Being responsible for such a large amount of acreage puts you at an advantage with geophysical companies. I have found a better way to get reasonable payment that respects the high risk of the geophysical company's investment in high grade technology giving them the chance of staying in business.
In the management of over 100,000 acres in another state with extremely limited drilling data, I have found that by giving up some unproven upside, I have been able to get cash now and reserve seismic data for my use should the exploration company go away.
In your area, keep in mind that vertical faults with large throws are the bitter enemy of horizontal drilling prospects as are the escarpments between the small prolific basins and the marginal deposit of the same geologic formations up on the highs. At 6-8 million dollars per well, Operators must know exactly where the faults and escarpments are located. Seismic is much much cheaper and more important than blindly putting dow vertical wells.
As a mineral owner, one should encourage seismic efforts in the permian. As I've preached forever, leasing is not a retail operation for the mineral owner. There is no one size fits all for the owner or the risk taking operator. Every deposit is different just like the needs of every owner are different. The more an owner can know about the geologic quality of his property, the less he will leave on the table when it really counts.
As Carolyn has confirmed by the lead in this tread, the oil companies will never, never, never overpay for geologically proven and probable reserves. Good seismic data may however increase their assessment of potential resources.
oh how I love the business. It creates wealth for mankind.