Mineral rights owners told to be careful during Taylor eventAs more oil companies come to western North Dakota, mineral rights owners should remember to learn their rights and have attorneys on-hand when receiving mineral and oil leases, officials said Thursday.
As more oil companies come to western North Dakota, mineral rights owners should remember to learn their rights and have attorneys on-hand when receiving mineral and oil leases, officials said Thursday.
“As the area continues to grow, people are getting involved with this who perhaps haven’t experienced it before, and they just have some fundamental questions about what they should be thinking about as the mineral exploration … comes into their community,” said David Saxowsky, a professor of North Dakota State University agribusiness and applied sciences.
Saxowsky spoke at the Taylor Farm Institute Thursday at the Immanuel Church of Taylor.
Mineral and oil leasing has been steady the last two years, said Mackoff
Kellogg attorney Charles Peterson said, but he expects to see more come in this year.
“The best advice is be careful signing anything until you understand what you are signing,” Peterson said.
There are three primary terms that are negotiated — the bonus, which is the money received for leasing, royalties, which is money received from the minerals recovered, and the length of the lease. There are other terms that should be reviewed by an attorney, Peterson said.
Frank Jilich of Taylor, who attended the Taylor Farm Institute, said he learned a lot of information about agriculture, but the seminar from Saxowsky was something extra that was interesting.
“I got some mineral acres,” Jilich said. “They never contacted me yet to lease it. In the last oil boom they contacted me and leased it.”
The important thing to remember is mineral leases are negotiable, Saxowsky said.
“If you are not comfortable with the offer that has been made to you, go in and negotiate with the company that has approached you,” he said. “It’s not a matter of take this or leave it. It’s a matter of let’s talk about it and see if we can arrive at something that we are both comfortable with.”
Mineral exploration is occurring very rapidly, but Saxowsky said people with mineral rights should take their time reviewing offers if they get the chance.
“Be patient. You don’t need to release those minerals immediately,” he said. “There will be opportunities to lease them again in the future.”