up to 250-feet thick in some places, generally without natural fracturing present.


    EOG Public Relations Director Liz Ivers told the Gonzales Inquirer "EOG has a long-term focus on the Eagle Ford. We have consistently characterized the Eagle Ford as a ‘resource play', meaning that we expect it to be productive for many, many years to come."


    The City of Gonzales is already reaping the benefits of this boom after the release of its sales tax revenue payment for October and November increased by a whopping 17.41% compared to last year.


    "Royalty owners, who have signed leases, may have already received cash payments," said Ivers. " Once production commences, royalty owners receive royalties and, in turn, may spend these dollars on goods and services, which may increase sales and use tax revenues to the county."


    The County is receiving property taxes based on mineral valuation each year and sales and use taxes on goods and services used by the oil and gas companies.


    Crude oil is the main production from the Eagle Ford and if found, is transported via truck and underground pipelines to refineries in Corpus Christi, Houston and other U.S. locations.


    "EOG is committed to being a responsible operator and a good neighbor of Gonzales County," continued Ivers. "Just as it is across North America, where it has extensive experience in all facets of crude oil and natural gas operations."


    The area in and around Gonzales County has already seen an increase in activity from different crews working on the drilling and production of Eagle Ford wells. The positive for Gonzales is that this will last over a long period of time. And the best part about it is - it has just begun.

  • 01/20/2011 2:05 PM | Anonymous

    2011 may be a gusher in South Texas

    Billions paid for shares in vast shale formation



    Jan. 2, 2011, 4:21PM


    Though still facing uncertainty on many fronts as 2011 begins, the oil and gas industry knows one thing: It likes what it sees in South Texas.


    That's the site of the Eagle Ford shale formation, a vast underground network of dense rock layers, discovered only recently and now thought to be one of the nation's biggest oil and gas fields.


    To this point, the formation has existed in the shadow of other big domestic shale formations best known for their supplies of natural gas, including the Barnett Shale in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.


    But that is almost certain to change next year as Eagle Ford's large quantities of valuable crude oil and natural gas liquids attract more interest and dollars.


    "I expect the Eagle Ford would probably be the hottest single area in all the lower 48 states in 2011," said Mark G. Papa, chairman and CEO of Houston's EOG Resources, one of the largest leaseholders in the region.


    Oil and gas companies of all sizes are trying to shift resources to the hunt for oil while natural gas prices remain weak.


    And some of the world's biggest oil companies undefined including Shell, BP, Norway's Statoil and China's CNOOC - recently have entered the Eagle Ford and are helping to put it on the global energy map.



    Surge in permits


    On an actual map, the Eagle Ford shale play extends about 400 miles across South Texas in a 50-mile-wide band, from the Mexican border, below San Antonio and up into East Texas.


    Though drilling has occurred in the region for decades, geologists recently discovered big deposits of oil and gas in deeper, dense rock layers once thought too difficult to reach - and it didn't long for others to take notice. In 2010 in the Eagle Ford, 1,018 drilling permits were issued through November, up from 94 the year before, and output of crude oil, condensate and other liquids nearly quadrupled to 3.9 million barrels, according to Texas Railroad Commission data.


    About 115 rigs are working in the area now, and companies so far have drilled several hundred wells.

    While that's still below more developed shale plays, it's likely a small taste of what's to come. Many oil and gas companies plan to boost spending significantly and increase the number of drilling rigs they're deploying to the area next year, even as they're pulling back in gas fields elsewhere.


    "The Eagle Ford Shale in 2011 will really hit its stride," said Ralph Eads, head of Jefferies' energy investment banking group in Houston.


    Take EOG, which in 2010 averaged seven rigs in the Eagle Ford and drilled 110 wells. This year, it expects to have 14 rigs and drill 256 wells, Papa said.



    Major deals signed


    Oklahoma City's Chesapeake Energy, the largest leaseholder with 625,000 acres, also expects to double the dozen rigs it has working in the area. Ditto for Houston's Petrohawk Energy, which expects to spend more than twice as much as it did in the region in 2010. And ConocoPhillips, another major leaseholder, just leaped from seven to 11 rigs in the region.


    "It does appear it will be a very busy year in the Eagle Ford," said Jim Lowry, a spokesman for the Houston-based ConocoPhillips.


    U.S. shale plays, including the Haynesville in Louisiana and Marcellus in the northeast, are expected to provide a major boost to domestic natural gas supplies in coming years. But with gas prices low, some operators have been forced to curtail output.


    And Eagle Ford, with its high content of valuable crude and natural gas liquids, has proved a haven for those who bought in early.


    "The economics in the Eagle Ford are probably better than in almost any other play in the world," Eads said. "The returns are stunning."


