Strategy Change? Some Buy Mineral Rights in OH Instead of Leasing

Change the rulesA change in strategy? The Wheeling News Register is reporting an uptick in the purchase of mineral rights in the Upper Ohio Valley area. If a landowner owns both the surface and mineral rights, the typical situation is that the landowner will lease the mineral rights to an energy company for a certain period of time, receiving an up-front signing bonus. If drilled, the landowner will receive ongoing royalties from any gas (or oil) produced. But in some cases, instead of leasing, energy companies are buying the mineral rights. That is, the mineral rights become separated from ownership of the land on the surface. The energy company then owns the mineral rights, along with the right to use a bit of the surface to locate a drill pad and wells. The landowner selling the mineral rights gets a higher initial signing bonus by selling the mineral rights as opposed to leasing. But they also get zero royalties when selling the mineral rights. It becomes a decision between a little more money now, or a lot more money later. What kind of money are we talking about?…

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