In the oil and gas sector, property abstracts represent an important component of well ownership. At the most general level, a property abstract is a set of legal documents associated with a specific piece of land. Property abstracts often include documents such as references to deeds, probate records, court litigation, tax sales, and wills. Often considered an ideal starting point for historical research on buildings, property abstracts list all previous owners and the sale prices of the land.
In oil and gas, companies typically possess one or more abstracts of title, or a significantly condensed property abstract associated with a parcel of land. A complete abstract of title usually includes a full account of all surface and mineral titles, as well as all instruments of record. Complete abstracts of title may be accompanied by supplemental abstracts of title, which are often prepared by title companies. In the same vein, complemental abstracts of title allow titleholders to increase their existing base abstracts by adding lands with common titles.