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Oil and Gas Royalty Payments

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

photograph of 3 oil drills on land with text overlay "FAQ: Oil and Gas Royalty Payments"

Why are my mineral royalty checks less than they used to be?

There can be several reasons why your oil and gas royalty payments are reducing over time. The most common reason is that oil & gas production declines with time. Just like poking a hole in a balloon, the pressure drops as air is released. In fact, the majority of an oil & gas well's cash flow is generated in the first two years of production. Eventually, the decline stabilizes but is still declining. When an operator drills new wells, the production is likely to jump back up, but it might take decades for an operator to circle back to a lease and drill new wells. With that in mind, it is important to realize that previous royalty checks are not a measure of how much your minerals are worth in the future. This is why LandGate uses a reserve-based valuation approach similar to what oil & gas companies use to evaluate economics. The mineral rights valuations that LandGate provides ensure that the landowner is fully aware of the future economic potential of their minerals. Many other factors can affect a royalty check including commodity prices, pipeline constraints, and wellbore problems.

Why did I stop receiving mineral royalty checks?

There are several possible reasons you’ve stopped receiving royalty checks. Perhaps the most common reason is that the well(s) stopped producing, or the operator temporarily shut off the well. There could be a number of reasons a well stops producing. Such as, anything from the well having problems to it not being economically viable at lower commodity prices. Another reason is that the contracts which dictate the sale of oil & gas (called marketing contracts in the industry), are being renegotiated or transferred. Unfortunately, these contracts can sometimes result in lower prices of oil and gas, ultimately hurting the mineral owner. Normally, a mineral owner does not have to pay for transportation costs, but sometimes the operators add it to the lease or try to apply the transportation cost to the oil or gas price. As an engaged mineral owner, it’s important to understand what the operator is doing and why they are doing it. If an operator is using tactics that are not favorable to the mineral owner, it can be difficult to resolve these issues. LandGate provides support in negotiations so that mineral owners end up with favorable conditions. One reason people sell minerals and royalties is because they are frustrated with the operator and would rather own minerals somewhere else under a credible operator. Our marketplace also provides favorable lease and sell options on our online marketplace for free. Additionally, LandGate provides free production and well data so that mineral owners can see the activity of their operator and make informed decisions. To access this information, simply generate your free property report on LandGate's map.

When will I start receiving royalties from production on my minerals?

Prior to receiving payment on your minerals, you would typically receive documents from the operator indicating a well may start producing soon . You will first receive a Division Order from the operator. A Division Order is basically a document which reflects the ownership interest you have in production from a well. If you agree with the interest you are being credited with, you will sign the Division Order and return it to the operator. You should begin receiving royalty checks no later than two to three months from the time a well starts producing on your property, assuming you own the mineral rights associated with the producing well. If you think you should be getting paid a royalty, but you’re not, it’s best to contact the operator in your lease agreement to try and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Are you interested in selling your royalty payments? LandGate can help! List your royalties for sale on LandGate's marketplace for free. It starts by generating your free property report on our map:


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