General questions from a Newbie. Natural gas mineral rights in West Virginia

Hello all.

I just discovered this forum and I'm hopeful that I can increase my general knowledge on this subject.

About 15 years ago, I inherited my grandfathers mineral rights for multiple plots in West Virginia. As I'm sure is quite common, I am one of at least twenty extended family members who all own small pieces of the rights.

For the longest time, all I knew about the situation was that I received small royalty checks on a monthly basis from various companies and I received tax bills from the counties once a year.

About 18 months ago I received a "signing bonus" from a company to allow them the right to drill on the land. When I followed up with a family member to see if wells had ever been dug, she indicated that because so many heirs had not signed off on the agreement, that the company may not bother with drilling. I'm sure the company paid out many thousands of dollars in signing bonuses and I find it difficult to believe that they would pay out all that money, not to drill. All of this got me thinking that I know close to nothing about this wonderful inheritance my grandfather left for me.

I have a ton of questions, but I'll start with just a couple.

On the issue above. If there are multiple owners of the mineral rights, do all of them need to be in agreements on drilling contracts? Just a percentage of the owners? How does this work?

As far as I can tell, all of my rights are in West Virginia. Can anyone suggest local resources to educate me on the nuances of mineral rights ownership?

In the last couple of years I have gotten quite a few offers to sell my rights. This is rather new development in that in the previous decade I had not received any offers. What's going on with regard to mineral rights that now people are interested?

Any help is appreciated.


Welcome to the world of mineral ownership and owning interest in a hot area! Rather than attempting to answer your questions on this forum, feel free to contact me at 918-625-7355. I am a certified petroleum landman and would be happy to visit with you.