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Oil and Gas Lawyer Serving Texas

About Your Mineral Rights

Oil and gas mineral rights are the rights to remove oil or gas that may be contained in and under some land. In jurisdictions that support such rights they may be separate from other rights to the land.

Oil and gas mineral rights entitle a person or company to explore and produce the oil and gas found below the surface of a tract of land. The owner of oil and gas mineral rights can sell, lease, gift or bequest them to others individually or entirely. It is possible to sell or lease rights to the oil and gas beneath a property and retain rights to the surface. It is also possible to sell the rights to a specific geologic unit (such as the Barnett Shale) or sell the rights to a specific commodity (such as oil only, or natural gas).

When conveying oil and gas mineral rights, a landowner usually desires to sell or lease rights to the underground resources but retain possession and control of the surface. An oil and gas company wants to extract the oil and gas but doesn't want to pay an additional price to acquire the property. In many instances, the surface owner doesn't want to part with the land. An agreement to convey mineral rights is made between the landowner and the oil and gas company. The landowner retains the buildings and rights to the surface, and the oil and gas company acquires rights to the subsurface oil and gas.

Oil and Gas Mineral Rights Transactions

Transactions involving oil and gas mineral rights can be nuanced and complex. When oil and gas mineral rights are purchased or leased, removal of the oil and gas resources is usually deferred. An oil and gas company needs time to acquire a drilling permit and to schedule its equipment and workforce to begin developing the field.

On the other hand, a landowner's interests in the mineral rights may not be tied up indefinitely by an oil and gas company. Consequently, oil and gas companies have implied obligations including a duty to develop the lease, a duty to protect against drainage of the reservoir from neighboring tracts, and a duty to market the resources extracted and pay any royalties that are due under the lease agreement.

Talk to a Houston Oil and Gas Lawyer Today

If you have questions about mineral rights and transactions such as oil and gas leases, you should consult an experienced business litigation attorney. An oil and gas lawyer at Arnold & Itkin LLP can help you understand the nuances of mineral rights and associated oil and gas leases.

For more information and a free consultation, contact an oil and gas attorney at our office.

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