Use cautioun selling mineral rights, lawyer warns


SALEM, Ohio — The region’s shale-leasing boom has ignited a gusher of offers to buy mineral rights, and landowners need to use caution when considering such deals, a local oil and gas lawyer warns.

Alan D. Wenger, an attorney with Harrington, Hoppe & Mitchell, says some landowners stuck with older oil and gas leases are being offered attractive payments that may rival bonus payments offered in the newer shale leases.


But these deals often involve an outright sale of the property’s mineral rights, a transaction that would transfer away royalty opportunities that could be substantial.

“This is not the time to see dollar signs and start signing papers,” Wenger said. “But that’s the result some of these outfits offering to buy mineral rights are hoping to create.

“Many landowners who already had oil and gas leases when the shale leasing boom started feel they’ve missed out. So when they’re offered payments that rival what the shale leases are offering, they’re impressed. But they need to realize these transactions are sales, not leases. And they need to make sure they understand what they’re being asked to sign.”

Check it out

Mineral rights should be appraised properly before they’re sold, he points out. Also, landowners who consider selling their mineral rights need to know what protections and privileges they would lose in such sales.


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!


  1. We received 2x a subordination,nonsistubance, and attornment agreement. We signed oil and gas lease in 2009. Our land is fee simple and the agreement is one sided. Is it better to keep our land nad home unsubordinate? ? I dont like the sound off it and we have not received any rayolties and wo’nt until we sign. If we have to can we draw up our own agreement with our interest as as primary?


We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.