What happens to an unleased mineral owner

If a tract under which I own minerals gets placed into a drilling unit and a well drilled, what now? In short, I never thought they offered enough, and so I never signed a lease. It’s only about 10 acs of net minerals.

The answer to your question depends upon your state.

Current situation is in Texas, but I’d be interested in knowing this for OK as well - have some acreage there also.

Someone from Texas will have to speak for that state. They have a different way of pooling.

I can help with Oklahoma. If a unit is put together in OK and they cannot find all the mineral owners or some won’t lease, they have Forced Pooling which I happen to like under the OK rules (very different than Texas). It gives a fairly competitive leasing rates choice option and then if folks don’t answer in 20 days, they are assigned the lowest royalty and highest bonus. Drilling moves ahead. They hold the royalties for anyone they cannot find (seven years) and then turn them over to the state unclaimed funds.

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In Texas, the oil company can either force pool your interest under the Forced Pooling Act, or they can simply treat you as a working interest. If they treat you as a working interest, your royalties will be offset by your proportionate share of all exploration and drilling costs. The result is that it may be many years before you ever see any royalties. You may want to go to the oil company and see if you can still sign a lease. If you have a lease, no exploration and drilling costs are deducted from your royalties. Most people find they are better off if they lease, even if the terms are not everything you want.


Thanks Aimee. To add to her comment, leasing bonus amounts are not as high this year as in previous years, so what you think might be “good” this year is different than previous years. The lease bonus is usually very small compared to the royalties, so much better to not factor it in too highly. You want those royalties more.

Google “rights and responsibilites of mineral cotenants judon fambrough” and open the tamu.edu pdf


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