Royalty payment deductions update to the paper check issue

The topic was closed but I have an update.

To Suz, “We just received a letter from a royalty payor on Oklahoma properties informing us that they would be deducting $15 to process a check as a paper check. Our minerals are in a trust administered by a bank who does not accept ACH payments or direct deposit. Is there any statutory authority or Oklahoma case law allowing this deduction? Also, received notice from another payor that the only way to see a check stub is if we sign up for direct deposit. Is anyone else experiencing this?”

We just had an OK NARO board meeting and I asked this question. One of the directors answered and said to send a copy of the OK statute with the pertinent section highlighted and say something along the lines of "I do not agree to the electronic means. I request that I receive a paper check and a complete paper statement without charge. The PSRA (Production Revenue Standards Act) allows for electronic means but only under mutual written consent which I am hereby withholding under Title 52, Chapter 13A Section 570.12. "

Cite as: 52 O.S. § 570.12 (OSCN 2023).

Send by certified mail return receipt so that you have a copy of the letter.

Send the following Statute section in your letter.

PS- I am not giving legal advice but see if this works.


Thank you for posting that.

As always, Martha…thanks for the info!

Thanks for this, Martha. We have the same issue currently with a Texas company paying on assets in Baylor County, TX. I have a message in to TX NARO on this. The gentleman there was going to present it to their board to get a consensus but I’ve not heard back yet. Bad enough we already have to bear the cost of printing our check statements, now tney want to nickel and dime us for more.

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Interesting to know. Seems most operators have transitioned to EnergyLink/Enverus for providing run check information. It is pretty handy and doesn’t cost anything but some people want to get their check in the mail and the back up that goes with it. I get that. Never heard of a bank not accepting ACH but doesn’t surprise me really. All that aside for an operator to deduct $15 to provide a paper check is crazy! Thanks for the reference!

Martha, thank you so much for the update you provided. It was very timely as I just received another check with a $15.00 deduction. I’ll get a letter off to the payor this weekend including the information you provided.

15 isn’t bad actually.

I talked to a Texas delegate at the recent US NARO convention. She said the check fee was against TX law and the TX chapter is also drawing up a letter with the proper language. Stay tuned.


We recently also had an OK operator tell us that they received legal advice that would allow them to charge us monthly for requesting our payment threshold to be $25.00 (per statute)! Will fight this too.

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@M_Barnes Thank you for lookin into this in Texas as well.

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I questioned where that legal advice came from. There’s nothing in the statues allowing that. Sounds more like the company would prefer to have the interest from holding onto to that money until it reached the default $100. Depending on the number of royalty owners for that well, it could get to be a tidy sum fairly quickly. If they aren’t getting that interest, then they will try to get it another way.

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Lately when you get a “paper check” from the time it is written or generated, then mailed, and you get it out of the mail box, if it’s not LOST, drive to take it to a bank, deposit it and the FDIC takes 5 business days to fund the money to your account, it might cost you way more than the $15 fee.

It doesn’t cost me $15 to deposit a check. Even if the check gets lost, and I have to request another one. It still doesn’t cost me $15 or $15 of what my time is worth. If only the price of oil was so high it cost me $15 to drive to the bank to deposit the checks. What a dream!

The oil co can’t absorb the administrative costs.

The reality is that like all companies nowadays, the well operators are trying to zero out their costs to maximize profits. Doesn’t matter that it is considered part of their operating costs and for that they are allowed a larger share of the revenue. Someone else should pay for it, namely the royalty owner.

Other than trying to charge me for the legal requirement to pay me for my minerals, my other gripe is that with direct deposit, there is the access to my bank account that can be hacked. If the company can’t afford to pay me by check without a fee, who’s to say they have any real IT security around their ACH systems. I haven’t read any authorization direct deposit papers lately, but I doubt the access is only one way.

Nothing is easy. Oil companies are really watching expenditures now, with good reason. Even govt requires direct deposit

Martha, thanks for your work on this issue. I sent a certified letter to the oil company demanding that they cease taking the $15 per check deduction and reimburse me for the previous deductions. I am anxious to see what they say. Unfortunately, part of my minerals are held in an IRA administered by the trust department at a bank and the trust department doesn’t allow direct deposits. This is also the case with some other banks which also administer minerals held in IRAs. For minerals in our personal company, we utilize direct deposit whenever available. I am aware of the administrative costs to the operators and for that reason I almost always request that they hold funds until the check amount reaches $100 or the year end is reached, whichever occurs first. Thanks again for your help.

If you get direct deposit the money is in your account a lot faster! If they mail you a check it might get lost or delayed in delivery. Then you may be a few days late going to the mail box. Then you have to drive to the bank to make the deposit. The FDIC may delay transferring the funds to your account!

Maybe the $15 is fair. But . . . either they can deduct the $15 from the check OR they can ADD $15 to my royalty share ACH each month! I’ll choose the $15 added!

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