Depreciation on Non-Producing Royalty Interest

Can someone explain if a non-producing NPRI can be depreciated for income tax purposes? Let’s say the following is true in this scenario:

Party “A” purchased a non-producing NPRI from Party “B” for $10,000 in the year 2010. Come 2010 tax time, Party “A” shows the NPRI as an asset. Can the asset be depreciated per real estate property rules even if its non-producing, or does there have to be production in order to claim a depletion allowance?

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Minerals are not classified as a depreciable asset under the tax rules. Must be producing to take depletion. You can think of this as the fact that the asset is not disappearing when there is no production. It remains underground waiting for a well to be drilled. Sticks and bricks deteriorate by forces of nature whether or not there is any lease income or use.

TennisDaze, you never seem to disappoint. Thanks as always!