Land is now worthless

We have 45 acres near Wellington that we wanted to sell. When the buyers found out about possible wells and/or uranium mining they backed out.

Our realtor told us our land was worthless because we don't own the mineral rights.

Comments/ideas for us??

Thanks in advance


Marilyn, are you saying that when you bought the land, the previous owner retained the mineral rights? Do you know who owns the rights? Is that parcel already leased out for drilling?

I guess I don't understand why your realtor would say it is worthless unless someone else owns the mineral rights and it is already leased out to a drilling company.


We own mineral rights but not the land. Does this mean that we should see the owners of the land and see if they want to buy the mineral rights?


I would love to know how much mineral rights cost for us to own then for our 45 acres. Anybody have an idea?

We would consider buying them.

We have oil and uranium under our acres.



We do not own the mineral rights- PowerTech owns them.

They also own a bunch of land around us so there is no reason to drill on our land and pay us surface and access fees.

We are so bummed- guess we will have to wait another couple of years to see how this plays out.


Ownership (or lack thereof) of oil, gas, and mineral rights can affect value of property; however, it is generally unlikely that the price is rendered entirely valueless due to the lack of ownership. Lack of ownership can negatively impact prices though. A few things to think about or to try and reverse that potential decrease in value.

1. Be sure the severed minerals are on the county tax rolls. Often surface owners can pick up the minerals at tax sale (after 3 years albeit) if the owner forgets to pay. County requirements and county assessor willingness to do this may vary.

2. Contact the owner(s) directly to see if you can purchase any portion. Even owning a small portion of the minerals can greatly increase your leverage. If you do own, be sure you negotiate a surface use agreement at the same time as signing any lease.

3. If there are active leases and planned drilling on the property or nearby see if you can negotiate a surface use agreement related to the uses to specifically address potential buyer concerns i.e. extra distance from the house or similar or possibly a no surface occupancy if they don't want to drill on your property anyways.

The information is for general information purposes only. This should not be substituted for legal advice and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or reading does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to contact an attorney for legal advice concerning the information provided.


The realtor may have been negotiating or just unintentionally started a rumor. The true value of your surface land is its worth to you and/or what someone will pay for it. The component of its value attributable to the minerals extraction industries is largely dependent on the wording and intent of the recorded documents that severed the minerals from the surface and the language of the transfers recorded thereafter, including administration of the mineral ownership through tax payments.

If you do indeed own 45 net, acres in Weld County and plan to pass the ownership on to your heirs or desire to sell at a fair market value, I believe it would be worth the effort to go to the courthouse and make copies of all documents involving your land and the mineral rights from the time they were first separated forward to your ownership. (There may be an abstract in your files depending on how and when you acquired the land.)

Take that group of documents to Ms. Keller or her legal equivalent, and make arrangements with her to determine your ties, if any, to the minerals and mineral development rights. She can determine the "predominate" estate, access rights to minerals, obligations of mineral developers to the surface owner, and several other aspects of your legal ownership rights. Knowledge is power and in your case, knowledge of your leverage with mineral developers may be particularly powerful.

The elimination of uncertainty and frustration to you, your heirs, or potential buyers will be worth far more tun her fee. You can then make decisions based on concrete evidence not quicksand rumors or comments unrelated to the true value. You may want to consider the cost of this exercise to be a cost of holding the land, like taxes.

As encouragement, in my decades of mineral business deals, I've seen many examples of severed mineral rights owners failing to reserve access rights, water rights, land use rights, pay taxes, claim fees, etc. Responsible developers know that all of the ancillary aspects of ore bodies and petroleum deposits must eventually be controlled.

You could but there is a distinc possibility that they would be the low bidder.

Judy Archer Brucker said:

We own mineral rights but not the land. Does this mean that we should see the owners of the land and see if they want to buy the mineral rights?