What Is a DOTO?
A Division Order Title Opinion is a certified title opinion which sets forth the names and decimal ownership interests within a producing oil or gas well, unit or lease to assist in setting payments to mineral owners.
Why Use DOTOs?
Accurate Division Order Title Opinions can prevent drawn out litigation for wrongful or inadequate payments of the proceeds of a producing well.
Working interest owners are generally required to make disbursements of revenues in a specific and timely manner. DOTOs assist the working interest owners in making accurate disbursements.
What Are the Advantages of Using DOTOs?
- DOTOs can provide analysis of all curative work performed by the company from drilling title opinion certification date to present
- DOTOs enable common title certification dates for the entire unit (usually the date of first sales)
- DOTOs can provide analysis of any record title issues that arose between the rendering of the title and the drilling of the well prior to distributing payments
- DOTOs give operators guidance on how to handle any issues that may require holding money in suspense, and what measures must be taken before payment can occur (i.e., helps avoid paying money that may not be recoupable)
- DOTOs reduce the risk for the developer
- DOTOs provide verification that recommended curative actions have been finalized
The Steptoe & Johnson DOTO team is made up of more than 30 attorneys and professional staff dedicated to drafting DOTOs for some of the industry’s largest producers nationwide.
Several Steptoe & Johnson DOTO team members hold active leadership roles in division order industry groups, such as NADOA and ABADOA.
DOTOs by nature require not only first-rate attorneys, but also attorneys who understand the industry and have advanced understanding of the formulas and calculations required to determine the complex decimal ownership interests of multiple working interest and mineral owners. Attorneys on our team also hold degrees in:
- Accounting (Oil and Gas)
Steptoe & Johnson DOTO team attorneys have assisted clients by:
- Working on over 235 DOTOs for Marcellus development, encompassing approximately 85,000 acres
- Working on over 50 DOTOs for Utica development, encompassing approximately 30,000 acres
- Working on over 70 DOTOs for various shale play development throughout Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, encompassing approximately 50,000 acres