Mineral Owners

Understanding Mineral Rights: Part One of A Three-Part Series for New Mineral Owners

Mineral, Mineral Rights

Importance of understanding mineral rights

As a mineral owner, it is crucial to understand the concept of mineral rights and their role in the oil and gas industry. Gaining this knowledge will help you make informed decisions about your property, protect your interests, and maximize your returns. Familiarizing yourself with the different types of mineral ownership is the first step in this journey.

The role of mineral rights in the oil and gas industry

Mineral rights play a significant role in the oil and gas industry. They grant the owner the legal right to explore, drill, and produce oil, gas and other minerals beneath a particular tract of land. The industry relies on these rights to access valuable resources, which in turn help meet the world’s energy needs. As a mineral owner, understanding your rights enables you to effectively participate in the industry and benefit from its potential rewards.

Types of Mineral Ownership


Fee simple ownership

Fee simple ownership refers to a scenario where a property owner has complete ownership of both the surface and mineral rights of a piece of land. This is the most common and straightforward form of mineral ownership.

Rights and responsibilities

Under fee simple ownership, the owner has the right to lease or sell their rights to an oil and gas company. They can also negotiate lease terms, such as royalty rates and other conditions. The owner is responsible for ensuring that their rights are protected and for managing their property in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

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Severed mineral rights ownership

Severed mineral ownership occurs when the mineral rights have been separated or “severed” from the surface rights. In this case, the mineral rights are owned by one party, while the surface rights belong to another.

Rights and responsibilities

The owner of severed minerals has the authority to lease or sell their rights for oil and gas exploration and production. However, they must respect the rights of the surface owner, including obtaining any necessary permissions and minimizing surface disturbances. Both the mineral and surface owners should be aware of their respective rights and responsibilities to avoid potential conflicts.

Non-participating royalty interest (NPRI)

A non-participating royalty interest (NPRI) is a type of mineral ownership where the owner receives a percentage of production revenue but does not have the right to lease, sell, or participate in the negotiation of the lease terms.

Rights and responsibilities

NPRI owners have the right to collect royalties from oil and gas production, but they do not have the authority to make decisions regarding leasing or exploration activities. They also do not bear any costs associated with exploration and production. As an NPRI owner, it is essential to keep track of production activities to ensure accurate royalty payments.

Overriding royalty interest (ORRI)

An overriding royalty interest (ORRI) is a temporary interest in oil and gas production that is typically created as part of an oil and gas lease or other contractual agreement. It is a percentage of production revenue that is paid to the ORRI owner in addition to the landowner’s royalty.

Rights and responsibilities

The ORRI owner has the right to receive royalties from the production but, similar to an NPRI owner, does not have the right to lease or sell the rights. The ORRI terminates once the lease or contractual agreement ends. As an ORRI owner, it is important to understand the terms of the agreement and ensure that you receive the appropriate royalty payments for the duration of the interest.

While this concludes Part 1 of our 3-Part series “Understanding Mineral Rights for New Mineral Owners” we welcome you to join us over the coming days as we release Parts 2 & 3.  If you find yourself with questions please do not hesitate to SIGN UP FOR A FREE CONSULTATION and talk with one of our experts.


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