Andy-- as for private mineral leasing being more complicated...it goes far beyond that. Not only is it more complicated, its expensive and very time consuming.
These acres are being sold in bulk--40 acres here, 160 there, and so on. As I said before, the state owns these interests and are auctioning them off to the highest bidder. If these are bought---no title work is done (saving thousands of dollars for the winning bid) plus the royalties are set lower (1/8th or 1/6th) which means that the winnig bidder gets to keep a good chunk of the royalties as well. Instead of running title, spending money on running tract indexes, spending money on hiring a landman to do this, then finally finding someone who owns what? 10 acres? Leasing them while retaining little to no royalty percentage? This is what makes the land worth $2,000 per acre. It saves companies a lot of time and hard work because the work is already done for them. That is why they pay more, but in reality, it is not paying a whole lot more than what they would be paying to procure all the necessary documents for each individual mineral interest owner.
They are 2 different scenarios---the state is selling land that doesn't need to be cured and has no title work...private mineral interest owners want higher royalties, shorter leases, and they have sometimes have extremely messy titles that need to be cleaned up. Apples and Oranges.