Survey - mineral rights holders -


I’m a mineral rights holder in Kern County, CA. We do not own the surface rights. Is it common for mineral rights holders to also be paid for a survey?

My situation is that an land agent has requested us to sign a release for a seismic survey. We do not own the surface rigthts and we have not leased the mineral rights. The mineral company doesn’t want to pay us anything but argues that we may get income eventually if the survey looks good. The property is near an old oil field. But only a limited production 50 years ago on our property.

I’ve heard that it’s best in such cases not to sign unless the mineral company first leases our mineral rights. Do you feel that’s true?

If we can’t get the company to lease from us, should they be paying us for the right to do the survey and if so what would you recommend?


Hi Mark Taylor, It’s been my experience that unless you have some clearly outstanding issue related to crops or other surface related damage exposure, it’s fine to allow seismic work, with the simple hope that something good comes out of it with respect to future drilling and or development. It never hurts to ask for some compensation of course, but I wouldn’t get to demanding. It’s not like you’re going to get wealthy off of this kind of money. The real juice is in the production (if any comes out of it). It’s customary that this type work is done prior to committing to the relatively expensive drilling process. Kern County CA is certainly oil country, so it’s not a shot in the dark so to speak.

I appreciate your input. I’m still gathering information to educate myself on the process.

If you don’t mind me asking, what is your background in the industry? Are you a mineral rights owner or do you work as a land agent?

I may have a follow-up question, depending on your background.

Have a good day,