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Hello, My 2 sister's and I have recently been contacted about land and mineral right's, that we have received through heirship. They wish for us to sign a lease and we are interested, but we are unaware of fair market value. What is a fair signing bonus, what is the going rate per acre and what should I ask percentage wise for Royalties? If you can answer any or all of my questions, I would greatly appreciate it...

Negotiating the lease terms in an oil and gas lease is much like negotiating any other contract. Most terms in an oil and gas lease are negotiable. Your ability to effectively negotiate provisions such as length of primary term, royalty, bonus, and protective clauses you might want to add is proportional to your knowledge of the area being leased. The more informed you are about the activity in your area, the better your bargaining position will be.

For instance, if your acreage is within a mile or two of some recently-completed prolific oil or gas wells, you can use this fact to empower your negotiations with a potential lessee. Most companies will not volunteer information that will help you negotiate a better lease so you need to arm yourself with such knowledge. It's crucial if you are to negotiate effectively.

Since no lessee will likely volunteer much information, you could contact or visit the county clerk's office or abstractor's office in the county where your minerals are located and check for other companies that may have filed leases in your area recently. Their address would be on the leases they filed and you could probably find a phone number for them from that information. Perhaps others would offer you a better deal.

These days, many sites on the Internet can provide you with information concerning leasing activity, well completions, production, drilling permits, and forced-pooling orders. The bonus amounts included in forced-pooling orders in Oklahoma and some other states are usually based on the average bonus amounts being paid in the immediate area covered by the pooling order. Obviously this information can be used to negotiate an appropriate lease bonus if the one you've been offered is substantially lower than recent pooling bonus amounts in the same immediate area.

You didn't specify which state your mineral rights are located in, but the Oklahoma Corporation Commission has a wealth of information available online that's available to the public (your tax dollars at work!) You can look up recent well completions, production, drilling permits, and forced-pooling orders in your immediate area that will help you determine how "hot" it may be might be and thus give you a more knowledgeable position to bargain from.

You can also read my Leasing Tips article for more information.

Hope this helps you out.
Frederick M. "Mick" Scott CMM RPL
Follow the Mineral Hub on Twitter to receive information on current lase offers in various areas of Oklahoma and other states.  


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Frederick M. Scott


Oil and gas leasing, lease negotiations, how to best deal with the oil and gas companies or their representatives, buying/selling mineral rights, forced-pooling, correlative rights, deeds and conveyances, and "post-production" costs. I am most experienced with Oklahoma properties and laws, but am able to answer questions concerning other oil and gas producing states in many cases.


I am a Certified Professional Mineral Manager (CMM) certified by the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO) in Tulsa, OK. I am also a Registered Professional Landman (RPL) with the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL). I have managed my family's oil and gas properties in Oklahoma for over 10 years and have dealt with many landmen, title analysts, attorneys and other oil and gas professionals in the process. I have written several articles which have appeared in various oil and gas industry magazines and newsletters. I have negotiated and drafted leases, prepared deeds, affidavits, and other legal instruments relating to my own minerals, as well as performed title, legal research, and curative work for same. I have acquired a good deal of knowledge on the subjects of oil and gas law, mineral appraisal, and landwork over the past ten years, and also worked as a professional landman and lease buyer for a time. I've seen the business from "both sides" and therefore feel confident I can help out most of the folks who ask questions in this forum.

National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO); American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL)

National Association of Royalty Owners "Action Report" (ROAR); NADOA Magazine, The Mineral Hub, Landman Magazine, and several royalty owner association group's newsletters.

Certified Mineral Manager (CMM), Registered Professional Landman (RPL)

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