Mineral Rights in Brine: A right peculiar to Union County, Arkansas and Columbia County, Arkansas

Brine, or salt water, seems common enough. After all, the 70% of the Earth are oceans, so why in the world would anyone drill a well on dry land to recover saltwater?  The answer is that not all salt water is created equal.  Salt from sea water is of fairly consistent composition.  It is mainly sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and various trace elements.  By contrast, the salt water taken from beneath Union and Columbia County, Arkansas has a high concentration of bromine.   It is 70 times greater than that of sea water.  The salt water in Union County and Columbia County, Arkansas yields about one half of a gram of bromine for every 1000 barrels of brine.  This doesn’t seem like much, but it is commercially significant.  So much so, that Arkansas leads the world in bromine production.

Bromine compounds are useful as a flame retardants in furniture, medicines, insect and fungus sprays, anti-knock compounds for leaded gasoline, disinfectants, photographic preparations and chemicals, solvents, water-treatment compounds, dyes, insulating foam, hair-care products, and oil well–drilling fluids.

A unique rule of property in Arkansas caused many of the landowners who missed out on the oil and gas boom of the 20’s and 30’s to cash in on the Bromine boom of the late 1950’s.  Under the Strohacker doctrine, surface owners whose oil and gas rights were sold off in the oil boom were pleasantly surprised to learn they owned full brine rights.  Under Strohacker, a conveyance or reservation of “minerals” only includes those minerals known to exist in the mind of the public at the time and locality of the conveyance.   Thus, all the early mineral deeds in Union and Columbia County did not apply to Bromine because the mineral was unknown to the public until the 1950’s.

There are two major bromine producers in Arkansas:  Great Lakes Chemical and Albemarle Corporation.  Great Lakes Chemical has Arkansas headquarters in El Dorado, Arkansas.  Albemarle has Arkansas headquarters in Magnolia, Arkansas.  These companies handle royalty payments for brine mineral rights holders.  Just like oil and gas production companies, brine companies have a land department that manages royalty payments and royalty ownership changes.  The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission regulates brine production in Arkansas.

If you own brine mineral rights in Union County, Arkansas or Columbia County, Arkansas, Law Offices of Mark Robinette can provide many services to you including:

  • Brine Rights Mineral Deeds
  • Affidavits of Heirship in Brine Rights
  • Probates of wills to establish claims to Brine Rights
  • Ancillary Probate of wills to establish claims to Brine Rights
  • Affidavits of small estates to establish claims to Brine Rights
  • Redemption of Tax Forfeited Brine Rights
  • Transfer of Brine Right ownership with Great Lakes Chemical and Albemarle Corporation
  • Surface use agreements and damage settlements with brine pipeline companies
  • Surface contamination claims from brine production activity
  • Ground water contamination claims from brine production activity
  • Complaints to the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission regarding brine unitization or production

Mark Robinette’s principal office is in Little Rock, Arkansas, but he routinely handles matters in Union County Arkansas and Columbia County Arkansas.  Deeds, probates, affidavits of small estates, tax forfeitures redemptions, Oil and Gas Commission complaints, and most surface use agreements involve no travel costs from Little Rock to Union County, Arkansas or Columbia County, Arkansas as these are routinely handled by regular mail or email.  You can put Mark Robinette’s years of oil, gas, and mineral experience to work for you without worrying about costs.  Many routine ownership transfer matters are done on flat, turn key pricing.  Call Mark Robinette today at 501-251-1076, email him at info@robinettefirm.com, or click one of the response button in the right frame of this website. Mark is looking forward to hearing from you!   Mark Robinette is licensed in Arkansas. Mark Robinette is a Arkansas oil, gas, and mineral lawyer and attorney who can help you with your Columbia County, Arkansas and Union County, Arkansas brine rights.

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