    That helps explain a recent surge of big-ticket deals there.


    In October, China's CNOOC agreed to pay $1.1 billion for a 33 percent stake in Chesapeake's Eagle Ford acreage, marking its first U.S. onshore asset purchase. That same month, Statoil said it was joining forces with Canada's Talisman and would pay Enduring Resources $1.3 billion to develop Eagle Ford acreage.


    In June, India's Reliance shelled out $1.3 billion to buy acreage and form a joint venture with Pioneer Natural Resources Co. And earlier in the year, BP and Shell bought into the play. Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest public oil company, also has a position in the Eagle Ford.


    "We have high hopes for that area," Statoil CEO Helge Lund told the Chronicle in a recent interview in Houston.


    But along with the optimism, some operators worry that growth could be held back by equipment constraints and a potential lag in building new pipelines, processing plants and other infrastructure. Right now, for instance, it's difficult to get hydraulic fracturing crews at a well site, Papa said.



    Billions invested


    Hydraulic fracturing uses a high-pressure mix of water, chemicals and sand to crack open dense shale rock and release oil and gas through a well.


    Current drilling and production technologies allow extraction of less than 5 percent of the oil in place in the dense shale rock.


    But equipment and service providers say they're determined to keep up with customer demands in the Eagle Ford.


    "We think we're in a position to take care of their needs during this ramp-up period," said Jim Teague, the chief operating officer of Houston-based pipeline giant Enterprise Products, which so far has announced $2 billion in infrastructure investments in the region and expects more soon.


    Considering the way things are looking for 2011 in the Eagle Ford, it may not be a long wait.

  • 01/11/2011 8:57 AM | Anonymous


  • 01/11/2011 8:50 AM | Anonymous


  • 12/16/2010 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    I want to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a festive holiday season. Although we some challenges ahead of us, I am looking into the New Year with great optimism and hope for mineral and royalty owners. As NARO-Texas President I am here to carry out our mission and to keep everyone informed and up-to-date with all the important details surrounding the industry.

    We are pleased to announce the 2011 NARO-TX Convention will be held on June 29th – July1st at Barton Creek Resort and Spa in Austin, Texas.  Save the date, mark your calendars and make plans to attend next year’s convention. For all you golf lovers, let me inform you that Barton Creek is the number one golf course in all of Texas. For a meeting or event to be successful, it all starts with the space! And under our big Texas sky, the resort has more than 43,000 square feet of it. Barton Creek is committed to meeting the specific needs of every client, by offering a professional, yet relaxed, setting with gracious service and warm, Texas hospitality set in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. We have negotiated an excellent nightly rate and are planning some exceptional meals and gatherings to take place at this convention. As 2011, is quickly approaching, now is the best times to start your trip planning.

    The 82nd Texas Legislature convenes at noon on Tuesday January 11, 2011.  As the Texas Legislature prepares for its 82nd session, the prospect of an $18-25 billion deficit is looming large. Since the legislators are required to present a balanced biennial budget, what lies ahead are new fees and taxes or drastic cuts to existing services and departments. Among the items that have been studied by the House and Senate during the interim period have been the expansion of the sales tax to new items, the expansion of the franchise tax to certain service industries and even discussions regarding gambling.

    The long awaited Sunset Advisory Commission Report on both the Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality were finally released on November 26th.  As you may remember, the Sunset Advisory Commission is a legislative body that reviews the policies and programs of state government agencies every 12 years. The staff report on the Texas Railroad Commission alone was 79 pages, and it suggests many changes that may impact the future of your mineral and royalty interests. 

    The first suggestion in the report would take away the election of the three commissioners from voters and replace them with a part-time, appointed board of five administrators. Since this agency governs the oil and gas industry, the report recommends the name be changed to the Texas Oil and Gas Commission.

    The Sunset Review staff also wants the oil and gas industry to pay for its regulatory operations. Currently, the Texas Legislature approves an RRC budget that is paid for from the general funds of the state.  The industry already pays $27.5 million in fees, fines and other miscellaneous revenues, but they would have to come up with an additional 23.4 million annually.  Keep in mind, the state of Texas general fund collected more than $3 billion in oil and gas severance and production taxes in 2009.  The report also recommends abolishing the Oil Field Cleanup Fund Advisory Committee, improving enforcement policies, eliminating the promotion of propane, and enforcing damage prevention for interstate pipelines – just to name a few.

    I have only begun to scratch the surface of these provisions.  I recommend going to and reading the report, however, I do have the “short” version and happy to pass it along to anyone who is interested.

    Sunset Advisory Commission will hold a hearing December 15 and vote on recommendations mid January.  NARO-TX will be continually working to keep you informed as the session progresses.   P.S. I look forward to seeing everyone at Barton Creek in June!  

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