Does a surface owner have any influence over location of a well?

Yes, operators will always try to accommodate the surface owner whether they are the minerals owners or not. They will work with the surface owner in an attempt to accommodate them in the placement of wells, access roads, pipelines etc. The operator is required to notify the surface owner of any proposed drilling and provide a written record of for surface damages.

Where can I find out what the average prices are for leases, damages and compensation?

This is not public information; these monies are paid to individuals on a private contract. There are also no fixed prices and each circumstance is treated as a unique contractual agreement. To discover “going rates” talk with your neighbors, educate yourself or consult an attorney.

What is seismology?

Seismology is a process for prospecting for oil and gas that is a geophysical method of determining geologic structure by the means of elastic waves sent into the earth’s interior. In oil and gas production, a 3D seismic survey of these high-frequency waves is studied and designates liquids from solids allowing prospectors to determine potential production areas.

What are surface damages?

Compensation that is paid to the surface owner from the operator for the damages incurred to the property during drilling operations. This compensation usually follows some industry standard guidelines but is negotiable.

What is unitization?

Unitization is the combining of multiple wells to produce from a specific reservoir. This develops the resources through an exploration cooperative versus competing interests.

What is fracking?

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to natural gas and oil to move more freely from porous areas in shale rock where it is trapped to the well so it can be brought to the surface. To achieve this there are “pumping fluids” primarily consisting of water and sand that are injected at very high pressures into the formation to achieve the new pathways for the oil and gas.

What are oil and gas royalties?

Royalties are monies paid to the mineral owner based on a share of the gross production of oil and gas, free of all costs of that production.

Can I sell minerals if they are leased or currently producing?

Yes you can, mineral rights can be split or severed into any amount of interest desired to sell or acquire. This is an excellent option for some landowners as they obtain immediate cash but also maintain a long-term interest in any royalties.

What are oil and gas royalties?

Royalties are monies paid to the mineral owner based on a share of the gross production of oil and gas, free of all costs of that production.

Can I sell a portion or percentage of my mineral rights?

Yes you can, mineral rights can be split or severed into any amount of interest desired to sell or acquire. This is an excellent option for some landowners as they obtain immediate cash but also maintain a long-term interest in any royalties.

Why sell my mineral rights?

There are many reasons a person would entertain selling their mineral rights or property containing mineral rights. A landowner may have a need for cash, and the funds from a sale are a guaranteed income. Leasing and/or waiting for income from production is simply an unknown gamble. Some may also see a sale of minerals as a tax incentive or a way to avoid handing down smaller and smaller interest to heirs.

What is a lessor?

This is the mineral owner who grants an oil, gas or mineral lease.

What is a lessee?

This is the person or company who acquires the right to drill oil or gas wells.

What should I do if I have been contacted by an oil company about leasing my property?

Contact your attorney. There are many important factors to consider, and being informed is very important before signing any oil or gas lease.

What is a mineral lease?

A Mineral Lease is a contractual agreement between individual mineral owners and oil companies. Although there are many important details, a basic structure of a lease is an exchange for an up-front lease bonus payment, plus a royalty percentage in any production, and the mineral owner then grants the oil company the right to drill for a period of time.

What are mineral rights?

Mineral rights are the property rights that confer to the holder the right to exploit the land for the minerals it harbors. Mineral Rights are severable from the property “surface” ownership.