Although it may not be promptly innate, a particular tract of land can be owned separately from the minerals underneath.
Owners are often surprised by this information, as they would like to participate – make money – through an oil or gas lease. Often, surface owners are restricted simply because they are not the owner of the minerals within the ground. Here we address some of the matters related to the give-and-take between surface and mineral ownership with regard to oil and gas agencies.

Owning Property Doesn’t Always Mean You Own the Minerals

Depending on the state you call home, it can be normal for ownership to include rights to everything on (and in and around) your land, such as:

  • The surface
  • The minerals
  • Pore space
  • The water
  • The sky

Owners often assume nothing has been severed, thinking all rights remain joined with the property, however, in some parts of the U.S. where drilling, mining or wind energy operations are common, it is not unusual to see ownership rights that are segregated. States where minerals are often severed from the surface estate include: Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico and others where oil and gas has been produced for decades.

When Surface and Minerals Are Separated

The process of drilling an oil or gas well obviously causes disturbance to the surface. A common footprint needed for drilling, completion, and subsequent production is generally around 3 to 10 acres. As you might assume, this can cause problems with those who own surface rights only, and are not going to enjoy future royalty income. It is important to understand that laws vary from state to state on these matters, thus you have to review the law in your state before setting expectations.

Contact Us Today

We invite you to contact the Law Office of Robert R. Robles in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma for more information about how we can help you. We will thoroughly evaluate your case and create a solid defense strategy. We are committed to finding practical solutions to your legal problems. Contact us today or call at 405-232-7980.