Oil & Gas Lease Payments – Mineral Royalties – Lost Checks and Missing Payments
Land sales in most parts of the country include the surface and what lies below, including oil, gas and mineral deposits. Landowners typically have the right to sell these valuable assets, generally by leasing a portion of the land to an oil or gas driller or mining company. A mineral royalty is a payment to the owner of the mineral rights for the privilege of extracting the mineral commodity.
Mineral royalties often go unclaimed when a landowner moves and fails to provide an updated address, or upon death, if the legal heirs fail to notify the oil, gas or mining company. Texas alone has $361 million available for claim.
Unclaimed royalties are often easily forgotten by heirs, because most oil and gas companies wait until certain minimum payments accrue before they will issue a check. If an individual mineral owner has only a small share of the royalties on a well or mine, checks may be sent only every few months, or even once a year.
Further complicating matters is the fact a royalty producing oil or gas well may be pooled with other interests, and may be some distance away from the actual landholding.
If you believe you or a deceased family member may be entitled to unclaimed royalties, complete the form below.