The discovery of The Haynesville Shale has sparked an interest in owning not real estate, but mineral rights all across Northwest Louisiana. It has become very normal to purchase a home in Shreveport Bossier City without owning the mineral rights to the land in which you are purchasing.
For those of you who might not know about The Haynesville Shale, it is a natural gas field that was discovered in the northwest region of Louisiana which has become one of the largest natural gas discoveries in history. It has caused a modern day gold rush which has brought many fuel companies to the Shreveport Bossier City area and has made normal landowners millionaires over night.
The only issue that could become a problem in this natural gas discovery is how the ownership of these mineral rights are traced to the actual owner. If you visit the Caddo Parish Courthouse or the Bossier Parish Courthouse, you can conduct your own research to find out if you, in fact, do own your mineral rights or not. However, this information is only probable and is not a 100% guarantee. There are companies that specialize in mineral right research and can produce a certificate upon completion of their investigation, which guarantees, without a doubt, who owns the mineral rights to a certain property. But these companies are now "owned" by the fuel companies who are now purchasing up all of the mineral rights in the area. A homeowner must be willing to pay anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000 in order to hire one of these companies to research the ownership of their mineral rights. After all, that's what the fuel companies are paying them. Why would they charge less simply because you are a middle class homeowner and not a large corporation?
Beware to all real estate owners in all of Northwest Louisiana who are being paid for leasing out your mineral rights. The money that you are receiving might not belong to you. If one day a descendant of someone who used to own your property shows up with a certificate proving that they are the rightful owners of your mineral rights, will you be able to pay them back for however many years that you have been collecting their mineral right payments?