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You Paid For the Title Opinion, Now What Do You Do With It: Handling Title Curative

Susan J. Alfson, Mineral Title Examination (2007)

Title curative is simply the process of correcting a deficiency in the title to real property. In the context of the oil and gas industry these deficiencies surface when:

• a landman's title memorandum uncovers a problem during leasing, or

• an oil and gas attorney identifies a deficiency or risk during examination of a land abstract in preparation for the drilling of a well or payment of production royalties.

Defects in the chain of title can be as straightforward as correcting the misspelling in the name of a party in interest, or as intricate as resolving discrepancies in ownership along a shifting river bank, or commissioning the probate of a deceased mineral owner's estate. Because to err is human, there is no limitation on the types or complexity of issues that arise during examination of chains of title. While some title issues lend themselves to ready solutions, others may require the involvement of legal counsel or resolution through court or administrative adjudication. Each curative requirement presents a potential risk to the operator of a drilling program. Some risks are minimal in their impact or remote in probability; others are sufficiently serious -- in both impact and probability -- to delay the drilling of a well until the matter is resolved.

There have been a number of papers published previously on title curative, some ge