Very small mineral rights inheritance - should I bother?

New member here, I received a lease agreement as one of many heirs for a just a couple of acres in Southeast Ohio. Until this, I was not aware that I was an heir to this property. The representative from the oil and gas company mentioned very small dollar amounts on the order of $100 signing "bonus" and roughly $100/year in royalties.

However, my first instinct is to just say no, since those dollar amounts it is not even worthwhile getting an expert/legal opinion on the lease agreement.

My question is what do I lose by lack of action or telling the oil and gas company "no"? I know nothing about oil and gas leases, but would not expect that one very small "holdout" on a lease has much leverage. Could I somehow lose "title" (I not sure of the right word) to my inherited land? Is there action I have to take to prevent this?

Thanks so much for reading this.


I have often said that my signature on an agreement has a minimum dollar value so we are in agreement there.

I have some small interests, some about two acres. I have seen landmen call 60+ net acres small, so you will have to define small for me to understand.

If I had something like a quarter acre, I would be amenable to selling it so I wouldn't have to keep track of it if the lessee/operator was motivated enough to make a decent offer to buy considering how much it would cost them in accounting alone to keep up with such a small interest. So there is Small, then there is, small.

Thanks for your reply.

My acreage is about as small as it gets...there are dozens of heirs for <5 acres, so my actual ownership is a fraction of an acre!

Your comment about a minimum dollar value to sign anything rings true.

Given that it seems too small for me to sign, what does the oil and gas company do? Apparently the land is surrounded by a couple hundred acres chunk that they do have a lease for.

This article on Ohio pooling may help.

Thank you! That is a very interesting article and provides some information for me to investigate further. Sounds like if I (and others) don't sign the lease mandatory pooling could be the eventual outcome.

Still doesn't change the issue of it being too small to put my signature on, oh well (pun intended)!

Not signing a lease can provide a shield of sorts. Such was hinted in the article.

There is a difference between voluntarily going into business with someone and being forced into it, even if it's just the effect you could have in the court of public opinion if the operator does something too raw. Considering the size of your interest and the fact that there is no reasonable way you could file a suit for any grievance, I would make any complaints to the local state representative. The state forced you into business with these people you don't know.

The article also made clear that you get paid for production whether you sign a lease or not under mandatory pooling. That should address the issue of putting your signature on a cheap lease, the answer is, you don't have to.

Thank you for your help, it will be interesting to see how this goes. I'll update this thread as it proceeds, maybe will be useful to someone else in the future.

Thanks, RWK. I'm in similar situation with half interest in 1 net mineral acre, out of 80 gross, in OK. You've confirmed my sense that I might be as well off force-pooled as signed up. Still, will do some diligence on area activity and the county forum.

Where in SE Ohio is your acreage located? If located in one of the core Utica/Point Pleasant counties, it still may have decent value ( a few thousand net to you) if developed. That could pay for several nice dinners, or even a vacation.

One item to pay attention to in Ohio is the dormant mineral laws, which still appear to be in flux...depending on where you're located, it maybe worth your time to protect your rights then flip it out - I think someone pointed out that a small parcel as yours can be a pain, but then again, the occasional check could show up in the mail box....kind of all depends on where it is located and if it is in a HZ unit or not.

The acreage is in Monroe County, I quick search seems to indicate that is within the core Utica-Point Pleasant play. I don't know anything about dormant mineral laws, but will look into that. If I may ask, is an HZ unit a horizontal well...I'm not familiar with almost any of the terminology? Thanks!