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Oil/Gas/lease for 3D seismic


These questions concern a 290 acre tract located in Garza County, Texas, and an option (1) to enter the land to conduct 3D seismic surveys and (2) the exclusive option to acquire an oil and gas lease on the land.

Questions: #1 When the surface land is owned by one individual and mineral rights are owned by that same individual plus one other person, who generally receives payment for the option to enter the land to conduct the surveys (land owner or divided by both mineral rights owners)?

#2 Do you have an estimate of the typical or average per-acre payment for seismic surveys in this area of West Texas?

#3 Is it common to negotiate payment for the option to lease the land at the same time the option to conduct a seismic survey is negotiated?

#4 If so, what are typical or average per-acre payments for such leases in this part of West Texas?  
#5 Is this payment for an option to lease land split between the two mineral rights owners or does it go to the surface land owner?

Thank you for your consideration of these questions.

1. The landowner

2. Not aware of prices in that area, but in any case they are probably minimal since the mineral owner (or the oil company once they lease the mineral owner) does have the right to seismic in most cases and so doesn't really "have" to pay for it.

3. Since as a mineral owner you have more bargaining power than you would if you only owned the land, I would negotiate the seismic right along with the lease, but would certainly pay more attention to getting a good lease (bonus, terms, etc.) than I would worrying about how much I got for the seismic.

4. Check with neighbors to see what they got is the best way to determine value.

5. Mineral rights owners get all lease bonus payments for leasing MINERAL RIGHTS. Landowner may get a one-time payment if they drill a well on the land, but it's not the same as a lease bonus. It's more of a "reparations" payment for any damage to crops etc. caused by drilling operations. If someone wanted to lease the LAND, then of course the landowner would get that bonus, not the mineral rights owners (i.e. a hunting lease etc. is commonly granted to people who want to hunt on someone's land.)  


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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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